Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ice Skating on the Deck…Live Writer…and Working…

Every morning I tend to do the same thing…walk past the Coffee Pot and hit the on button…grab the Birdseed…and walk outside.

This morning there was a little twist to this regiment…

I found myself suddenly transported into the Olympics Men’s Freestyle Skating Short Program! smile_omg

We have a deck outside of our motor home – which is great to have – yesterday it got above freezing and then refroze last night.  So the Deck became…

The Skating Rink!

The problem was I never got the memo!

When my foot hit the deck – it was game on – and there was no music.

The moves I made would have qualified for a degree of difficulty in the 20’s on a scale of 1 – 10!

The footwork…absolutely amazing – I think I also did some moves on the ice that, I am sure, were more appropriate for the Snowboarding competition.

I finally got my feet back under me, having performed all the required elements that exist for one trying to see just how elastic the body can be.

“Nailing the Landing” as used in the Olympics took on a whole new meaning for me.

Then there were the judges…

The judges were my newly made fine feathered friends, knowing the normal routine, sitting in the trees I am sure fixated on the bag of birdseed that was swinging wildly in the air.

Who knew you could use props in the Olympics?

I am not sure I really heard this – but I think I could hear them yelling…”Mine, Mine, Mine” in anticipation of the Birdseed bag being launched into the air as if shot from a catapult and landing probably in the tree limbs.

Upon not having this happen – I am positive I heard LAUGHING from the judges as they watched this earthbound creature doing things mere mortals could only hope to do.

I still fed them…begrudgingly!

Now about this post – I have decided to start using Live Writer to author my posts.

The reason for this is…apparently people who read blogs REALLY like pictures…at least this is what our friends Pat and Cindy tell us as well as about 150 other people. smile_eyeroll 

Of course we knew this – but SOMEONE has been lazy in doing it.  When I find that person they are in real trouble!!!

With us going to start putting pictures out there Live Writer is much more adept at this plus less chance to lose posts if something goes sideways while posting.

Pictures like this…

Now this will be the first post coming from Live Writer – hopefully it works – if not you aren’t reading this anyway so I am basically talking to myself.

Working…

I thought I would give some of our thinking about the working thing – since the readers like to know what is going on the ‘ol brain.

Opinions always welcomed!

There is a definite fork in the road coming up for us – and here it is.

We know we need to work to support ourselves on the road,

We currently have one vehicle besides the MH.

If I go the traditional route we will need a second vehicle – one for Nanette and one for me.

If we end up getting a position on the road then we won’t need a second vehicle – but will need a different vehicle since the one we have now is not towing friendly – being All Wheel Drive.

We are getting inquiries – and we are talking to EVERYBODY we can to find out what we are getting into.  The answers we have gotten have been most enlightening.

So we are on a learning curve akin to a Space Shuttle launch.

Every job I have ever had came about through someone I knew – networking in other words.

We know very few people in this lifestyle so I am in uncharted territory.   But we are getting to know people and the help they have provided has been most welcomed.

Back to the jobs – it appears that the job types out there are limited only by one’s imagination.

We have seen things from Marina Managers to 7/24 Gate Keeping duties in the Texas Oil Fields and everything in between.

The thing is for us – we are in an environment that is unlike anything we have experienced before and we need to learn fast.

As is said many times -- “I am sure you will look back on this someday and laugh.”  Probably so…but right now we are pegging the stress meter as we try to get our hands around what, when, where and so on.

Just when you think you have the journey understood – it starts all over again!

Oh…sorry about not posting the story about Dad and Trigger.  My mind went into a different direction today…and besides to do justice to what I want to tell you it needs it own space.

I will share it with you tomorrow – well if the deck doesn’t freeze again…and I decide to use the Ice Melt that is sitting on that same deck – doing no good whatsoever being in the container!

Ken and Nanette

Friday, February 19, 2010

Slow Day and Full Time Families.

Today was one of those slow days.  You know the ones where very little happens?

It did warm up some here today almost hitting a balmy 40 degrees.  The snow is melting just in time for more to arrive early next week.

By the way the blog yesterday about Nanette talking in her sleep -- well it went over really big here!

Actually she laughed when she read it -- why -- because she knows it is true!

As I have told you Nanette takes care of our Facebook stuff and I do the blog stuff.

She reads it for the first time each day when you do.  So she never knows for sure what I a write.  She does ask me -- and will tell me things I should add but I always tell her that she will just have to wait to read it when I post it.

Works for me!

Ah...the power of the pen -- or keyboard in this case.

I need to get her to do a post soon now that I think about it.  I will get to work on that one!

Today I had some exchanges with others that are full time and that also have children.  We were discussing that it appears there are more families hitting the road these days.

Some out of need and some out of just desiring a life style change.

Apparently some people have run into some rather serious challenges from family members wanting to stop them from doing this.

I guess I can understand people being opposed to something they may not understand but the stories I heard today were way over the top as far as I am concerned.

Nanette and I have been talking about the movement by people to get control of their lives back.

There is of course no way to know how many are actually making the transition into the lifestyle.

I did have an interesting conversation with a local RV dealer a couple of weeks ago and he told me that there are a lot of people that told him they are going full time.  Many more than at any other time in there 30 year history.

I asked him if there were any families and he said "Oh yes".  He actually talked to me about it for quite a while and seemed somewhat surprised at what has been happening in the last 6 months.

Then last night I received an email from a couple that have just gone full time due to having their retirement evaporate.  They also said that they are not comfortable with what the government may do considering the debt situation.

We certainly appear to be living in uncertain times -- and people are cutting overhead anyway they can.  I also think they see dual value in the full time mobile lifestyle.  They can cut overhead perhaps AND be able to enjoy the great locations that are out there.

When we decided to do this -- it wasn't out of fear of the future -- it was about the allure of the road and being able to take control of where and how we to live.  To us it was the best decision to make -- and times become more uncertain -- it appears to have been a better decision all the time.

We continue to look at work opportunities.  We have received a couple of inquiries from employers so we are doing our research to see if there is a "fit" out there for us.  As I said earlier we would like to be working somewhere within the next 6 to 8 weeks.

Well that is about it for today.

Tomorrow I am going to attempt to tell you about my dad and his interaction with animals.  In particular a horse named Trigger -- but that was after it was changed from Gorgeous George -- their relationship was one of a kind.

They had one thing in common -- they were both equally hard-headed!

Ken and Nanette

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sleep Talking or How To Carry On A Conversation With People That Are Asleep...

Since we are covering all the things that happen of interest I must share this since it happened (again) last night.

I have been blessed with being the only one in our family that doesn't talk in their sleep.

Now this is a good thing and a bad thing depending on your perspective.

I should tell you that this "talking" is not your average talking.

I will take the "night talkers" one at a time.

Isaac -- When Isaac does this it is always the same thing -- Telling Christian (little brother) to STOP!

I hear the words NO and STOP a lot.  I am not sure what it is that Christian is doing in Isaac's sleep but whatever it is it must closely mirror what happens during the day when they are awake.

I should say that when Issac does this the volume level is rather high.  In addition, we can't always understand what he is saying -- sometimes it is just mumbling -- other times though it is perfectly clear.

Christian -- Christian does one thing in his sleep.  Laugh!   When he does this it is not subtle.  It is one of those full out laughs -- you know the ones that when you hear it you have to laugh at them laughing.

As least it isn't a Vincent Price kind of laugh -- that would kind of freak me out.  I also often wonder if whatever Christian is laughing at --is whatever Isaac is telling him to stop doing.

Then there is the mother of all sleep talkers!

This would be Nanette!

Last night or I should say very early this morning as I was sleeping soundly I was startled awake by Nanette raising up...quickly!...and being about a foot from my face -- asked --

"Are the people up there!!??"

Upon hearing I asked...

"What people?"

To my amazement...she answered...

"I am ASKING if the people are up there!"

To which I said...

"There are no people up there honey."

She then flopped back down and continued to sleep -- soundly!

Realize that I had no idea WHAT people or where THERE was...but being the idiot that I am I engaged her in conversation like she was awake or something.

The other thing is she never recollects that these "conversations" have taken place.

Oh...this isn't the first time by a long shot that she has done this.  I have been asked many questions about things I have no clue about. 

And...I always do the same thing -- I try to answer her question -- a question that she has no idea she is asking -- let alone the fact that she never hears my answer.

The bad thing for me is...that I am able to tell you about these things.

It means that I must have been awake to hear them -- which is true -- I am a light sleeper.

Of course if I weren't I would miss this amazing show of Sleep Talking put on from time to time by the best in the business!

Two other things...

I was just reading through the responses from yesterday's post about "What we deserve?"

Let me give my take on what it takes to change the set point since many asked.

It looks like the "old" set point must be overwritten by the "new".

It isn't a simple case of just deciding to change it because all this stuff I wrote about happens on the subconscious  level.

It is an automatic response.  Most people don't even realize they are doing it.

Awareness is the first step -- if we react in a certain way or see our path not being the one we want -- we should ask ourselves -- why we feel the way we do.  Whats behind our automatic reaction?

Then we must define what we WANT our action to be.

I have also read that the REALLY important thing is -- there must be a value associated with the desired change.  In other words -- the answer to -- Why would I want to make the change anyway?

There...that is my take on the questions as to-- How can someone change the set point?  -- for what it is worth.

The last thing is the recipe for the Butterscotch Apple Crisp.  Now before I do this remember this is a guy trying to write out a recipe...

Butterscotch Apple Crisp

Prep: 10 min.   Cook: 5 hours

Sliced apples are sprinkled with topping made with Oats, Brown Sugar, and Butterscotch Pudding mix, then cooked in a Crock Pot.

6 Cups sliced peeled tart apples (about 5 large)
3/4 Cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup All-Pupose Flour
1/2 Cup Quick-Cooking Oats
1 Package (3-1/2 ounces) cook-and-serve Butterscotch Pudding Mix
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Butter
Vanilla Ice Cream (optional) Optional???  I don't think so!!!!

Place apples in a 3-qt slow cooker (crock pot for us).

In a large bowl. combine the Brown Sugar,Flour, Oats, Pudding Mix and Cinnamon.

Cut in Butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. (Not sure what "Cut in" is -- I say just throw it in there and mix it up -- but what do I know?)

Sprinkle over apples.  (well those that are left after the kids -- big and little -- keep swiping them.)

Cover and cook on low for 5 to 5 1/2 hours or until Apples are tender. (an eternity in other words!)

Serve with Ice Cream!!!!

Yield: 6 Servings (yeah right -- the size servings we dish up -- more like 4!)

We never made it to 5 hours by the way -- because "somebody" redefined what TENDER means -- that someone was yours truly.  I could not take the smell of it any longer!  Who cares if the apples are crunchy?

We continued to feel honored by the number of people that have made the decision to visit us when  they could be doing so many other things.  Thank you!!!

Ken and Nanette

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Taxes...It Is Still Winter...and What do we deserve?

I did our taxes today.  I know we pay taxes -- but it is when I pull all the numbers together that is hits me just HOW MUCH we pay in taxes.  It can be quite depressing when you think of how much we work just to satisfy the unending hunger of our government for our money.

I will stop at this point on this issue or I would be writing for a very long time and I would expect before I was through I would not be able to publish what I wrote.

I got them done though and we are very happy (for what it is worth) at how things turned out.  Much better than last year for us.

Now that I have that out of the way -- I can begin my recovery from the sticker shock.

It snowed all day yesterday and all night reminding us it is still winter here and will be for a while yet.

Cabin fever is setting in for us though.  We are ready to get outside which is where we usually spend the majority of our time.

They just said on the local weather that we have more snow coming within the next few days.

I have read a lot of research over the years regarding studies that say as humans we tend to draw to us that which we feel we deserve.

This statement has rolled around in my mind for a long time.  I think there is truth to this.

I have wondered how it is that people can be so consistent in the lives they live.

I have seen people that have come into a large sum of unexpected money only to see them "dispose" of it very quickly and end up right where they were before they got it.

I have seen people that had very little money and when faced with an opportunity to make more they turn it down.

I worked with the homeless while in college.  We would arrange housing for them -- set them up with food -- and work to get them a job for them to be self-sufficient.

During this time we placed 13 people into the new living arrangements.  Within 6 months every single one of them left their housing and moved back to the streets.  There was no reason for them to leave but they felt compelled to do so.

I have seen great opportunities fail due to self sabotage -- snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.

I have also seen people get knocked down so hard that they should never have recovered -- but they bounced back against all odds.

So I have asked myself why things happened the way they did.  Why consistency is so apparent?  How people can be so predictable sometimes?

I wonder if perhaps we all have "set points" as to what is normal or deserved in our lives.  Even though we may have things that pull us off of these set points we will inevitably return to where "we belong".

I think of it as a thermostat -- as long as things are in the range that is set nothing happens -- let it cool too much or get too hot and the thermostat starts a process of either cooling or heating to get back to where it is set.

In sales they call this the sales roller coaster -- motivation of the sales person is tied to where they are in hitting their targets.  Too low and there is high motivation -- too high and coasting begins.

Have you ever met people that just seem unhappy -- all the time?   Or people that are always happy and always look for the good even in the bad?

For me -- if I get around pessimistic people I want to leave.  I love to be around people that are optimistic.

Ever heard the saying that "Misery loves company."?  I know people that have turned that saying into an art form.

I wonder if our friends are a reflection of ourselves.  Why are we drawn to certain types of people and repelled by others?

For those of you that like sports -- have you ever seen a very good team get beat -- then watch what they do the next week as they come back to their "set point" on the next opponent?

So I wonder -- just for the sake of thought -- what my set points are?  What is the "normal" for me -- the normal that I will always return to?

I have also read that psychologists tell us that people will not attempt or even allow themselves to think about that which they believe they cannot achieve.  Think about that one for a minute.

Are there things out there that I am not attempting because I am convinced I cannot achieve it?

And most importantly -- what if my beliefs about not being able to achieve it are in error?

If that was true then I may very well have the potential and skills to achieve the things I want but may never try.

Ever had someone bring up an idea and before they finish their sentence you have already come up with the reasons it wouldn't work? 

Perhaps I need to take an accounting of what I believe about my abilities and what I believe I deserve.

Maybe if I changed those things I would see the things I want become reality.

Maybe I need to adjust the set point -- then I would regulate at the new level.

I wonder if this applies to happiness.  Is it possible that I have decided how happy I deserve to be -- and will regulate to that decision?

Have you ever thought -- this is too good to be true -- it can't last?   Why would we think that?  Maybe it is beyond our limit of what we think we deserve?

What does this have to do with the full timing lifestyle -- perhaps everything.  Who does it -- why they do it -- what they do once they are in it.

Maybe there is something they are looking for -- something that only exists in the wide open opportunities to find what they have lost along the way.

Maybe they are simply getting back to where "they belong".


Maybe a good thing for me to do tomorrow is to check where I have my thermostat set!

Ken

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Unusual Second Post Today...Apparently This Working Thing IS A Big Deal!

I just had to make an unusual second post today.

I posted early this morning about working and money.

What has happened since that post has really stunned us.  We have lost count of the emails we have received on this issue.

This idea of going full time and still working is apparently something that a lot of people are either already doing or doing everything within their power to get to.

We are still processing some of the questions and trying to figure out what to do with what we have been asked to do by some of the readers on the blog.

We just wanted to let everyone know that we are getting your emails and will get around to answering them as soon as we can.

To answer one question that has been asked multiple times...

Yes, we are going to stay on the road.  We are not going back to a sticks and bricks house.

We think we can do both at the same time.  As I said earlier the idea is to accomplish three things:

1) To stay full time.
2) To make the amount of money we need to live.
3) To find a work situation doing something we truly enjoy.

So..we aren't going anywhere.  If I led you to think that is what we were contemplating it was not our intent to do so.

I hope our posting about the same thing twice didn't disappoint.  As we said we would share everything of interest and what has happened today was certainly interesting and even more unexpected.

I think we hit on a very important issue for a lot of people.

Well...wonder what Nanette has in  mind for dinner tonight?  She spoiled us yesterday!

Ken

Snow...Nanette's Cravings...and Whats Next?

Well we got the snow and the wind and more snow.

It was one of those really lazy days today.

We went for a walk and watched the Olympics and ATE!

The eating part was due to Nanette's cravings.

Now I will tell you some things about her that drive me crazy.

First -- she weights all of 105 lbs.

Second - she can eat MUCH more than me.

Third -- no matter what she eats or how much she eats -- she gains no weight.

I am pretty sure this is not natural.

She started with wanting Egg Salad -- she asked if it sounded good -- I said it did -- so we had Egg Salad.

Then she asked me if Chocolate Chip Cookies sounded good -- I said it did -- so we had Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Then she asked if Ham and Cornbread sounded good -- and I said it did -- so now she is fixing Ham and Cornbread as I type this.

We are thinking that we like it when Nanette / Mom has cravings!  We LOVE her cooking!

So we were taking today about whats next for us.

This is an ongoing conversation -- which we imagine goes on with a lot of people who are in this lifestyle,

We talk about this a lot.  We are sitting in Kentucky which most of you know by now.  We are deciding when to pull out and what to do.

As we told you we need to generate income as we full time.

So today we went through the websites of Workamper News and Caretaker Gazette to see what is out there.  There are of course a lot of positions in a lot of places.  We get emails when new opportunities are posted on either of these sites and it has been interesting to see what kinds of opportunities exist.

The other option we are looking at it is getting something more traditional -- just in a part of the country of our choosing.  This option is not all that bad for us either.  Just not sure what or where yet.

We have about 6 to 8 weeks to find our next opportunity so the time to start looking is right now.

Being mobile is a huge benefit when taking a look at possible jobs.  It opens up so much more than just looking in the local area.

There is also the possibility for us to work from home which could include something on the Internet or working online.

There are website that offer online opportunities -- if you are looking at these please read the fine print carefully and make sure you know what you are getting into.

This whole working thing was an integral part of making the transition to full timing.  We knew that we could continue the traditional work thing or we could expand where we wanted to work and live.

Also, having to stay at one job for many years was something we aren't interested in anymore.  We really like variety and this lifestyle gives that to us.

So -- we are beginning a new phase of this transition.   As before, we will keep posting about how this part unfolds.

I should also tell you that we have received a lot of email about working on the road.

I think this aspect of full timing is one that is growing.  With the economy in the condition it is in it is becoming necessary for people to expand their view in terms of work opportunities.

It doesn't stop there though -- it isn't just where they are looking it is the kind of job they are looking for.

I remember taking a battery of aptitude tests a number of years ago and the results were that one of the jobs I seemed most suitable for was a Park Ranger. 

Well I never became a Park Ranger -- but as someone said to me the other day -- you may now be facing your opportunity.

Very possibly.  I have had a very wide ranging work history which I will not bore you with.  Just suffice it to say there are many things I can do.

Money...

This issue of money has come up many times already between us and some of the people we have met since we moved out of our house.

It is a subject that some are very comfortable talking about and some not comfortable at all talking about.

Money can be a source of so much unhappiness sometimes.  Worrying about losing what you have or worrying about how to get more.  I am not sure I have seen anything else that can cause so much trouble sometimes.

Some people have become slaves to it -- some obsessed with it -- others have come to the conclusion that it is simply a means to an end.

For us money is the last.  We are not looking to get rich -- but to have simply enough to support the new lifestyle we have moved into.

In the days when I made the most money in my life I was the most unhappy.  This probably happened due to what it took to make the money I did.  I remember traveling 300 days one year.  I made a small fortune that year.

I also remember the exact moment, while sitting in the Four Seasons in Boston on a Christmas Eve, when I decided -- No More!

Not to say I haven't made a lot of money since then -- I have been blessed from time to time -- but from that moment things changed. 

Looking back I think it was the beginning of a series of revelations that eventually got us to where we are now.

So now we move toward the next phase.

We have figured out exactly how much money we need to make.  Now the goal is to simply find something we love to do and make that amount of money.

This should be a very interesting journey and we will take you along with us just as we have up to this point.

As always your ideas, thoughts and opinions are always welcomed!

Thank you so much for visiting today!

Ken and Nanette

Monday, February 15, 2010

Still waiting on the snow...Butterscotch Apple Crisp...and Burning Down The Outhouse...

We waited on the snow to start all day today but nothing happened...yet.  They say we are going to get around 6 inches.

I know to some parts of the country that isn't a lot but for Central Kentucky it will probably brings things to a halt.

Actually as I type this I see it has now started snowing.

Nanette made some Butterscotch Apple Crisp in the Crock Pot today.  It takes about 5 hours to cook.  The worst part is having to smell it while it is cooking and not being able to eat it!

It FINALLY finished and -- Wow!

We put it with a little Vanilla Ice Cream  and was it ever good!!!

Definitely going on the "Make It Again List"!!!

In earlier posts I shared a picture with you of the house I grew up in .

We were not wealthy by any means and by some standards we were quite poor.

The house I shared the picture of had no electricity, no running water or indoor plumbing and only had an old wood stove for heat.

So we started out with basically a "wooden tent".

I remember a couple of Christmas mornings that our presents consisted of either something of another family member or gifts that were homemade.  No store bought gifts for us.

Of course we always had a fresh cut Christmas tree -- having been cut on our property -- and ALWAYS too large to fit into the house.  I guess it just looked much smaller being outdoors and had to be cut down substantially before it would even fit in the door.

There were a few years that if my dad and brother were not successful hunting we ate very little.

As time went on we got our garden going -- bought a few pigs -- then some cattle and chickens -- and then some horses.  We also had ducks -- and some goats.  We also raised rabbits for a while.

After this time we at least ate well and were significantly self sufficient.

We produced and processed our own meat and canned all our own vegetables.  Doing these things were actually new to my parents -- both seeing it done when the were children but not having done it themselves.

So it was a trial and error process in the beginning.

Which brings me to a story I would like to share with you.

As I said earlier we processed all of our own meat.

My dad read an article about how to smoke your own meat.  I think he got the general idea down but the problem came with the engineering part of the process.

My dad took on the roll of chief architect and engineer for the project - a move that would in the end prove to be -- well -- not such a good idea.

So -- the first thing that was probably a mistake was not to build a prototype of some sort in order to make sure that the smokehouse would work.

Nope we went straight from idea to production in one swift step.

The first thing one needs to smoke meat it a smokehouse.  This was a challenge since we didn't have one -- but have no fear -- creativity is a powerful tool.

So -- my dad being the resourceful sort looked around and managed to find the "perfect" answer.

The old Outhouse.

I am sure everyone knows what an Outhouse is but if by chance you don't -- it is simply a building that is used for a bathroom -- there is no plumbing but rather a natural process is utilized.



On a side note -- in January and February -- using one is more of  a punishment than a convenience.

So back to the Outhouse -- before you shutdown your browser at this point not wanting to experience all of the possibilities of smoking meat in an Outhouse let me tell you that this Outhouse was not and had not been used for many many years.

It was also just the building that was to be used.

So the Outhouse was moved to a location that would be "perfect" for what it was going to be used for.

There is a problem that you will see later with this "perfect" location.

The next thing to do was to enlarge it -- my dad had such confidence in his design that he wasn't going to smoke just a little meat -- he decided to smoke a lot of meat -- like -- 1200 lbs!

Building is enlarged -- racks and hooks installed -- burning pit dug -- vents installed -- we are ready to go!

My dad and brother gathered a bunch of Hickory from our property for the main ingredient -- the smoke.

Then the meat was moved from the cellar under the house -- which by the way held all the canned foods and the meat.

I should tell you that beside the beef there was also Pork Sausage -- this sausage was ground then stuffed into these 3 foot long cloth bags and then dipped in paraffin.

Paraffin -- remember this for later.

So the meat goes to the smokehouse -- hung up -- vents opened -- wood loaded in -- and lit.

Wood goes out.

It is lit again.

Wood goes out again.

Time for some of my dad's famous Field Engineering to come into play.

He decides the problem is -- the wood isn't getting enough air.

The solution was to dig under the wall of the Outhouse (Smokehouse) and install a pipe -- in this case an 18 inch diameter piece of culvert pipe.

Brilliant -- now the fire had a great source of air that would keep the wood slowly burning and providing that sweet aroma of Hickory smoke...mmm!

So the fire is once again started -- the new air supply works perfectly.

Now the idea is to allow the meat to be exposed to this smoke for a number of hours.  Since the fire was started late in the afternoon it would need to smoke all night.

It was a few hours after dark that all the elements came together to form a deep childhood memory for me.

First problem -- the inlet of the pipe that was installed was pointing directly to the West.

Second problem -- the wind came up and began to gust to about 25 to 30 miles per hour.

Third problem -- this wind hitting the fire turned it into a blow torch.

Fourth problem -- the Paraffin started to melt and drip into the fire acting like a fuel.

Fifth problem -- meat catches on fire -- 1200 lbs of it!!!

Sixth problem -- the perfect location sat under 4 very large trees.

Seventh problem -- we were all asleep.

The guys from the Volunteer Fire Department were very friendly!

Seems some neighbors from about a mile away saw this roaring fire and thought it was our house so they called the Fire Department.

I wasn't the first one up but I got up in time to hear the Captain of the squad tell my dad that his Outhouse was on fire.

I heard my dad tell him -- "Oh we are just smoking meat."  This he said with pride.

The Captain then told him "I don't think you understand -- it isn't just smoke.  The whole thing is going up."

The look on my dad's face -- well you remember the truck bumper story -- Exact Same Look!.

I remember turning around the corner of the house and looking at the amazing spectacle that was about 100 yards from the house.

I have to tell you -- it was a sight to behold.  The outhouse and all the trees on fire -- and the smell of meat cooking  mixed in with the smell of hickory.

It was a true full sensory experience.  That thing burned for hours.  The fire department didn't do anything other than to keep it from spreading.  It was decided that it would be better to let it burn up than have all that meat laying out there.  So it burned.

There was one other thing that happened.

The house sat exactly East of the building -- the amount of smoke that filled the house was evidenced by our clothes smelling like barbecue for what seemed like forever.

So in the process we burned up 1200 lbs of meat -- burned down 4 trees -- and completely destroyed a perfectly good Outhouse.

By the way -- my Dad never attempted to smoke meat again and NEVER talked about this little episode again.

BUT I DID!!!

Ken and Nanette

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Birds!...and...Whats behind the numbers?

So we have this table outside of our MH where we have been putting bird seed so the birds have a little something special to eat during this hard winter.

This morning I went outside -- as I do every morning -- and I see birds of all types sitting up in the trees.

LOTS of birds.

And then they begin fussing at me!  Chirping and clicking and screeching!

Seems we had let the birdseed run out and THEY WEREN'T HAPPY!

Reminded me of the movie The Birds.  Kind of weird actually.

So I got the birdseed and replenished their food.

They were now happy!

Now we sit here just waiting on the snow.  They haven't said how much just that several inches are possible.

We are wondering exactly what several inches really means.  I guess we will find out soon enough.

I exercised the MH engine this morning -- started right up -- oil pressure good -- voltage good -- full tank of fuel -- brought it up to temperature and let it run for while.

We have been sitting here in this CG for about 2 months now without moving our motorhome.  When I started it this morning Nanette and I had the same feeling.

First it was strange to hear a motor running in our home.  And second it sure would be easy to just lift the jacks -- put it into drive -- and follow the thermometer!

Since moving in here this recreational vehicle has become so much more to us.

It is our home and we are very dependent on it's systems working when they are called upon.

It keeps us dry and warm and provides the comforts of home.

It is our ONLY home.  And...it moves at our discretion.  Strange feeling indeed.

We wondered if  many other people have gone through this thought process change.

The Numbers...

We decided to look at the numbers that tell us how our blog is going over.

We track what happens with our blog with a couple of programs.  They tell us how many visitors show up -- when they show up -- what pages they look at -- how long they stay and if they return...and stuff like that.

Of course we don't know WHO shows up -- just that it was someone.

What we see really makes us feel good.

It seems that some of you like the stuff we ramble on about because you are coming back! -- and we sure do appreciate it!  Also, we have had a lot of people that have signed up to receive emails when we update the blog.

We were told that we needed to post all those posts we made on the RV-Dreams Forum while we were actually in the middle of the move.  When I did that I figured a lot of people really wouldn't take the time to read them.

Boy was I wrong on that!

Apparently when people start reading from the beginning the don't stop!  Okay -- Okay -- I know you guys were right -- we needed to post all of that.

The other thing that we have been very surprised about are the number of emails we receive.  You can send us an email by using that Contact Us thing at the top of the page.

We feel we have made so many friends already through these emails -- we get questions which we answer -- we get encouragment that really means a lot -- we get suggestions about some of the things we have written about like the wintering in an RV.

We have also received stories and personal experiences that have been shared with us.  Some of these are simply amazing and tell us so much about the character of people that have choosen the full time lifestyle.

So we write on and simply hope we have supplied some little thing that for a brief moment has brought a laugh or a smile or even perhaps something that has enlightened.  This is why we do this.

I guess that is it for today.

Tomorrow -- I think I would like to share another story about my childhood.

Something that will give you a very clear picture of how I grew up.

You may find yourself a little surprised and hopefully laughing a little bit at what I will share.

Also, next week I want to share with you some thoughts on research that indicates that as humans we tend to draw towards us that which we feel we deserve.  I think you might find this very thought provoking!

Until tomorrow!

Ken and Nanette