Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Being in Indianapolis for a short time for John's and my doctor appointments are keeping us on the move. 

Wednesday, our Tiffin Allegro Bus had oil and filters changed.  The Bus is not tilted, I was.  
We were very pleased with the service at Speedco.  Everything was professionally completed and they were "neat and tidy. 

Thursday, we both had fasting blood draws at the vampire's office. 
As soon as we each gave them a gallon of our blood, we were off to another office where John had an appointment with his CPAP doctor. 

Friday found us at the eye doctor's office only to find that we both need cataract surgery.

The surgery is scheduled for tomorrow at 12:15 after my colonoscopy for Wednesday (tomorrow again) at 8:30 a.m. What a day tomorrow is going to be.   

Today, I am doing the purge and cleanse.  You need to read Donna's blog.  What I want to know, is how did she guess that tomorrow is my big day?    

How can four tiny pills create so much havoc?  

In the meantime, John is making a few repairs.  One is to our antenna.  You know that little warning sign that the driver puts on his sun visor to warn that the antenna is up? Someone forgot to read it while we were in Michigan.

Also, that troublesome water pump that acted up while we were in California finally gave up the ghost.  He is installing a new Shurflo pump today.  

On a delish note,  I made some fantastic, no sugar, vegan oatmeal cookies.  The recipe follows:

No Sugar Oat Drops

1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats (use whatever type of oats you like)
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup of almond meal (or nut meal of your choice)
( If you want to make it nut free you could use a flour, just adjust the wet ingredients to get the right consistency)
1/2 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped
1 cup dried fruit (of your choice or chocolate chips or berries)

3 ripe bananas, mashed ( or substitute applesauce, or 2 eggs)
1/4 cup canola oil (or oil of your choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 175C. (350*) Line baking sheet with parchment 

In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, almond meal, mixed nuts and 
coconut flakes. Stir in allspice and cinnamon. Add dried fruit and stir
until well and evenly mixed. Make sure the dried fruit do not stick
together in big batches.  In another bowl, combine canola oil, mashed 
banana and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and 
stir until well combined. 

Take a large cookie cutter and press spoonfuls of the batter into it. 
Remove cookie cutter.  Or simply form balls with your hands and 
flatten slightly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden 

*These are not gluten free, due to the use of oats. Please adapt to 
your personal preference.

Yep, we have been onb the move!  Till next time.......

God bless

Sunday, October 20, 2013


The title of today's blog is also a song that is sung each year at the Indianapolis 500.  It us usually sung by Indiana natives, Florence Henderson, Jim Neighbors and others.  

I was happy to be back home with my girls and grands.  I started to choke up about four blocks from Holly's home. John could not drive the motorhome fast enough through the busy Indianapolis streets to suit me.  

My plan was to surprise Holly, Lucy and Ross.  The house was dark. The surprise was on me.  The kiddo's gymnastic classes are now on Wednesday nights instead of last year's Monday nights.  

The "surprises" for our firstborn, Karen on Thursday since it was her birthday.  Now, that surprise did work out.  She was totally surprised and her mom had wet cheeks, once again.  A year is a long time not to see one's children.  I have no idea how we ever went so long without seeing Jojo.  

Karen is assistant director of an inner city center for the homeless and anyone who needs emotional, spiritual, economic help for their families.  

For the children in the area Karen is using her artistic abilities to run a very successful program called Art in the City.  She teaches the students all forms of art.  Many of her lessons are based on the works of famous artists.   The photos speak for themselves.  
An example of Karen's talent.
The rest you will see is the student's art works in various stages of completion.
A student's work in progress


"Angry Birds" ready to be fired in one of the kilns.


Students learn that they can create art from anything, even cardboard!

This is a project, again based on a famous artist's work. It was made from recycled plastic bottles that were, cut in spirals, painted then  hot glued together

When our visit was over, we went into Indianapolis and Stout's shoe store to try to find hiking shoes for this winter. Stouts is touted to be the oldest shoe store in the United States. Stouts opened their doors in 1886 and survived two world wars and the Great Depression. I remember shopping there with my grandmother as well as my parents. 


When I visited I would always visit with the store mascot, a Parrot.  Today, Ripley, a Macaw is the star of the show. 

When a pair of shoes is selected, the salesperson loads the box with the shoes into a basket and sends it to the balcony where the cashier finalizes the sale, wraps the box in brown paper, like a gift and sends the purchase zipping from the balcony back down to the sales person. 
 Next on our route was to finally see Holly, Lucy and Ross.  It was a very quick visit as they were on their way to get hair cuts.  

Last on our list was to stop at our granddaughter's home to see Megan and Harper.  Adam was at work, so we missed him.  

When we left for the southwest in December, Harper was an almost two year old that chose not to talk.  Let me tell you, this little one has found her voice and uses it every minute she is awake.  And not one word at a time either.  She carries on in full sentences.  

What a fun day Thursday was!  Wow, we were tired puppies Thursday evening. 

Friday started another whirl wind day.  We drove to Indiana's first capitol, Corydon, in southern Indiana, not far from the Ohio River.  We wanted to visit with our fiber friends who were at the Southern Indiana Fiber Festival, and felt we catch up with many friends in one day trip.  

It was wonderful seeing so many of our friends and to hear them tell John how great he looks.  I am sure that John was greatly encouraged by all the comments.  

Of course, I could not leave empty handed.  I am now the proud owner of a Tapestry Loom.  The history of this loom goes back to ancient Egypt and to the Native Americans right here in the desert southwest.   It is a smaller loom.  I will be able to weave tapestries up to two feet long.   

Yesterday, Saturday, was shopping day.  There is an International Market nearby and we were able to stock up on many Thai, Mexican, Chinese, fruits and vegetables that we have not had access to since we left California.  

Afterwards, we finished our shopping at Wally World and found that items that we did not purchase due to the "high" prices were lower than Wal Mart's.  Lesson learned for the time we are here.  

Today, we go to Megan and Adam's to play with Harper and to watch the Colts / Denver Bronco's game.  Peyton Manning was a joy to have as quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and we were so sorry to see him go.  Tonight we will be rooting for the Colts and Peyton. We just do not want the Broncos to win.  

Till next time....God Bless you all and be safe in your travels.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


After six long to us days of driving from Yellowstone to Des Moines, Iowa, we were ready to revert to our more relaxed way of travel.  

We made plans to visit with long time friends, Margie and Lyle Sears at Fisherman's Cove on the Mississippi River.  We planned to stay there for three days in order for John to get some rest.  One day of visiting and two of chilling was on our agenda.  

I cleaned the Miata and the motorhome with The Solution and John applied tire protectorant  and cleaned the thingies the wheels are mounted on including hub caps. Whatever they are, they were shiny!

We caught only one sunset on the Mississippi.  Along the edge of the river were thousands of Water Lilies.  
Wednesday, we left Fisherman's Cove COE.  Due to the clowns in D.C, we had to be out by noon.  

We camped at Wally World in Hammond, IN for the night and headed toward our Michigan destination Thursday morning.  

Our fiber friends Bob and Deb own a fiber farm consisting of sheep, two Great Pyrenees and one Australian Shepherd.

The Pyrenees guard the interior of the pastures, keeping coyotes and wild dogs at bay.  

Just a few of the Polwarths

Fergus and Olivia keep the sheep away from the fence
After the sheep are sheared, Deb dyes the some of the fiber.  

 The fiber is then sold at as roving or yarn Fiber Festivals to spinners, weavers, knitters, etc.  We met Bob and Deb at a fiber event and have been fast friends since then.  

It was Bob and Deb that came to Indiana to visit and encourage John when he was in the hospital.  They also came back to help us clear out the barns when we were ready to close on the house and start our full time adventure.  

Bob helped John with a couple of repairs on our Tiffin Allegro Bus. Now I see John having more courage and energy to tackle tasks that he would have never tried before Bob and Jim Dixon worked along side John.  

John has caulked questionable spots on the roof, changed the generator's oil and all filters, worked on our T.V. antenna, etc.  
Ryan is mighty tall!
                                        Our microwave stopped working.  Bob, John and Bob and Deb's son Ryan worked on that situation. Ryan checked inside and outside.   

The diagnosis on the microwave is that we are going to need Tiffin make this repair.  Ryan checked out everything and said that there is a problem in the wiring in the wall. 

What a fun experience it was to try a new-to-me vegan recipe each night.  I was pleased that they liked every meal.  There is not one recipe that I want to forget.  We have found that eating the plant based diet is much more flavorful than the same ole meat and potatoes routine.  

Glimakra Emilia 19" Rigid Heddle LoomWhen we were preparing to full time, I had to sell my floor weaving loom.  It was way too large and heavy.  We ordered a Glimakra rigid heddle loom from Bob and Deb.  

Three years ago, John took a weaving class at the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.  He had decided that this is something he would like to do.  Of course, I may just get to use it too.    

I can be using my spinning wheel and John can weave the yarn into whatever he chooses.  What a team.  

It did not take him long to open the box and begin the assembly.  

With all the wool behind my wheel, it looks like he will have plenty of supplies.  

Tomorrow, we leave Bob and Deb.  We are spending a day in Shipshewana, IN and then head back to Greenwood, IN to be with Indianapolis family for a few weeks.  While there, John will have all of his check ups.  

Bob and Deb head to New York for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.  
Sheep and Wool Festival

The End

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Yellowstone National Park Facts & Figures
(This was taken from a Yellowstone website.  The photos are mine)

 At 2.2 million acres, Yellowstone National Park is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.  It's 54 miles east to west and 63 miles north to south.
 Overall, the average elevation of Yellowstone is about 8,000 feet.
 The highest temperature ever recorded in Yellowstone Park is 98F set in Lamar Valley in 1936. The record low temperature for Yellowstone is 66 below zero, set in February 1933 at Madison.
 Five (5) percent of Yellowstone's surface area is water.  This amount, totaling 177 square miles, is largely made up by Yellowstone Lake consisting of 136 square miles.
 In spring when snow is melting and rain is falling, 64,000 gallons of water go over the Upper and  Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River every second.
 Yellowstone Lake sits an elevation of 7,733 feet above sea level, making it the largest high-elevation lake in North America.
 The average depth of Yellowstone Lake is about 140 feet, but the maximum depth is 390 feet.
 There are 340 waterfalls in Yellowstone, including 290 that were recently discovered.
 Of the approximately 200 lakes in Yellowstone, only 45 have fish in them.  The others are
too small, too shallow, too hot, too alkali, too acidic, or have access blocked by waterfalls.
 A sagebrush plant can live for 200 years.
 The average year-round temperature of Yellowstone National Park is 35F.
 The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is 20 miles long, 1,500 to 4,000 feet wide, and up to 1,500 feet deep.  If you hike all the way to the bottom of the canyon and all the way back up again, that would be equal to taking the stairs to the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago and back down again.
 There are about 2,000 campsites in the park accessible to vehicles, and there are 300 back country campsites.
 If you drive every road in Yellowstone National Park, you will see only two (2) percent of the park.
 The only section of road that remains open year-round in Yellowstone is from the north entrance at Mammoth to the northeast entrance at Cooke City, where it dead-ends in the winter.
 The park receives between 50 and 200 inches of snowfall in a typical year.
 Roads in the park are closed to wheeled vehicles for the winter beginning the first Sunday in November.
 Roads generally open in the spring by late April; usually most of the roads are open by mid-May.
 Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Old Faithful Snow Lodge are the only lodges in the park that remain open year-round.
 Pushed upwards by a churning sea of magma, land in Yellowstone has been rising at the rate of around an inch per year.
 86 percent of the rock in Yellowstone Park is volcanic; the rest is sedimentary.
 The Yellowstone caldera is the largest known center of active volcanism on the planet. The caldera measures 45 miles by 30 miles, an area big enough to fit the entire city of Tokyo.
 90 percent of Yellowstone was buried under ice during the last Ice Age, which ended about 10,000 years ago.  That ice age lasted 17,000 years.
 About 15,000 years ago, a glacier carried Glacial Boulder from the Beartooth Mountains north Yellowstone and deposited it near Inspiration Point on the north rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  The rock is 24 feet wide and 18 feet long and weighs about one million pounds.  The Glacial Boulder traveled 40 miles from its probable point of origin.
 Upper Geyser Basin, the home of Old Faithful, contains the densest concentration of geysers in the world with 140 geysers in a single square mile or 25 percent of the world's geysers. 
 During the summer months, 25,000 people visit Old Faithful daily.
 Water erupting from Old Faithful Geyser is 244F.
 Of the more than 3 million visitors to Yellowstone annually, 85 percent will see Old Faithful erupt. 
 Old Faithful shoots out about 8,500 gallons of water every eruption.
 Riverside Geyser is one of the most predictable geysers in the park, erupting once every six (6) hours.
 The only place in the United States that has more earthquakes than Yellowstone is California.
On average, seismographs pick up about 2,000 small tremors in the Yellowstone area in a typical year.
 In 1988, forest fires burned approximately 800,000 acres inside Yellowstone Park and another 400,000 acres around the park.
 In an average year, 22 forest fires are started in the park by lightning.
 In 1988, about 50 fires were started in the park by lightning.
 During the fires of 1988, the park was completely closed to visitors for the first time since it opened in 1872.  The park was closed for one day on August 20, 1988.
 Smoke plumes from the Yellowstone fires could be seen from the space shuttle, and ashes fell 100 miles away in Billings, Montana.
 August 20, 1988 became known as "Black Saturday" when hurricane-force winds blasted through the park, whipping fires to a frenzy and burning 165,000 acres in one day.
 About 80% of Yellowstone Park is forested.
 About 50% of the 60 mammal species in Yellowstone Park are rodents such as voles, pocket gophers, and mice.
 60% of a coyote's diet is made up of rodents.
 A muskrat can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes.
 A single five (5) ounce pocket gopher can move up to five (5) tons of soil in a typical year.
 A moose can keep its head underwater for three (3) minutes.
 There are 100 to 200 wolves in Yellowstone Park, but there are 1,000 coyotes in the park.
 It's estimated that about 10,000 elk, 4,000 bison, 1,000 deer, and 500 pronghorn antelope live in Yellowstone National Park.
 An average porcupine has 30,000 quills.
 The trumpeter swan is North America's largest waterfowl, weighing about 30 pounds with wingspan of eight feet.
 There are 40 species of mosquitoes and 80 species of bees living in Yellowstone Park.
 A grizzly bear will typically eat 35 pounds of food in a day, consuming 20,000 calories daily, and gain 40 pounds of weight every week.
 Bears have 42 teeth.
 The hump on a grizzly bear's back is made of muscle, which aids in digging for food and to make dens.
 A typical female grizzly bear will give birth once every three years.
 About 40 percent of grizzly cubs die in their first year of life.
 A male grizzly bear will typically lose 30 percent of its body weight during hibernation.  A female grizzly bear will lose 40 percent or more of its weight if she is nursing cubs.
 A bear cub weighs about one pound when it is born in the den in January.  Having eaten nothing other than the mother's milk since birth, the cub will weigh about 20 pounds when it exits the den.
 From a standing start, a grizzly bear can run 100 meters in just six (6) seconds.
 Cow milk is two to four percent fat, but grizzly bear milk is 50 percent fat.
 A black bear's hearing is about twice as sensitive as a human's hearing.
 Grizzly bears can live up to 30 years in the wild.
 An adult male black bear can weigh 300 to 500 pounds while an adult male grizzly bear can weigh  500 to 800 pounds.
 96 percent of Yellowstone is in Wyoming, 3 percent in Montana, and 1 percent in Idaho.
 Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel was the first lodge built in Yellowstone, opening in 1883.  It was torn down in 1936, an a new complex was built.
 Former President Gerald Ford worked as a seasonal employee in Yellowstone in 1936.
 The top causes of death in Yellowstone are car crashes, illness, drowning, and falls.
 On average in the summer, the water temperature of Yellowstone Lake is 41F.  The 
average survival time in water that cold is 30 minutes.

   The sign reads, "Old Faithful Geyser" not "Old Geezers!"

Watch Old Faithful grow!  Behind John it is just beginning.  Behind me, it is has grown just a bit and you can see the progress of the eruption. 


More sights from Yellowstone National Park.  

Beautiful Colors found all around

The "Mud Pots"

 Our stay at Yellowstone was interrupted by the weather man.  He brought us the threat of six to ten inches of snow.  We made our escape with bad weather following us for days.  

We spent the night in Wapiti, Wyoming at Green Creek RV park.  The altitude was still more than we wanted, but were able to leave without being snowed in.  For a full hook up on a level gravel lot, we paid $40.  

The only scenery was sitting atop  the hill in from of our motorhome.  It is an interesting piece of construction with a fascinating history.

Francis Lee Smith, The architect, and builder, worked for twenty years on his home.  His intention was to have 360 degree views.  Smith died in a fall while building his five story, seventy five foot dream topped with a crow's nest. 

As soon as the first floor was "completed," Smith moved in and continued to work on the rest of the house.  

The snow was still a threat so in spite of wind and rain, we left proceeding through Cody, Casper and Cheyenne Wyoming. 

Mount Rushmore and South Dakota had to wait for another time since the weather was relentlessly chasing us south and east on U.S. 20.  It finally caught up with us two days later in Kearney, Nebraska.