Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tues - Just idling today

Still recuperating from the sofa exorcism on Sunday. I should have gotten DakotR cleaned up by now but still doing light work... like opening and sorting paperwork and bills. Lots of backlogged stuff there.

I made up a couple of bank deposits from checks I found in unopened mail and dropped them into the night depository. I really hate to have to go into a bank (or credit union) and deal with tellers if I can avoid it. Maybe it's something about the fact that I always seem to be taking money in and not bringing anything out but a receipt. Just rubs me the wrong way. The night depository gets it in there, fairly invisibly, so I don't really see it leave my hands.

But, I LOVE ATMs. There, I stick in a piece of plastic, which I get back (most of the time), and I not only get a receipt but I get real money to walk away with in my hand.... Now that is a real joy!

But I digress.. I did finish opening all of the unopened mail (whoopee!) and the kitchen table is now out of service until I get it all put away... somewhere. This is one thing about living in 400 sq feet... there is no "tuck" room. If I have something in my hand it has to have a place to go or go out... no other choices are available. I know that over the years a have seen a lot of RVers with a small enclosed trailer behind and the fun side of me always believed it was their "toys".

Now, I am not so sure. I suspect it was "the annex" for all the stuff that had no place to go inside the RV. So far, I have no annex but I am becoming more creative at creating virtual space inside, slowly soaking up the spaces right below shelves but above what is on the shelf below and finding unused narrow spaces between things that I never really noticed before. I am sure glad I have about 5,000 lbs of carrying capacity in DakotR. As of my last weigh-in, I am still about 1500 lbs shy of that GVWR so I am cautious but not concerned... yet.

On New years Eve (tomorrow) #2 son, Emery, has offered to help me trench in a 220 Volt underground line to the Garage so I can get a more permanent RV hookup installed. Also we will be burying a frost proof garden valve and a 3/4" waterline will be run from the house. The sewer has been in for several years so getting these two items underground will make it a lot easier when we are "docked" here at the house for visits until we sell it. Right now, it is still being rented.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Getting Ducks in a row is not easy

The most important item today is that it is #2 son's 27th birthday!

Happy Birthday, Emery!!!!

Today is also the first day back to work for Merrily after Christmas break.. Who would have thought that just 4 days away (two, actually) would make such a big impression? Now that we are committed to the road this year, a 4 day weekend is a really big deal. It gives us 4 days together to plan, think, procrastinate then think again and in general, focus on how much our life is now changing.

As for me, I am just tired and sore. Yesterday, #1 son came over and we took the sofa bed out of DakotR and put it in his house. Putting it into his house was the easy part. Getting it out of DakotR was the challenge.

We first tried the doorway but no amount of pushing, twisting or holding my tongue just right would quite get it through the doorway. The next approach (which someone mentioned on the escapees forums ) was to try the big emergency window in the living room.

The measurements said it would work easily but the 10' drop to the ground outside the window made it too dicey to try.... so back to the main door.

Only 2500 screws later, the frame was out of the opening and the sofa squeaked through with molecules to spare.... but it went through.... Oh, did I mention that we took the whole steel mechanism out of it to lighten it up... a lot? Worth the trouble for sure.

Today, I had a followup appointment with my endocrinologist to see if we could find a better approach (read that as: effective approach) to better manage my glucose and Blood Pressure. I am not a stroke waiting to happen but I am 65 in a couple of weeks and I don't believe in baiting the bear.

This about wraps up my medical preparations and baselines for future reference. Merrily just finished hers this morning with flying colors so that is one more item of concern off of our "but what if" list.

Tomorrow is all trash day around here so I need to offload our weekly collection of trash and newpapers into the street cans for the morning pickup. TTFN

Sunday, December 28, 2008

After the Aftermath

The end of this year is also marking the end of some others, too. It is good that we had such a wonderful and fulfilled Christmas because we are now in need of some fond memories to deal with reality.

The first to go was my daughter's Mother-in-Law. Around midnight (depending on time zones) she crossed over after being non-responsive for several days. She has been seriously impaired for quite a few months so the event was not unexpected.

On 12/19 My wife's sister had a stroke and has been declining ever since. At present, she has lost the use of her right hand and general tone of her whole right side is slipping. We are still waiting on test results to see what are the next steps.

We are just peddling along right now waiting to see how far this goes and what the outcomes are.

As for Merrily and Me, this is a downer but not an "out-er" for our plans... at least not yet. We certainly have our work cut out for our patience rock....

Friday, December 26, 2008

The day after-Math

The day after Christmas has always been so hectic. So much to do... so little time left in the year to get it done. Boy! Now I kinda wish it was only September....

But not this year. For some reason we cruised into Christmas well prepared and on time. It was surprisingly nice not to be hosting Christmas day for the first time in our 30 years of marriage... We left that up to the "kids".

Between invites by 2 of our kids and an inlaw invitation for Christmas evening with their family (and its a lot of them), we only had to be sure we didn't overlap too much. Boy was it a surprise and a delight to have had the benefit of family for a day and not have to do all the prep and cleanup.

Not that its ever been a resented chore to hold Christmas court at our house.. its just nice to still have the day without the chores.

Ok, so now what's next?.... Its time for the Charge of the Lite Brigade. January begins our assault on our abundance.... actually, more like superabundance but this time, the weight is coming off and the rest of our lives will be slim and trim. That's a fact.

We have decided for this phase to focus on Atkins and not get confused by all of the spinoffs of the basic principals. We have both had successes on this system and know it will work for each of us so we can engage together and helpfully support each other. High goals, I know, but this time the rest of our life together is riding on it working and its hard to find much better motivation than that.

My Christmas gift to Merrily (besides the new kitchen sink and faucet) is starting sessions at Fred Astaire. We have played with the idea of taking dance lessons (old fogey style, of course) for years but have never gotten started. So, now its a commitment. Did Dancing with the Stars have much to do with it? Sure, but the time has come. Now that we are hitting the road in 2009, we need better social skills and an opportunities and couple's dancing has been on the back burner for a lot of years so Here we go!!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And the Children were nestled all snug in their bunks?

Its Christmas eve and getting later by the minute. The last Christmas gifts have been dropped off in discrete places at the children's houses (in automobile trunks, coat closets,etc).. for their children's delight tomorrow morning.

Ma is putting the finishing touches on tomorrow's contribution to the newest inlaws Christmas family dinner and me, well, I am just glad that I was able to do my part this year. Wasn't always that way for a long time.

So, to indelibly mark this evening as the first (ever?) with no single children of our own in house I thought I would recite my parody of "The Night before Christmas", gleefully written when I was in the 7th or 8th grade. In a way, its something of a time capsule because it was penned at the very beginning of the space age, around 1957. Sputnik was up and rocket science was the new standard of intelligence.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through our hut
nothing was stirring not even the mutt.

The longjohns were carelessly hung in despair
for the dog on the floor wouldn't let Santa in there.

Ma in her kerchief and I in my robe
had just settled our ears for a long winter's lobe

The children were nestled all snug in their bunks
and the guy on the bottom had the hiccups.

Then suddenly outside a loud noise made no sense
But I knew in a moment Santa had run through our fence.

Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tripped on a shoe and sailed through the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
gave a luster of midday to my body below.

Then just as I dragged myself up from the snow
what in the world do you think would show?

but a miniature Vangard to Santa had been sold
(For his reindeer, poor things, had a cold)

Away to the roof top he blasted away
and tore through my gutter in his own reckless way.

Then up on the rooftop I heard Santa yell and down the chimney he fell
(The chimney was dirty and needed a cleaning so I left the broom there with no harmful meaning)

Up in the chimney there came such a rumbling
and out on the floor Santa came tumbling.

He was so round and so quick
I thought for a moment it must be Sputnik.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work,
filled all the longjohns then turned with a jerk.

At last over in the fireplace Santa Clause knelt
and turned the knob on his gravity belt.

Again on the roof top I heard Santa yell
(The broom tripped him again and down he fell).

But I heard him shout as he shot out of sight
Merry Christmas to all on this dangerous night.


...and so it begins.......

Its Christmas Eve and this marks our second Christmas in Dakotr (more on Dakotr, later ). Suffice it to say that it does not seem like 12 months have passed and yet, such a lot has happened so I guess it has.

I think this marks the first time we (Merrily and I) have actually set both a date and a plan of action to get on the road. Up until now, we have set several dates ... and missed them royally and had a few plans that were "interesting" but not really worked on or worked out.

Now, we have both. The magic date is October 30th, 2009. That marks the day that we will get the "other foot" off of the dock and into the boat and officially be "on the road". Up until now, we have been playing at various parts of this transition such as living in a smaller space in the stix and brix, living in DakotR but not LIVING in it (still depending on a lot of stuff and spaces in the HOUSE) and often pretending we were not still parked in our driveway.

So what makes October 30 so special and so, .. so.... Right!? Well, it marks our 30th wedding anniversary and just like the original, it is only fitting that it also marks a new beginning in a different lifestyle and environments.

I want to say up front that were it not for Merrily, I would not be here right now to be writing about this... I would be Bantha fodder somewhere making flowers happy. She has been more than I ever imagined a companion, wife and best friend could ever be. She has the patience of marble, the conviction of Ghandi and the promise of heaven... and I have been so unbelievably fortunate to be able to spend these fleeting 30 years in her presence and care. It just cannot get better than this. Thank you my love.

So much for the dedication phase of this blog (gosh, I still hate that word!) and now for the inspirational parts...