Archive for the ‘On the Move’ Category

Our Great American Harvest

The fields are ripe with wheat, corn, soybeans and sunflowers.  Giant harvesters are working side by side bringing in the bounty of America.  Fruit and nut trees of all types are heavy with their summer labors.

I have visited third world countries where the people scratch the earth and depend on our bounty to feed their families.  We are so rich in land, equipment, soil, sun and rain.  Our farmers benefit from the best education and research systems in the world.  Our infrastructure of road and rails ships the products quickly all over the country bringing fresh produce to the cities.

Our food is safe and grown to nourish this generation and generations to come.  Our family farmers cherish the land and their animals and treat both kindly.  We are so blessed to live in a country where we can not only feed our people, but the world’s hungry.

Next time you eat a bowl of cereal, think of the farmer who grew the wheat. Visit your local Farmer’s Market and buy some fresh produce or a jar of homemade jelly and enjoy America’s bounty this fall.





Rhythm of the River

Arriving in early July the river is full of life, the trees are in full bloom, the summer flowers sweet in the air.  Lightening bugs by the hundreds and a cacophony of sound from the cicadas, tree frogs, crickets and crows.

September 1st and the hummingbirds have all gone south, the birds are gathering in larger and larger flocks for their long flights.  The grinnies and squirrels are working overtime storing the bounty of summer.  Our property has chestnut, black walnut, apple, pear and peach trees which are all enjoyed by the large variety of animals that make their daily trip to feed.

I will admit to spending hours just sitting on the picnic table and watching the river.  Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Swift, Geese and Blue Heron fishing the river and cleaning up the debris have given me much pleasure.

The turtles come out and sun themselves on the rocks, scooting quickly into the river at any sign of danger.  The river is clean enough to watch the fish feed and I have seen carp being chased by walleye and pike.

The sun is setting sooner and the nights have a nip of chill dressing the leaves in their brilliant fall wardrobe.  Soon, the summer camps will be closed and snow will blanket the ground……



The first thing I check in my e-mail is comments to the blog.  Always excited to see that my posts are read and that people have something to add.  Peggy, you do a great job, love it.  Michele, always insightful, Sisters – take a second to give your big sister some encouragement, advice or admonishment 🙂  I never delete or change comments, believing in taking life as it comes at me, such as this adventure.

I am still in Pennsylvania taking the time to work on my Mother’s property and getting it ready to meet the harsh winter ahead.  The RV is in Hillsboro at Chaps RV Repair having some work done to the fuel system.  My plan is to head back to the West Coast at the end of September and camp along the beautiful coast.  I still have reservations in the Florida Keys for Christmas through New Years, but, thats a long way off and well, the futures uncertain.

Edgar is doing great, making friends, eating strange things, escaping.  He is laying under my feet right now because he ate something bad last night, so far I have given him 3 tums.  Edgar………………….



Baseball, Fireworks and Train!!

“Come down to Pittsburgh, I got tickets for a Pirate game this Saturday”  my friend, Debbie said.  The Pittsburgh Pirates organization sure knows how to put on a show.

We lost to the Padres, as a side note the last time I saw a Pirate game was against the Padres in San Diego!

A concert after the game was included in the price of a ticket $9.00.  The group was TRAIN!!!  omg, one of my favorite groups of all time.

Fireworks framed the group as they sang, even off the Highmark Building in the background.

We went to Rivers Casino after the show and enjoyed a few margaritas, great night in the Burg!

Pennsylvania – Home Sweet Home

On the road again.  David and I drove the RV from Redondo Beach Marina to Portland, OR in 2 days.  I dropped both off in Hillsboro, OR and off to see my Mom in PA.

The drive across the country took me 3.5 days in my Corolla and the new engine worked beautifully.  I am actually getting better gas mileage!  Thanks Sabino.

I chose to leave the RV in Oregon because gas would cost me around $2,000 in the RV and $200 in the car.   I have plenty of places to sleep in PA and my favorite is our place on the Allegheny River about 100 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Bass, Walleye, Carp, Hummingbirds, Bear, Deer, Fox, Porcupine, Grouse, Bald Eagles, Hawks AND Edgar all enjoying the river.  Edgar loves to swim and comes to the river with me.  He has appointed himself official guardian and made it his duty to bark at everyone who approaches the cabin.

I grew up on this river learning to swim and fish.  Now my Oregonian friends understand the deep love of nature and why Oregon is my second home.  The mountains here are a bit shorter, but just as beautiful.



The Great Houdini

Edgar “Houdini” Winter is an escape artist.  He was closed up in the RV in Redondo Beach Marina and the next thing I know my phone is ringing and this nice young couple had captured Edgar in the parking lot.

This was the second time he escaped from the RV.  He followed me 5 blocks in Houston and squeezed under the fence of the restaurant, “look at that cute dog” I just knew it was Edgar.  Edgar can open screens – he jumped out the window – fearless considering the drop is over 6 feet.


San Antonio, TX

Finally on the road again.   The RV is working beautifully and the car is repaired.

One of the nicest things about having an RV is that it only costs an extra $5.00 at  campgrounds over the price of a tent and ……… Edgar has been a true issue.  Most campground do not allow dogs in tents.  Edgar has made a home in the RV.  He steals two of the four air conditioner vents by sleeping in the middle of the two front seats.

Wal Mart allows RV’s to stay free in their parking lots.  You have to run the generator for air conditioner, but it is nice being self contained.

San Antonio is the nicest city in Texas.  The Riverwalk area was beautiful.  Built one story below the hot city streets it follows a meandering river past restaurants and shops of all kinds.  Parking can be expensive, $50 to $60 per day.  We found a city parking lot behind the LaQuinta for only $5.00 per spot, had to pay for 3 spots, a little walk, but well worth the saved dollars.


“Your car is on fire.”

Driving back to Houston from Galveston without remembering to take the car out of first gear was in retrospect a really stupid thing to do, but I did it anyway.  “Your car is on fire” not words we ever want to hear.  I pulled over to the side of the 610 loop and jumped out.  The car immediately gasped its last breath and spilled it’s oil all over the ground.  I put an engine rod through the oil pan, destroying the engine.

Sabino from the Shell station on the West Road exit off I-45 agreed to put in a new engine for $1,750 and get me going.  BTW, that is after Shalom Car Service, the shop AAA towed me to, quoted $3,959 and said the tranny was blown, it was not.

While the car was being repaired, we decided to take the RV to Dallas.  The RV backfired and stopped in the middle of 7 lanes of traffic on the 610 loop.  When the Houston motorcycle officer pulled up next to my window, I immediately started blabbering incoherently, he looked horrified, and asked me if I could back the RV to the side of the road if he stopped traffic.  After stopping 7 lanes of Houston traffic I backed the rv to the side of the road without power steering, glad I wasn’t towing the car.  A battery cable had shaken loose, we were on our way in minutes after David made the repair.

The Sunday edition…..

Hold onto your reins folks its going to be a wild ride.  Can you tell I’m in Texas?

Last time I wrote, my car was getting a new set of tires in Albuquerque, NM.  I have been texting and talking to my friend David, who I met in Portland, and he was in Houston, TX.  Come on down to Houston and visit, was the simple request. I checked my iPhone and Houston was only 884 miles and I figured, what the heck.

Well…….David’s dad sells RV’s and he had a 1986 Fleetwood Southwind 26′ fully equipped in his girlfriends driveway. ” I will let her go for $3,000 cash, and your sleeping in a tent, step up to luxury my friend ” David’s dad David, Sr. is truly a salesman who understands the correct buttons to push, I liked him right away.

So……….I now own a 1986 RV.  It did have a few problems and David and his dad agreed to help me work them out and get things in shape so I am safe on the road.  I had to have a tow bar attached to my car so I could bring it with me.  The generator needed repaired, we found some incredibly nice redneck southern guys who put in a whole new generator.  These two fine men made me feel like I was with my Dad and they even took the time to look over the RV to make sure I was safe.  Thanks so much to Mark from North Houston, you truly are a gentleman.

So, our first drive was from Houston to Galveston, about an hour south and a good test drive for me.  I was terrified to be driving a 26′ vehicle towing my car, are you freaking kidding!!  ok, I can do this, old folk do it all the time.  I got us to Galveston, we hooked everything up and turned on the water and the shower started to immediately leak.  Noticing the new handles in the tub, I opened the box and we repaired the shower, which is now working beautifully.

Texas is incredibly hot, humid and everything here sticks ya, stabs ya or grabs ya.  Galveston has lots of drive on beaches and having a rv, with all my stuff, my car and air conditioning, makes life much easier.  I am looking forward to setting it up on a beach in California.


Tires and an Oil Change

I got a flat outside of Albuquerque and was glad for flat fix.   The curb I hit in San Francisco made the tires catywampus so add another $350.00 for alignment and some kind of shim thingys – I check it out on-line – totally legitimate charges.

The car is now riding on 4 new, aligned, Firestones.

The southwest desert is a big lonesome in the middle of nowhere.  Cell phone service is sketchy and towns are far and few between.   I would hate to be on the side of the road without water or shelter from the sun.

Since we are prepared it was just a hiccup on our road to everywhere.