The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

Memorial Day Get-Together

We were invited to a barbeque held by our neighbors this year to celebrate Memorial Day.  Almost everyone from our cul-de-sac came in addition to several neighbors who live behind them.  Many of us are military or retired military families so the day is especially meaningful.  We had kids from college age down to three years old but there were about the same number of adults as there were kids.  Some of the neighbors were new and the ones from the street behind us we had not met so that was really nice too.  Carolyn and Kevin fixed ribs, someone brought some hamburgers, there were hot dogs too.

 A wide variety of side dishes and appetizers also showed up.  For dessert, Carolyn also made a cake and had ice cream.  Nobody went away hungry for sure.

The kids had a ball in the pool all afternoon and early evening.  They only came out to eat.  At first they played individually because they didn't all know each other but later on there was lots of laughter and tag going on.

Kevin gave a wonderful prayer before dinner so that all the kids understood the meaning behind Memorial Day and why we celebrate it.  Everyone had a great time.

An Unwelcome Visitor

A few days ago, I found myself with quite a ruckus going on in the backyard.  The longdogs and I had words about it but the noise didn't stop.  So I was forced to go outside to the site of the ruckus.  Everyone on the ground was carrying on.  The dogs on the other side of the fence were also carrying on.

No one would listen to reason.  This is very unusual.  The rules of the game were definitely being violated.  Normally, the squirrels tantalize and the longdogs chase.  Very little barking is involved.  Gretchen and Willy were 10 last month and Harley will be 5 in July.  I have to tell you, Gretchen is the fastest.  She can fly across that yard faster than you can imagine.  But, as I said, there are rules to the game.  If the squirrel isn't as fast as he thinks he is, I have actually seen her put on the brakes and come to a screeching halt.  The game is only to chase, never to catch.   This squirrel just wasn't playing by the rules, he just sat there.  Gretchen finally came when I called her because she just hates to get in trouble.  So I brought her in the house.  The boys, on the other hand, were not coming willingly.  So I headed back out to get them.  And still the squirrel didn't move.  I brought the boys in the house one by one.  And still the squirrel didn't move.  This was not good.  

So, this was why the squirrel is not moving.  He looked really bad, I mean really sick.  I came back in the house.  Good thing DH was coming home in a while.  I checked a while later and the squirrel was gone!  Oh, oh, definitely not good.  I checked my whole yard then I told the neighbors behind me and they checked their yard.  I went next door and told my other neighbor she needed to check her yard before her dog went out there.  She definitely didn't want her dog finding that sick squirrel.  She didn't want to be the one to find it but fortunately, my DH arrived home just then.  He said he would go over and look but he figured the squirrel just ran away.  I knew that squirrel didn't run anywhere; he might have crawled but he didn't run.

The squirrel was just on the other side of the fence.  He wasn't going to be running around anymore so DH scooped him up and got rid of the evidence.  

So far, no other sick squirrels have been sighted and Weeniedog land is safe once more for fun and games.

Thanks For Your Love of RVing Mom

I've seen several different posts and comments on Facebook about mother's this Mother's Day weekend.  They ranged from tributes to the perfect mom, discussions of moms who just did the best they could, and even some discussion of moms who should probably not have been moms.

Let me tell you about my Mom.  She wasn't perfect by any means. But then who is?  She was a strong woman with lots of love and a temper.  She started her life as a Canadian and became a naturalized American citizen.  She was stubborn and determined.  My Dad was an American pilot who guided foreign ships through Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior.  He was gone and had only five days a month off during the months the Great Lakes were not frozen over.  Then he was home full-time December through March.  Mom held the family reins during the rest of the year.  It seemed to work well for them although I'm sure there was a period of adjustment whenever the reins were handed over. Mom angered easily; Dad had infinite patience and was slow to anger.  They complimented each other.  Dad was determined that my brothers and I would not miss out on anything just because he had to be gone most of the time in the summer.  So he set things up but my Mom carried things out.  We didn't miss out on much.

I don't have a great memory but I do remember our first trailer.  It was red on the bottom half and silver on the top half.  It was very rounded sort of like the TAB trailers you see now and fairly heavy for it's size.  It had a bed at the back and a dinette at the bathroom.  We lived in Duluth, Minnesota and Mom would hook the trailer up to the car and haul it and us out to Island Lake frequently on the weekends.  There was a free campground with pit toilets.....there were no utilities but lots of other campers.  There was a store and tavern across the road that would let you fill up containers with water from their outside faucet.  The beach was somewhat gravelly but the water was crystal clear.  Now Mom didn't swim; in fact, as hard as it was for us to believe, she was afraid of the water.  So, of course, Dad made sure we all had swimming lessons and learned to swim early on.  There certainly weren't any lifeguards at the beach.  I can remember a terrific thunderstorm where we had pots all over the inside of the RV to catch the leaking water.  Shortly after that, my Mom and another very independent neighbor lady recoated the roof of the trailer with some kind of a very thick coating.  The neighbor's husband had been a roofing contractor before he died so she had the knowledge and Mom provided the material and half the labor.  No more leaks.

Every summer we would head up to Regina, Saskatchewan in Canada to visit my grandpa and other relatives.  My youngest brother was born when I was 15 and we still had that trailer when I got my driver's license so I did my share of the driving pulling that trailer that summer.  There were long stretches of road to cover.

Dad thought we should also have the opportunity to have a boat.  Now with Mom being afraid of the water, that was quite a trick.  He convinced her that a pontoon boat was virtually impossible to sink because it had four separate air chambers.  Pretty soon we had a pontoon boat and Dad found a place we could tie it up and leave it in a cove across the bridge from the campground.  He found a small 10 HP motor that Mom and I could carry from the car trunk to the boat, attach it, and hook up the gas tank which we also had to carry.  My brother Mike was two years younger than me but he helped when he got big enough.  Then I would drive the boat across the lake to the beach while Mom pulled the trailer over.

My boys were about 3 and 8 when Dave and I got our first camper.  By then, my Mom was on her second or third motorhome.  Dad would travel with her and my brother Tim in the winter.  Our camper was a pop-up.  You can read about our first adventure here.  My 13 year old brother came along on our first trip with the pop-up.  We were enjoying hotdogs over a campfire when he made a comment about this being real camping.  When I asked him what he meant, he said Mom never really camped because they didn't have campfires.  I asked him how many of his friends got to travel around the country in an RV....he said a few had campers.  Then I asked him how many of his friends mothers drove the camper across the country and took them places all by themselves.  I think he got the point that his mother was very unique and he was very lucky.  Mom was in her mid-fifties then.  A few years later, Dad got glaucoma and had to retire.  He and Mom still traveled with her doing all the driving.  On one of their trips home from visiting us in Spokane, they had a fire in their motorhome.  Mom got the motorhome off the road and got my Dad, my brother, the dog, and her purse out of the RV before she fell apart.  The motorhome was nothing but rubble and ashes by then.  A few months later, she found another motorhome.  My Dad was 70 when he died and my Mom died several years later when she was only 67.  But she lived a full life and was still planning trips when she passed away suddenly.

So.....thanks for setting that strong independent woman example for me Mom.  I came prepared to handle things on my own before I ever became a military wife and had to do it.  My husband was able to go TDY or deploy without worrying about leaving a basket case wife behind.  I ran the house and took the kids camping and boating.  Of course, he has to deal with a woman with a mind of her own too but I think it's a fair trade off.  And I hope my boys have the same good memories of those times as I do.

And thanks especially for passing along your love of RVs and traveling Mom.  We've had travel trailers, Class Cs, a Class A, and 5th wheels since then.  I've driven or towed them all. So thanks for the knowledge that I too can handle it all by myself.  I miss you Mom.  Happy Mother's Day.

Blog Renovation

Just in case you were wondering, I am alive and well here in San Antonio.  We've even had rain several times.  Not enough to fill the lakes and aquifer of course but still, every drop helps.  Just everyday stuff going on and before you know it, I am way behind on the blog posts.  I've actually been working on the blog itself.  Well, the internal stuff.  Hopefully, you haven't gotten notices that I've been updating posts.  And why would I do that?

When I initially started blogging, I just set the blog up and started blogging.  Well, I did read all the information on Blogger but you know how that goes.  Sometimes it is not totally clear until you have experienced it.  Anyway, I didn't know anything about "labels" or "categories" as Wordpress calls them.  I wasn't aware of what they could do for you.  Now I am semi-aware.  So I began adding them.  And I decided they would be quite useful to me.  My latest project has been to go back to the beginning of the blog posts and add labels to each post.  That is well over 300 posts so it took a while, quite a while in fact.  But it's done.  Now I can sort posts by the labels....for example, "Camping/RV Parks".  That should be quite useful when I want to find info on a place I stayed.  I had also hoped that I could add a page like "Camping/RV Parks" to the blog and use that label to link those posts to that page.  Alas that does not seem to work.  Seems like a good idea right?  Am I missing something?  Let me know if you have any insight on that idea.  But it was still a very worthwhile project for me.

If you are a new blogger, I recommend that you use the labels so you can easily find things later.  You might even go back and......

While I was renovating the blog, I apparently clicked a checkbox about Google+ comments.  It definitely had unintended consequences.  There were 5 comments.....all from readers with Google+ accounts.  Rick Doyle mentioned the Google+ comments change and said he would be interested in seeing how that worked out.  Hmmmm......not what I intended.  Definitely don't want to limit comments to Google+ account holders only.  So.....I went back, and after some hard searching, found the box and unchecked it.  The 5 comments disappeared from the blog.  I checked Google+ and the only comment I found was from Judy Bell.  Very confusing.   Beware of unintended changes!