Friday, July 31, 2009

Bad Habits

Leave a six month old baby with me for any length of time and who knows what bad habits I will teach her?

Little Ella now likes to stick her tongue out at people. On her airplane ride home today, she did it to the man sitting next to her for the entire trip. She did it to the ladies in the nursing home. She does it to anyone who looks at her!

Come on, you have to admit it's cute! How can you look at this picture and not smile?

(photo courtesy of Cassey Newcomb)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tiny Visitor

Granddaughter Ella is visiting us this week. She's a good baby and has only driven me downstairs a couple of time. ;) I'm teaching her bad habits, like how to stick out her tongue. Oh yeah, her mommy and daddy are here too. They don't know it yet, but we will be dominating them, as well as my daughter, in dominoes tomorrow night.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Results are In

I just got back from a 2 hour ordeal at the cardiologist. After the echo cardiogram, I nervously awaited the results. This is when I find out how much damage I suffered as a result of the heart attack last January. Fearing the worst, I sat in the examination room while the Dr read the results. Thankfully, Norine was with me which was a HUGE help. When the Dr came in, the expression on his face really scared me. He looked like he was about to give me some really bad news. The first words out of his mouth: "It doesn't even look like you had a heart attack". Wow! What great news!!!! My EF is over 55%! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted and I actually feel like a real person again!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Six Months Later

It's been a little over 6 months since my heart attack and tomorrow I have my 6 month checkup. I'm a little apprehensive but really hoping to find out that there's been some improvement. I haven't dieted and exercised as well as I should but I have been religious about taking my medicine and monitoring my BP. I'll be happy when tomorrow is over and even happier when I get the results. Hopefully it will give me the incentive I need to work harder at this!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Last Day

Today is our last day at the campground. We definitely picked the best weekend of the summer for camping. Our preference is to camp during the week when there are not as many people, but we have absolutely no complaints about this weekend, except maybe the way that vulture is looking at me!

Lisa and Bob came up Friday evening. Since it was getting a little late, we had to chose between going to Castaways or having hamburgers at the camp site and then sitting around the fire. We chose the latter. It was the right choice!

We also pondered the boat issue. We finally decided that although it would be nice to have at times, the maintenance, expense, etc, etc, is not what we need at this time. It would be just one more major thing to have to deal with. We were perfectly content and found plenty to do without having a boat with us. We just decided it wouldn't be worth the hassle. Also, it would guilt us into taking fewer road trips because we'd feel obligated to use the boat more often than we might want, just to justify the expense. It was actually a relief to get that off our minds. I'm sure we'll think of something else (do I hear motorhome?) to drain our hard earned retirement dollars. Oh well, what did we work so long for if we can't enjoy ourselves now?

Our experience at the Smithville campground was great. In spite of the crowded conditions, we had lots of wide open spaces around our campsite. With the exception of some kids riding scooters at 7 am on Saturday morning, the campground was very peaceful and quiet. We can't wait to stay during the week!

Yesterday, we took a truck ride to the northern reaches of the lake. We found a lot of public access points, but most of them required walking down overgrown trails. I suppose it's worth it for avid fishermen. We did find some views of the lake that are off the beaten path such as this:

We also came across an abandoned Baptist church and cemetery.

On the way back we stopped at the Paradise General store and picked up a pizza. It was ok, but we should have just brought the ingredients and made a campfire pizza. We did warm the leftovers over the campfire which improved it immensely!

Friday, July 17, 2009


We set the trailer up at the Smithville campground yesterday. We came home last night because we still had company. We'll be getting our stuff together in a few minutes and we'll head up there for the weekend. We got a nice spot with electric and water, but only a restricted view of the lake. We'll have to wait until we can set up on a Sunday or Monday to get a prime lakeside spot. Lisa and Bob will come up tonight for dinner at Castaways followed by drinks around the campfire . I know this will fuel our fire for a boat. Maybe next year?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jayco - Great Customer Service!

The first time we took our Jayco Jayfeather out this year, we opened up the main bunk and were horrified to find the bunk area full of water. The mattress was messed up and the wood shelf by the bunk was rotted. We cleaned everything up the best we could but were faced with significant expense to get it fixed. We've debated doing the work ourselves vs taking it to the dealer. We isolated the problem to the seal around the bunk. Although the unit was out of warranty, we decided to contact Jayco about the problem. I just heard from them and they said they are going to stand by their product and fix our unit, even though it's out of warranty. What a nice surprise! They have a loyal customer now!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What do you do?

You're at a stop sign and in front of you is a "One Way" sign pointing to a "Do Not Enter" sign. Which way do you go? I suppose you turn around and head back the way you came. This reminds me of a day many years ago that I was driving in the West Bottoms area of Kansas City. I was going down a long one way road. The road ended at some railroad tracks. There were no other roads along the way. What was I supposed to do? If I turned around, I'd be going the wrong way on a one way street. Obviously, I had no choice. Could I have successfully argued a ticket if I got one?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Smithville Lake

I've rambled on in this and other blogs about all the different things we've been thinking of doing. I've talked about selling our trailer because we haven't used it much in the past year, moving to a condo at the Lake of the Ozarks, selling our house and buying an RV, and on and on and on.

Our trailer is stored at a facility near Smithville Lake. We never considered camping at Smithville because we did it years ago and it wasn't a pleasant experience. There were no trees, trails, or much of anything except the lake. Instead, we opted to haul our trailer to campgrounds many miles away.

We did enjoy Smithville lake back in the early 90s. We had a pontoon boat that we kept at one of the marinas. We really enjoyed taking it out. It was great to park it in a cove, swim, and relax. It held a lot of people and a lot of dogs! In our great wisdom, we decided to sell the pontoon and put a pool in our backyard. What a mistake!!! Now we have neither.

Last week we decided to take a trip around Smithville Lake. We were astonished at the changes!!! There are some very nice campgrounds with shaded sites on the water. There are miles of hiking/bicycle trails. Castaways (see previous post) is new. I cannot believe we have such a great asset just 10 miles from our house! Where did it come from??? We even found trailer storage just two miles from the campground. We'll be moving our trailer over there today or tomorrow.

I realize there will be an expensive side to this, but less expensive and less disruptive than all the other things we've talked about doing. There is no way we will be able to camp frequently on the lake and not end up with a boat. How fun would it be to boat over to Castaways, anchor in a cove again, sit in a pontoon watching fireworks, and then boat over to your campsite for the night?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Several years ago, we were at the Lake of the Ozarks with a big group of friends. One thing we really enjoyed were the bars and restaurants that were right on the water and where you could dock your boat and go listen to music, have a drink, and a bite to eat. It was very relaxing sitting on the deck watching people and boats going by.

Today we discovered something similar on Smithville Lake, just about 10 miles from our home. We went out there and had a very relaxing dinner and drink while listening to music, watching people, and watching the boats go by. I think we found a new favorite place. More later on our recent discoveries at Smithville Lake. Oh...and here's dinner:

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Today was a milestone for me at the bowling alley. I bowled my highest game ever (and probably the highest I ever will) - 249. Unfortunately, it was in practice and not during league play. That's ok, I'll take it!!

iPhone® USAA Deposit@Mobile Demo

USAA continues to amaze me (despite my previous complaints about the home improvement LOC). Now we can deposit checks via our iPhones!