Newest posts are first. Scroll down on the right to see a list of Archive posts and also subject posts.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

They were right, damn it!

Good morning.
Well, it's finally here.  :-(
I spent 1 1/2 hours this morning clearing the driveway. Looks like we got the 6 inches they forecast.
We watched yesterday afternoon as it went from a day long rain, to sleet, and finally, snow. It'll take half an hour to thaw Craig's car before he goes to work.
I should be happy we got everything done outside before this happened, but snow starting in November makes for a long winter.
But we'll survive, we always seem to.
Now I'm off to work......

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

post #1190

Good morning.
Sunday was a total washout. Drizzly rain all day. So, I stayed inside and played.  :-)
I did do a little cyber Monday shopping on Sunday. Kohl's was having a 2 day cyber Monday sale. They also sent me an e-mail for an additional 20% off everything, and free shipping, no minimum. I've been wanting to get new flannel sheets, and they had them 60% off. Regularly $128.00 on sale for $52.00. With my additional 20%, that brought them down to $41.60. Now I think Kohl's regular prices are ridiculous. $128.00 for sheets? But $41.00 I think was very decent. And free shipping!
Monday, which was cool but at least dry, after our usual banking, P.O. and groceries, we came home and burned. No, not the house, brush and branches.  :-)   I'm constantly picking up branches that come out of our 2 very old Chinese Elms, and we've collected quite a pile since early summer. I also cut down a good size Mock orange bush that was getting crowded out by a Little Leaf Linden tree, and a Crab Apple tree. I've also been wanting to cut down a couple of very large Juniper bushes.
I planted them many years ago on either side of a gate that leads to a storage area. 
I trained them to grow together at the top, and they looked like an arbor over the gate, which you can see in this several year old pic I found.  But over the years, as my Maple and a Sycamore tree have gotten larger, it's become too shady, and the bottoms of the junipers are dying off and looking bad. So, while we were burning up the other stuff, I cut down these too. I want to get a couple of large pots to put in their place, and plant inpatients in them next year.
And this morning, it's raining again, and is expected to rain all day, turning to snow this evening with an expected accumulation of nearly 6 inches. YUK! It's too early for snow! I hope they're wrong.
But, at least, I'm ready for it. Everything's done outside that we needed to do. I even powered up the snow blower to make sure it's ready.
Now I'm off to catch up on some blogs. It's a little too early to get Craig up yet.  :-)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

we're ready. bring it on!

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the usual....   :-)
I also stopped at Meijer for a few groceries and the Sunday paper.
Craig's cooking his quick ravioli lasagna today, so I picked up a few of the ingredients we didn't already have.
Yesterday, I got out of work at noon, came home, and changed the oil in the two mowers. We then maneuvered the mo-ho into his winter parking space between the garage and the fence.
We are now ready for when ever the snow comes.  :-\
And since we were still stuffed from the thanksgiving dinners, we had a light dinner of roast beef sandwiches and watched the movie Harold and Kumar, escape from Guantanamo. It was very entertaining.
It is now 8am, and Craig wanted to sleep in a little, so I'm off to read blogs and do a little surfing......

Saturday, November 26, 2011

thanksgiving meal #2

Good morning.
I had a busy, short day in the Salon yesterday. Started at 8am, and worked non-stop until 1pm.
With the mild sunny day, (temps in the upper 50's) I went home, changed clothes, and got to work outside. I cleaned and flushed the eaves-troughs, blew the rest of the leaves/debris out from along the garage, and did a final mowing. The yard is now ready for winter, and we can now move the mo-ho from the driveway, and into it's winter parking place along side of the garage.
I have another busy/short day today also, unless the phone starts ringing, and I should be done around noon. If so, I hope to take advantage of our last decent day, and change the oil in the mowers. Starting tomorrow, our daytime temps are forecast to plummet down into the 30's for the next week.
Also yesterday, we had another turkey dinner from leftovers, and it was every bit as good as the frist one.  :-)
I then took the rest of the meat off the carcass, froze that for casseroles later and froze the carcass to be added to the one for Christmas and made into broth.
Now, time to get ready for my last workday this week..  :-)

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's just another work day for me.

Good morning.
And happy Black Friday,
to those that partake in such nonsense.  :-)
We had a very nice relaxing day,
even though our Detroit Lions sucked.
Our Turkey dinner turned out wonderful as usual. 
I've had a couple of people ask how
we cook our turkey.
It's really simple.
Craig rinses the turkey, takes the giblets and
neck out of the cavity, rinses out the cavity,
cuts off the butt thingy,
folds the wings under, and lays it in a roasting pan.
We stuff the turkey with stuffing, using a stuffing bag.
It's a cheese cloth bag you put in the cavity first,
then the stuffing goes in the bag.
When the turkey's done,
you just pull out the
bag and mix it with the rest
of the stuffing we cooked on the side.
I then lightly spray the skin with

butter spray followed by seasonings.
I usually use garlic powder,
Mrs Dash onion and herb, and cumin.
Since we'll cook 4 turkeys this winter,
I'll do different spices each time.
The real secret to a moist turkey is
the foil tent.
I take 2 sheets of foil,
(we use the 18 in wide Reynolds wrap)
just about 6inches longer than the roasting pan.
Lay the sheets on top of each other
and fold 1/2 inch down along the entire length.
I do this 3 times. This gives you a super sheet.
Then fold the corners in.
Go in about 8 inches and down about 3.
Do that to both ends.
When you open the sheets up,
you'll have a dome.
Place that over the turkey and
seal the edges all the way around,
making sure the foil doesn't touch the skin.
Craig cooks his turkey an hour longer than
recommended. He likes his turkey
falling off the bone.  :-)
I forgot to get a pic when we took it
out of the oven, but here's a pic of my dish.
And yes, I did have seconds!  :-)
Craig also did a couple of new things this year.
His scalloped corn had crushed
wheat thin crackers and spinach.
It was real tasty.
He also added light cream cheese
to the mashed potatoes.
They were yummy also.
And today, we'll have leftover turkey dinner.
But now, it's time to get ready for work.
Yes, the salon is open today and tomorrow.
And I've got a fairly busy day today.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Good morning.
I've just returned from decorating the Salon for Christmas. I refuse to put out anything until after Thanksgiving. It took just under 2 hours. And since I was just a block from a Meijer store, I ran over there before heading home. They were running a Thanksgiving Day sale. I noticed in their ad, they had a 100 pack of blank DVD+R for $19.95, a very good deal. I use them to burn movies that I download from the net. I also picked up 4  two liter Coke for $.79, and of course the Sunday paper. Going by Best Buy, I noticed a whole row of tents along the front of the building. The paper said people started lining up on Wednesday to be the first in the door at 12am Friday. I like a good deal, but that's just crazy! Don't they know you can go online today and get the same deals?
I came home, diced up onions and celery for the stuffing, and had a few extra minutes to do this post before I shower and get Craig up.
Hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving. We're going to eat, relax, watch football, and maybe, just maybe, do some work outside. We'll see!  :-)
Well, it's almost 8:30. Time to shower and wake up lazy bones. He wants the Turkey in by 9:30. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

and the winner is...

Good morning.
We finally settled on a new dryer chair. Here's a pic with an actual dryer inserted in it....
I know most of you liked the ones with the chrome arms, but we decided on this one because the plastic arms won't tear like the vinyl covered chrome ones that we have right now. And the ribbed pattern matches our shampoo chairs.
We even got a good deal on the chairs. With shipping to the Salon, 4 chairs, $1071.00. That's with out the dryers. Those would be another $200.00 each, and we can swap them from the old dryer chairs to the new ones.
In other news......
I got virtual nothing accomplished outside this past weekend. Spent Sunday in Muskegon, and Monday and Tuesday was cold, windy, and I just haven't acclimated to the cold yet. So I stayed inside, and was pretty much a slug. I did get the dryers ordered, and I did do some cleaning, but it wasn't much.  :-)
I've got an extremely busy day today at the Salon, since we are closed tomorow. But I'll get through thinking about the tasty turkey, and the day off.  :-)
Hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

a visit with Mom

Good morning.
Sorry for my lack of a Sunday post. I cleaned the Salon in the morning, came home, showered, woke up Craig, fixed us coffee, and off to Muskegon we went to see my Mom. Spent the day with her. Took her to lunch at Applebee's, and the club for drinks and pull tabs. Didn't do to well with the pull tabs, but the place was busy, and Mom got to visit with people she doesn't see very often. She had a nice day, Stopped at a store for groceries on our way back to her apartment. Arrived back in Lansing in the early evening.
We had a good work week last week, and it will be nice to have a short week this week. I'm already looking forward to turkey and fixings.  :-)
It's been windy and cold for a week now, but a slight, short warm-up is forecast for Thanksgiving Day. I may need to take advantage of it and finish up outside, as the average day time temps are quickly dropping. It is forecast for 53 on Thursday, where our 'normal' high should be 43. Our normal lows are already below freezing.
And that's all I got for now......

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday quicky

Good morning.
It looks like the cold weather is here to stay.  :-(
25 out this morning, with a high forecast of only 43.
The Salon has been nice and steady this week, with me working a little later today than usual, and tomorrow looks solid too.
Tonight is Lansing's Silver Bells in the City, where they have an electric light parade, singing groups scattered around the downtown venues, the tree lighting in front of the capitol, and fireworks. Too bad it's going to be so cold. I'll come home from work, and stay warm inside. I'll watch highlights on the news.  :-)
That's my quickie post for today, now time to get ready for work.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

mo-ho update

Good morning.
We picked up the mo-ho yesterday afternoon. I also got a more thorough explanation of the problem. What exactly was wrong is this. Every time I run the motor home, the engine gets hot. When we stop, it cools down. The metal expands when hot, contracts when cools. Both Ford and Chevy used small bolts for the manifolds. They discovered over the years, that from the constant expansion and contraction, the bolts weren't strong enough and would begin to snap. When enough bolts snapped, the manifold cover would begin to warp, creating more stress, and popping more bolts. They then started to put larger bolts in the engines. Since it took years for the problem to surface, they never did a recall.
We had a total of 16 snapped bolts out of 20 between the 2 manifold covers. Took a total of 15 hours labor. To keep the cost near the estimate, they charged me cost on the materials and reduced the hourly fee from $79 to $65. Final bill, $2,110.90. He said he'd never seen so many broken bolts on one engine. I didn't tell him we'd been hearing that noise for the last 5 or 6 trips. We didn't take it in earlier, since it didn't seem to affect the driving. The noise wasn't much at first, but got more noticeable as time went on.We probably made a bad situation worse by continuing to drive it. I think we're lucky we didn't cause other issues.
He said, with the larger bolts, we shouldn't have an issue with it again. I hope he's right. Driving the mo-ho home, it sounded so smooth and quiet!
In other news, it was a fairly decent day, temp wise, so I got out and worked in the yard. Put up fencing around evergreens along the creek to try and protect them from hungry deer this winter. I also got on the roof, and brushed off the valleys. We have a very low roof line and the 2 north facing valleys fill up with leaves in the fall.
We also got our 4 turkeys. They went on sale this week. We'll have one for Thanksgiving, Christmas, early Feb. and mid March. I love the smell of turkey cooking all day.  :-)
And now, it's back to work for what's looking to be a fairly busy week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Alan Harper, Really?

Good morning.
It was a real nice day yesterday. Cloudy, but mild. Got all the way up to 62. Made the most of it. Cut down the rest of the grasses, and got all the leaves blown/vacuumed/mowed.  I also took up the portable deck and stored it in the garage.
We should only have one mowing left to be ready for winter.
In other news....
I've had at least 3 customers over the last several weeks, saying I look, and act, like Jon Cryer's Alan Harper in Two and a half Men. I don't see it, do you?

Then again, years ago, when I actually had a nice head of hair, I had many people who thought I looked like Jerry Seinfeld.
I didn't see that either.

Anyway, While I toiled in the yard, Craig did his usual laundry and bookwork, but also made a huge pot of delicious chili for dinner. :-)
It was a perfect day, as the rain held off until evening. Today, it's a lot of running around. Bank, Kohl's, Post office, and Meijer's. Turkey's went on sale this week, and we usually buy four. One for Thanksgiving, one for Christmas, and the other 2 during the long winter. And for those poor souls that don't know what a Meijer is, they are just the best store for groceries, and everything else. Before there was Super Walmart, Walmart sent people to study Meijer, and they copied them. But they don't have the quality produce or products Meijer has.
Anyway, I've rambled on far to long today. Time to get Craig up.  :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

post #1180

Good morning.
I've just returned form cleaning the Salon. The weather is very mild this morning. 53. I hope to get more leaves up today before afternoon rain sets in.
It was another busy week in the Salon, and it was good to come home a little early yesterday and relax. I had planned on doing a little work in the yard, but it never happened.  :-)
We finished the day with home made nachos, and a movie.
Now, while Craig sleeps in, I'm going out and cutting down the rest of the grasses.

Friday, November 11, 2011

answers to your questions

Good morning.
It's been a cold, cloudy, rainy, snowy, week. That's right, I said snow. Yuk!
At least, it was just a few flurries that didn't stick. But I had to scrap the frozen rain off my car before I came home last night.
And in response to a number of questions from my last post.....
Linda....."Does this mean repairs or a new engine?" 
A new engine would cost way more than $2000.00. No, just repairs. 2 new manifolds.
Garret... "What's on the asparagus?"
Butter and Parmesan Cheese. It was yummy!
Mark..... "How many miles on the engine? It's a Ford V-10 right?"
We've got just over 40,000 miles. And yes, it's a Ford V-10. I've been reading the forums too, and apparently cracked manifolds are a fairly common issue. I'll talk to the tech about that.
Dean left a voice mail about possibly using an after market product.
I had already authorized the repairs. But now that I think about it. I probably should have just put the Banks system on it and not only solved the manifold issue, but also possibly increased the mpg and performance. I just don't think fast enough sometimes.  :-)
I've got a long day today. Working later than usual. And a busy day Saturday.
So time to go......  :-)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

an expensive weekend

Good morning.
It's been a dreary wet couple of days.
We did take the motor home in for an oil change and generator service. We also wanted them to check out an odd noise. When in park, the engine sounds fine, but in gear, there's an odd sound I can't quite describe. Well, they found out it was cracked manifolds. And apparently some of the bolts were broken. He said it was fairly common on RV's. He went on to say something about heat, blah, blah, blah, and twisting, blah, blah, blah, possible 6 hours labor for drilling, blah, blah, blah, and a bunch of other stuff I couldn't begin to understand. I know absolutely nothing about engines.
So, anyway, it'll be just under $2000.00.  :-(
We almost made it through the entire season without a major repair. Almost.  :-(
In other news, the weather broke long enough to find time to change the tires on Kia and Cruiser to their winter tires.
Here's a pic of the winter and summer tires. Can you tell which one is which?
Yep! the winter tire is on the left. See how much smoother looking the right tire is. That's to make them have less road resistance for better gas millage. But it makes them horrible in snow. No traction what-so-ever.
And here's a pic with the winter wheel on the front, and the summer wheel on the back. We got the winter tires with wheels so it's an easy change. And they're very similar to the other wheels.
And the rain brought down most of the leaves from the Maples. Now we just need the rest to come down from the Sycamore and Elms and we can do our final mowing. Maybe next weekend.
And for dinner, grilled chicken, potatoes and asparagus. Yum!

Now, it's another work week. Hope it's busy. I need money for the mo-ho repairs!

Monday, November 07, 2011

a productive day

Good morning.
It was another beautiful day yesterday, and I took full advantage of it.
I blew/vacuumed/shredded a mess of leaves, then did a quick mowing of the lawn.
I took out the mo-ho dump battery, and trickle charged it. Then I ran the generator to get the gas stabilizer through the lines. Then I emptied the rest of the stuff out of the mo-ho for indoor storage. I also took out the portable gas grill, cleaned it and put it in the garage.
I also cut down most of the grasses and most of the fall perennials.
So it was a busy productive day.  :-)
And to top it off, Craig made a tasty meatloaf.  :-)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

another weekend

Good morning.
We finished another fairly busy week in the Salon. The weather has been very mild. Today it should hit 58.
I, of course, just returned from cleaning the Salon.
The yard is covered with leaves again. Looks to be about another week or so before they're all down. Taking the mo-ho in for an oil change and generator service tomorrow, so today, I'll finish getting the rest of the stuff out.
And I've got all the clocks here, and at work turned back.
And while I let Craig sleep in a little and take advantage of the extra hour of sleep, I'll do some surfing and blog reading.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

tech tip # 453

Good morning.
Well, it was a beautiful day yesterday. Got up to 58. May not see many more of those. :-(
So I took advantage of it. After our running around, I blew leaves off the driveway, patio and deck. While Craig mowed up the leaves, (We don't rake. We have a mulching mower) I winterized the water system in the mo-ho.
First thing, open the low point drains to empty the lines of water. Then open the fresh water tank drains. Then drain the water heater. Open the panel, and take out the plug in the lower middle. Then go inside and turn off the in and our water lines to the water heater and open the bypass. Don't want to fill the water heater with antifreeze. :-)
Newmar adds a nice inlet tube for winterizing in one of the bays. Just close off the fresh water tanks, stick the tube in your gallon of antifreeze, and your ready to suck it into the water lines.
I use 4 gallons. I could probably get away with 3, but I want to make sure there's enough in the drains to fill the macerator pump.
Then it was as simple as going inside and opening each faucet to let the antifreeze fill all the lines and drain traps, including the kitchen bath, shower, toilet, and washing machine. And don't forget the outside shower.
After I finished that, I went up on the roof to find and fix a water leak in the shower. We had a leak earlier this year, but on the other side of the skylight. I thought I'd checked everything out then, but apparently not. I discovered, instead of doing just a visual check for cracks, I needed to do a physical check on the sealant. I found an edge of the sealant had a gap under the edge and I was able to pull it back to expose the edge of the skylight.
I actually found 3 areas like this. I removed the old caulk, cleaned and dried the areas, and reapplied new Dicor lap sealant. While I was up there, I checked the rest of the roof and found one other possible spot I also fixed.
And with that all done, we relaxed with cocktails and enjoyed our last day off.
And now, time to get ready for another work week.....

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

trip #13

Good morning.
I've just returned from cleaning the Salon, as usual....
As I said yesterday, we've returned from our 13th, and last trip of the season. :-(
We went a short, just over an hour away, to Yankee Springs State Recreation area.
The campground sits on the edge of Gun lake.

We had a nice pull-through site, over-looking the lake, since the campground was fairly empty.
There were maybe 20 campers there in just under 200 sites. There were even 3 tenters, even though the nights got down around freezing. Now there's some dedicated campers! :-)
They had even closed the bath houses for the season, although they did bring in a couple of porta-potties. I'm assuming the tenters didn't bath then? ewww!
I'm wondering why they left the campground open without bath houses. Indiana Dunes State park is open all year, and they keep one bathhouse open all winter. hmm.
Anyway, we got there safe, and back home safe, so it was a good trip. :-) And we made it through the year, with only very minor issues. :-)
We arrived late Friday afternoon. We worked later than usual, since it was such a short drive. We arrived to find the water fill station closed for the season. They said water was available at the pump house behind site 34. We got to site 34 , and fortunately, it was empty so I backed the mo-ho into the site, as our 2 hoses weren't long enough from the road. Filled our tank, and drove around looking for the 'perfect' site. Settled into a nice pull-through with a view of the lake. Cooked kielbasas on the grill for dinner, and watched TV. Saturday morning, we drove just 6 miles to the Gun Lake casino. a fairly small one. Spent a few hours there and left about 20 up. :-) Then headed up the highway to Grand Rapids for lunch. Stopped at Tommy Brauns and had tasty burgers and watched our Sparty's get whipped. :-(
Then it was over to Midway Motor Homes. The dealer we bought our motor home from, had a new 2012 Thor Challenger with an interesting floor plan I wanted to check out. And no, we're not buying a new mo-ho. Unless one of my readers wants to get us an early Christmas present. ;-)
So, here's a link if you want to check it out. 2012 Thor Challenger.
It's a gas, 37ft. 3 slides. It actually was quite nice, other than the too busy graphics on the outside. It is different from most motor homes in that it has actual 'rooms'. Not a big open space. I liked it. It felt like a cozy cottage. And with a king bed too!
Then it was back to the campground, and a roaring campfire, watching the sun set.
Sunday, we awoke to rain, so no hiking/biking that day. So since we were ahead, we went back to the casino. Spent a good part of the day there, breaking for a tasty lunch , at one of their restaurants. Left down about 25. Not bad for the time we spent. :-)
Got back to the campground to find only 4 of us left there. 1 tenter, 1 travel trailer, 1 fifth-wheel, and us. The rain had stopped, so we took a walk around and took these pics. Fixed chicken on the grill, and pared that with potato salad we'd bought earlier.
Monday morning, packed up and made the short drive back to Lansing. Did a good final dump, with repeated rinsing, filled the propane tank, and filled the gas tank and added treatment for winter storage. We went through 14 gallons of propane for the season. Not bad for as much as we ran the furnace in the spring and fall. :-)
Back home, I spent the afternoon taking stuff out of the mo-ho. Food, water, toiletries, anything that might freeze. I also removed batteries from everything. Will put new ones in , in the spring.
And now, time to wake up Craig. We have a lot of running around to do today......