Wednesday, August 16, 2017

busy week!

Good afternoon.
Well, it's been a busy week so far. Sunday we went to a karaoke competition at a bar down near downtown. It was really lame. But they did have good food and drinks.   :-)
On Monday, the house painter's came and power washed the house.  Tuesday we went down near the strip to see a taping of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire! Got free tickets and really enjoyed the experience. It was fun seeing a show produced and being in the audience. While we were at the taping, which lasted just over 4 hours, our home was painted.
Here's a before and after look....

I know, doesn't look any different. But if we wanted the colors changed, we would have had to submit it to the ARC committee. And we did like the color of our home to begin with. Now it looks nice and 'fresh'. But better yet, they patched cracked ceiling plaster on the patio and caulked and even removed an old satellite TV bracket on the side of the house I couldn't get off. We were very pleased with the work.
And here's a couple of pics I took at the taping....

They did 3 1/2 shows during the 4 hours we were there. The taping was for Veterans week and they had a lot of vets there in the audience and of course trying for the Million Dollars. So if you want to see us on the show, look for Millionaire during veterans week in Nov.  But good luck, we were seated in the top row behind Chris Harrison, the host. No one we watched got a Million, but one got to 50,000.
They even at one point called on an audience member to answer a question for $1000.00 I didn't get called, but damn! I knew the answer! Wouldn't that have been fun!
Then today, we went to the weekly senior slot tournament and neither of us got even close to the cut-off. Maybe next week.   :-)
Tomorrow, we head back down to the strip to use free passes we got for being in the audience on Millionaire. We get to go up the Eiffel tower! Should be a great view from up there. I'll try to remember to take a pic.   :-)
Well, Craig's calling dinner, so got to go!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

1 year already

Good morning.
It's been a busy week so far. Wed we did our free weekly senior slot tournament  and once again, I made it into the top 50 and won $25! That's 3 times now and it doesn't cost us a thing! We don't even stay and play so it's just free money! Thursday was haircut day. Friday was Craig's last appointment with the Orthopedic surgeon for his finger. He has good flexibility with it but still a lot of scar tissue. The doctor says it will soften over time. Keep massaging it and use vitamin e oil.
Today, is exactly 1 year since we 'retired'.  It's been great! We still like our home, still like our neighborhood and still like southern Nevada. It's a bit hot in the summer, but we'll take the summer heat for 2 months over the bitter cold for 4 months. And I can still go out in the morning before it gets too warm. It's 79 out this morning. Perfect weather for a walk, which I'll do as soon as I finish this post.
And here's a few pics of my walk yesterday morning which took me around the community center...

This last pic is our street. Our house is way down on the left. And that's the Sheep Mountains in the distance. We had lunch at the 3100 Grille on Thursday and the dining area overlooks the golf course and mountains. I still haven't tired of that view. it's similar to the top pic.
But in honor of our 1 year, we're going to splurge and have frozen pizza for dinner. We like the Freschetta brand. Craig just adds a little more cheese. Don't we live the wild life?   :-)
Well, time for my walk....

Thursday, August 10, 2017

luggage, paint, and a full moon.

Good morning.I've just returned from another nice walk. Another beautiful morning.   :-)
Here's a few pics I took over the last 3 days of a full moon. You'll probably want to click the pic to see it better.
These first two pics have the moon just above the Spring Mountains, which are a ways west of our community.

The above pic was taken near the golf course.
And this last pic was taken just around the corner from our house.
We finally found a new piece of luggage that will work for us....
It's a duffel bag on wheels.
It has a handle that pulls out of a zippered compartment for ease of hauling. It's not exactly what we wanted, but it's smaller than our big suitcase and larger than our carry-ons, so should work good for us. And best of all?  We looked at Target, Walmart, Kohl's, Stein Mart, T.J. Maxx, and Ross. But we finally found it at K-Mart! I even looked online at Amazon and E-Bay, but K-Mart had the best price and the size we wanted.
And a couple of days ago, a man came to our house soliciting house painting. His company was painting a house down the street, and of course, trying to drum up more business. We kinda have been thinking of repainting, because the house is 11 years old and the paint has faded quite a bit. We have been noticing over the last couple of years quite a few homes in our community have been repainted, and you can certainly notice the difference. I think we should wait a few more years, but Craig thinks we should do it while we still have some money.  So, I've done some research and this company has done dozens of homes in our community and has gotten excellent reviews. And the price is in line with what others paid.  So I think we'll probably go in that direction soon.
Okay, I think that's all for now.

Monday, August 07, 2017

a little update.

Good morning. Just got back from my morning walk. A very nice 78 out this morning although a bit humid at 41%.  :-)
We had a bit of rain a few days ago. Not much at our end of the valley, but over an inch in the southern part of the valley. It seems typical of the rain here in Vegas. We've been here nearly a year now, and most storms seem to come up from the south and just clip the southern edge of the valley.
Here's a couple pics from the back yard.....
The new Crape Myrtle we planted a month before our trip is doing very well, and the Purple Spreading Lantana are filling out nicely. The Bougainvillea vine to the far left is blooming okay but not like I was expecting. I think next spring, I'll put it in a bigger pot and see if that helps.
The 2 Bells of Fire bushes are going gangbusters. I think I need to cut them back to help them fill in more. And here's a pic of a beautiful sunrise yesterday morning.
It certainly didn't show up in the pic, but the sun was glowing from behind the clouds. Looked real nice in person.   :-)
My laptop that died on our trip is back!  I finally ended up having to do a complete re-install of the operating system. That means everything that was on the puter is now gone. It's like a brand new out of the box puter. But that's okay as I only use it for burning DVDs and playing games and web surfing on trips. So I'm happy I was able to save it.
And we're enjoying the comfort and laziness of home after our long trip. I'm making a couple of changes to the back yard and I'll post some pics when I'm done. Nothing major just some continued tweaking.   :-)
And we're on the search for another suitcase. Our med size one Kinda fell apart during our trip and is repairable. It was nice because it wasn't huge and had two separate compartments. So far, we haven't seen anything like it, but we are going out again today to another group of stores.
So that's it for now!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Day 14 - 19 and home.

Good morning.
Day 14 took us from Dwight Ill. , just a little south of 80-90 on highway 55 to 72 over to Hannibal Mo where we stopped for lunch and a quick visit. And of course, forgot to take any pics. Then we landed in Chillicothe MO for the night.  The next day (15) was Goodland Kansas, just near the Colorado border. About an hour and a half from Chillicothe, and just past Kansas City, I realized I didn't have my hearing aid. Then I remembered instead of taking it out in the evening and putting it with my billfold and money, I had gone to bed with it and at one point remembered and took it out and set it on the night stand.  The next morning I obviously did not notice it on the night stand when we packed up and left. I called the hotel and housekeeping had found it and it was at the front desk. I asked if they could mail it to my house since we were already 1 1/2 hours away and didn't want to go back if possible.  I offered to send a check to reimburse them for the cost. The person I spoke to said they could. I wondered the rest of the way home if they really would. Well, when we got home there was a card from the post office that they had a package for me and sure enough, it was my hearing aid. And it was packed inside 2 pieces of  plastic suspended in a plastic bag. Absolutely no way it could have been damaged. I was so happy to get it back in excellent condition, I wrote him a check for $50 over the amount of shipping and mailed it out.
Okay, on day 16, we left Goodland and to avoid Denver, we cut over to Colorado Springs on state road 24. That wasn't the best plan as there was road construction and it was just a 2 lane road. The 72 mile segment to Colorado Springs took us 2 1/2 hours! But fortunately we had scheduled an 8 hour total segment, so we still arrived in Santa Fe by 4:30 thanks also to the time change.
We spent 2 nights in Santa Fe (day 17) so we had an entire day to enjoy the city. It was very busy as they were having an enormous art fair!
It covered blocks and blocks of the old section of the city. We did a lot of looking but didn't buy a thing! It was beautiful weather, the same we'd had for the entire trip so far, but quite humid. We had lunch on a balcony overlooking the square.

We had some type of nacho dish but with Frito's. It was yummy!
Back at the hotel, I started up my laptop to check e-mails and such and after it loaded windows, it froze........
I couldn't surf, I couldn't check e-mails, and I couldn't do anything beyond the main screen. Everything was locked. I couldn't access  documents, no system files, and even my antivirus was disabled! I must have gotten something bad when I was checking Santa Fe sights that morning. I tried everything I could think of but nothing worked. The only hope I would have was back home using my desktop for research. So I had no puter the rest of the trip.   :-(
But we had just a couple of days left on our trip, so I survived.  :-)
Day18 took us to Laughlin NV. But not very quickly......
More road construction. Must have been backed up for miles as slow as the traffic moved. I don't know why it was so slow. We were down to one lane, but even then, it was very slow.
Anyway, we finally made it to Laughlin....Here's a pic from our window.....
The Colorado river is over on the left.
Was a nice stay in a free room.   :-)
Since we've stayed here in the past, they e-mail me offers all the time. Either discounted rooms or free rooms. That's why we decided to stop here instead of driving the last 2 hours to Vegas. It was already a nearly 9 hour drive thanks to construction. And this way we'd get home nice and early in the day.
So, to recap..... 19 days. 5270 miles, 12 different hotels, one lost hearing aid and a dead laptop.  But nice visits with many people, good weather the entire trip, and made it home safe.    :-)

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Day 8 - 13

Good morning.
Day 8 took us over to Lansing where we spent 4 nights at the Crown Plaza. A very nice hotel on the west side of town close to where we worked and lived. I used points to get very discounted rates.   :-)
It was a busy 4 days. Nearly every day lunch and dinner or drinks with people. It was nice seeing everyone. Thursday lunch with friends and former customers at Bravo's, then drinks and dinner with a friend at Reno's East. Friday, day 9, we had lunch at Panera's with a former customer. We stopped in at the Salon after that to see a customer and stylist, and had drinks at Oade's. And later, we met most of out previous staff at Reno's for dinner, drinks and conversation. 
Saturday, day 10, we stopped at a friends house and had lunch at the riverfront restaurant downtown.
Then it was back to Reno's West.
Sunday morning, day 11, we went out and it was only 64 out. brrr!   :-)
Had breakfast/lunch with my brother Bruce, his wife Tammy and son Ben at Dimitri's.  Food was just okay. The potatoes had so much pepper neither Bruce nor I could eat them.  :-/
But it was great seeing everyone. And Monday, day 12 we headed back to Muskegon one more time to spend the afternoon with my Mom. Took her to lunch at Pizza Hut and then to the Eagle's for pull tabs and drinks. Dropped her off and headed back to the beach one more time.
Tuesday, day 13 had us leaving Michigan and going into Chicago for the day. Traffic was very thick with stop and go all the way in to town. But we made it to Navy Pier and enjoyed the skyline, food and drinks.

From there, we headed out of Chicago, again in heavy traffic and landed in Dwight Ill for the night.
Day 14 - 19 to follow.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Day 1-7 of our road trip.

Good afternoon.
Well, our 19 day road trip started on Thursday, July 13th. We left Las Vegas in the morning, driving about 8 hours to Grand Junction CO where we spent the first night. We planned the trip so we would only drive about 8 hrs each day. Didn't want to stress ourselves should weather or construction hinder us.  But we had no problems with either for the first 10 days.   :-)
Day 2 took us to  North Platte NE.
Since we were spending so much time in so many hotels we decided to cut costs and stay at Super 8'S. That ended up being hit or miss.   :-)
Grand Junction was just old and icky. But the bed was clean and bed bug free. And we were only spending the night.  North Platte was a bit better. Then day 3 took us to  Coralville Iowa just outside of Iowa City. There, there was a chair that was pretty smelly. Craig sat on the bed.  :-)
From there on day 4 it was Toledo Ohio where we had the nicest Super 8 of the trip! That was good since we spent 2 nights here.  The next morning (day 5) we drove over to Maumee Bay State Park where we had been several times with our motor home. A nice state park on Lake Erie just a few miles outside of Toledo. We then headed back to downtown Toledo to go to the Libby Outlet Store, where we found some nice cocktail glasses. Then a few blocks down the street to get our Tony Packo's fix, They have very yummy Hungarian Chili Dogs!.
We ate here every time we took the motor home to Maumee Bay State Park.
Then on day 6, we drove into Michigan, past Lansing over to Muskegon where we stayed at a very nice Holiday Inn downtown. We spent the extra money because it was close to my mom and I get good points.  :-)
Here's a view from our room...

That's Muskegon Lake in the distance. We spent 2 nights here visiting my Mom a bit on Tuesday day 6, and all day on Wed. day 7.  Cut here hair that hadn't been cut since I left, and took her out to lunch at Red Lobster and then to the VFW for drinks and pull tabs. After we dropped her off back at her apartment, we headed over to Lake Michigan, where we had a drink at a beach bar/restaurant.
Weather was beautiful! We've had good weather for every day of the trip so far.   :-)
On the way back to the car I spotted this guy....
He had a lounge chair on top of his SUV and a cooler enjoying the weather. Apparently he doesn't like beach sand.   :-)
It was good seeing my Mom after nearly a year. From here we headed back to Lansing.
I'll do another post hopefully tomorrow.
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