Monday, August 31, 2009

The End of Summer

Well, it's not really the end of summer, but it feels like it. I've always felt like June, July and August were summer, September - November fall, December - February winter, and March - May spring. I know, that doesn't equate to the tilt of the earth or the rotation around the sun, but it seems more logical. Anyway, I spent my last morning of summer with Norine at the driving range. I think I'm getting hooked on golf again. Bob and I will be going out to the course on Smithville lake this evening. I found out today that they have an academy course out there. It's 4 holes long and they are real holes, not executive style. You play it twice for a very reasonable fee. The nice thing is that it's a practice course so I don't have to feel bad if I'm not hitting the ball very well. nice to be retired!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

I've often thought it would be fun to get a sign I could attach to the right side of my car that said "See yourself at". Then when we pass a stupid driver, Norine can take a picture of them as they read the sign. Even more interesting would be to actually set up the site and post the pictures. The domain name is available by the way, if anyone is interested.

Nine times out of ten, the stupid driver is on a cell phone. Unfortunately, it's not illegal to talk on a cell phone when driving in Missouri. Hopefully that will change some day. Today I saw a guy that probably would win my stupid driver of the year award. I was stopped at a traffic light, and this guy was making a left turn. In his left hand, he was holding a lit cigarette out of the window. In his right hand, he was holding a cell phone up to his ear. I assume he was turning with his elbows? Maybe his knees? Ironically, this happened right in front of a police station, but the idiot was probably not doing anything illegal. I shudder to think what would have happened if someone had been walking in the crosswalk in front of him.

If you call me and I don't answer, it's probably because I'm driving. I refuse to answer or talk on my cell phone when I'm driving. I hope you do the same.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Trailer, The Lake, The Fair, The Concert

Early this morning we came home from short circle trip. We started Friday morning by pulling our trailer to Grain Valley to get the damage from the leaky bunk repaired. After dropping off the trailer, we headed to our friends house on the Lake of the Ozarks. We took a nice leisurely late afternoon boat ride, had dinner, and played some dominoes. Saturday morning we lounged on the dock and did a little swimming.

After lunch, we took off for Sedalia and the Missouri State Fair. We met my daughter and her husband at the fairgrounds. Fairs are not one of my favorite things, but it was still fun to walk around, people watch, and of course eat a corn dog! Our main reason for going to the fair was the Brooks and Dunn concert. Jamey Johnson opened the show, and I didn't care for his music. To me, every song sounded like the one before. Brooks and Dunn put on a great show. It was well worth the wait! After the concert we headed home. We got in around 1 am this morning. Although short, it was a fun trip!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Quick Trip

Tonight we brought our trailer home so we can take it into Trailside RV tomorrow to get the water damage repaired. As we were pulling into our neighborhood, we heard a strange sound coming from behind the truck. What is wrong now? We heard it again. Oh great! Then we heard the sickening sound of a police siren. Oh wonderful, we're getting a ticket in front of our neighbors! Now we knew what that 'strange' sound was. It was the policeman trying to pull us over without alerting the neighbors to our peril.

For the life of me, I could not figure out what I did wrong. Surely I wasn't speeding. I pulled out my wallet in anticipation of the "let me see your drivers license and registration" spiel. The policeman approached the window and greeted me with a friendly "Hello Neighbor!". Turns out he lives in our neighborhood. He informed me that we had a light out on the trailer and then he went along his way. What a relief! Even better, we found out it wasn't a bad light, but just that we didn't get the connector in snug enough and it worked it's way loose as we were driving home.

Tomorrow morning we will take the trailer to Trailside RV (with a securely inserted light connector). After we drop it off, we will head to the Lake of the Ozarks to stay with our good friends for the night. On Saturday, we will meet my daughter and her husband in Sedalia for the state fair and Brooks and Dunn concert. I think we have a great weekend in front of us!

Monday, August 17, 2009


We had two things we wanted to accomplish on this short trip. We wanted to take photos during the magic hour before and after sunset, and we wanted to take photos starting just before sunrise. We definitely accomplished the first objective, but did not do well on the second. We did get up early as planned and headed out to a predetermined spot. What we didn't think about is that cold water on a warm morning equals pretty much total fog. We ended up sitting around in the wee hours of the morning waiting for the fog to lift. Finally I was able to capture the above photo.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Evening at Bennett Springs

We sat below the rapids as the sun went down. The low light allowed us to slow down our shutter speed which gave the water a silky look. We sat there and continued to shoot photos past sunset, until a horse fly finally chased us away.

Bennett Springs State Park

We are at Bennett Springs State Park for the night. We came down today in a rainstorm. It was a "turn on the wipers as fast as they go and still can't see" type of rainstorm. We tried to visit Pomme de Terre lake on the way but were unable to get any photos due to the rain. We did find a shelter and ate the chicken we bought on the way. When we arrived at Bennett Springs, the rain stopped. We were able to drive around the park and check things out before registering for our room.

The rain started again as we were unpacking. We're sitting out the rain shower and will head out as soon as it lets up.

This park is beautiful. Similar to Montauk State Park (one of our favorites), it's a trout park. Watching the people catch trout with fly rods really makes me want to learn how to fly fish. When we went to the little store in the park, we noticed that they have a fly fishing school. I need to get that on my agenda!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Tale of the Shrinking Suit

Today we're going through our closets and getting rid of a lot of clothes that we don't wear. I have a number of suits that I haven't worn in many, many years. At this point in time, I know I will never wear them again. I might need one suit for special occasions, but that is probably one too many.

The suits were still in great condition so I figured I better try them on before I give them away. Ok, how do suits shrink so much when sitting on a hanger? I know these suits fit perfectly. I used to wear them all the time. The first jacket I tried on was feeling a little snug even before I got my arms all the way in. Hmmm, a little tight in the shoulders too. I really realized how much it had shrunk when I tried to button it. The button and the button hole did not come within 12 inches of each other! Then I tried on the pants. No further comments...

If anyone has any ideas how a suit can shrink so drastically while hanging in a closet, please let me know! It's driving me crazy!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Home Ownership

As everyone knows, home ownership has it's advantages and disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage for me has always been yard work. I am not the type of person who likes to toil in his yard all summer long. That makes it sound like I'd be a perfect candidate for a condo or townhouse, right? Wrong. I love our house. I love that it's a ranch and has a large basement. I love the nice quiet partially wooded area where it's located. I like that I can watch a movie with surround sound turned up loud and not worry about disturbing people around me. But I don't like being a slave to my yard! (did I already mention that?).

I also do not like the unexpected 'problems' that come with a house. This week has really brought that home. Our air conditioner went out on the hottest day of the year, our ice maker stopped making ice, and our small freezer stopped freezing. It was almost enough to make me consider the townhouse life again.

I don't like that it's difficult to take off on the spur of the moment, even though we're retired, because we may need to take care of the lawn first. I don't like that we need to make arrangements for our lawn if we're going away for an extended period of time. Thankfully my son-in-law has been great about volunteering to help out. I don't want to take advantage of that situation though.

Today I had some things I wanted to do. Before I got started, I took something out to the mailbox. I saw the lawn was in desperate need of cutting. So off we went to cut and trim the yard in 90 degree heat. Now I'm tired and sweaty and no longer want to do the things I have planned. I thought again about how nice a townhouse would be where someone else took care of the yard.

Then I saw Ruben. Ruben is a former neighbor whom we have seen around our neighborhood cutting grass. It made me think that the biggest advantage I saw with a townhouse was that the exterior maintenance was included. Of course that always comes with a monthly cost. Why can't I do that in a house? Why can't I set a side a monthly maintenance fee and use it for yard work and the few unexpected things that arise during the year?

Guess what? I can! We now have an agreement with Ruben to take care of our lawn. It doesn't matter if we are home or away on a three week trip. We know we won't have to worry about our lawn. Now when there is something I want to do during the day or take off on a spur of the moment trip, I can do it.

Having said all that, I don't hate ALL yard work. Especially in the spring and fall, I enjoy getting out and doing some work on the yard, such as planting and mulching. What I hate is being forced to do something when I don't want to, or when it's too hot. That's what Ruben will handle for me. Now I can go out in the cool of the morning or evening and play in the landscaping, when I'm in the mood. Sounds like the best of both worlds. I hope it is!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer League

We just finished our bowling summer league. All that's left is awards day with some fun bowling. I started off the season with a bang and ended with a bang. Unfortunately everything in between was a bust! Fall league starts in a couple of weeks with a Senior Fun day thrown in sometime before that. We have really enjoyed bowling with the seniors. For the most part, they are just out their to have a good time. There are a few serious bowlers, but definitely not us. I actually think it's fun to get beat by a 95 year old woman!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bike Ride

We took our bikes up to Smithville Lake for the first time today. I'm not counting when we took the bikes on our camping trip since I blew a tire and didn't get to ride. The experience was great! The trail is paved, fairly level, and follows the lakeshore. It was especially nice since it was Monday morning and there were very few people on the trail. We rode the section around the campgrounds. The only hazard on the trail is the frequent crossing of Canadian geese. They act like they own the trail (maybe they do?) but eventually waddle out of your way. It was our first bike ride in quite some time so we only did 5 miles. It was getting pretty hot by the time we got up there so we definitely need to go earlier in the morning. We didn't really notice the heat until we stopped and lost the nice breeze. On the way back home, we thought about getting the truck and putting the trailer up there for the week. Unfortunately, the week is supposed to be hot and stormy, so we'll try later.