Let Us Not Forget

Last night I spent some time scrolling through Facebook reading various posts about the people who went to sleep the night of September 10, 2001 blissfully unaware of what horror was to befall them the next day.  Tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched and listened to videos of the last moments of those lives.  It was a horrible day in our country’s history and one I hope is never repeated. Let us not forget those brave souls and let us not forget for one minute who caused those many deaths.

I posted this next paragraph on Facebook this morning and I apologize if you’ve all ready seen it—–You’ve all seen the story on Facebook about missing 9/12/2001. While I would never, ever want another 9/11, I miss my country that was on 9/12. I was traveling for work and was in Fargo, ND on September 11, 2001. I remember total strangers in the operating room hugging me, I remember the lists on the desks at the hotel of people offering rides to total strangers, I remember the non-stop horrifying images on the hotel room TV, I remember the sadness of the faces in the convenience stores where I would stop for gas as I drove my rental car home to Montana. I remember the quietness of people who took my money for snacks, the sadness. I remember the quietness of our skies those few days–no airplanes flying. And I remember the look of the Billings, MT airport as I drove in to return my rental car and retrieve my truck–this had been the airport where I was so well known, the skycap would call me by name, the Delta agents at the desk would greet me before I even reached the counter, “good morning Mrs.C….., here are you boarding passes, have a great flight,”—now there were concrete barriers where before there had been none, there were armed to the teeth National Guard soldiers everywhere, my rental vehicle was searched before I was allowed to enter the airport grounds, the airport car rental counter employees so quiet. And I remember our flag flying everywhere, the cohesiveness of our population, the patriotism. I want the country I saw on 9/12 back.

Geez, it’s kind of wet here.  Close to two inches of rain since the weekend and dang chilly.  I guess fall has really arrived! Monday the Cowboy worked on the little wood burning stove he has built for our Arizona home and Tuesday he finished and painted it.  Ready to load into the trailer.  Monday was a major chore day for me–cleaned house top to bottom, laundry, sheet changing–you get the picture!

Tuesday I was up and out the door early–my first physical therapy appointment for my knee was in Livingston at 10am.  I was thoroughly examined by Nikki and then given a set of exercises to do on my own which I have done faithfully.  After the PT I went shopping–Livingston has many cute, eclectic little stores and I love shopping there to find unique gifts.  I hit the Obsidian Collection–really cute, unique gifts for everyone, the Copper Moose–a gourmet food store with great oils, vinegars, sauces, etc., the Wine Cellar–you guessed it and lastly Bob’s Outdoor–great clothes!!

Albertson’s for groceries was also on my list.  Oh, my, goodness!!!  That store was a mad house! They had crews changing the layout and location of every single shelved item. The aisles were blocked with carts of merchandise the crews had removed and not returned to different shelves as of yet. By the time I got to the end of my list I was worn out and angry–why do this major an overhaul in the middle of the day???  I was ready to read someone the riot act when I reached the cashier line.  Then—this young, beautiful, perky young woman was in front of me.  She was so incredibly pleasant to the cashier, smiling, chatting with him, and thanking him.  I decided to follow her example! 🙂

Onward, I donated a bunch of dog food to the Livingston animal shelter–food that Emmi can no longer eat now that she is on a low fat diet.  Then it was over the hill on that muddy rough road to Katie’s.  I had mended some clothes for her and had hoped to also see the kiddos–but they were napping so Katie and I had a nice visit.

Last stop was more muddy, rough miles up to our friend John’s house.  John makes beautiful pottery and I have a set of his dishes–at least I used to have a set but my dinner plate collection was decreasing by the day it seemed.  He’s going to make more dinner plates and a gift item I requested.  The Cowboy purchased the set of John’s pottery shortly after we were married, almost 25 years ago.

Today we’ve watched it rain, packed a little and I quilted a bit on my bunny quilt–I really, really want to finish that one before we leave!

Taken a few days ago on the last sunny afternoon we saw before this deluge!


Rain, Cooler Temps And A Birthday Trip

Friday before noon it started raining and rained off and on all day and into the night. Our temps are most definitely fall like–we needed a jacket when outside.  These are my kind of temperatures–somewhere between 60 and 75 degrees and I’m a happy camper!

Thursday morning the concrete pouring crew–Lonn and Michael (our grandson-in-law) showed up right about the time the concrete truck came up the driveway.  Those guys worked way hard for a couple hours–very hard!  And it was HOT!  By lunch time we had concrete decks and the Cowboy did a little finish work in the afternoon.  Burgers on the grill and watermelon for lunch.  Lonn buys our hay for the ranch where they live and came equipped to haul hay–the Cowboy loaded the trailer and off they went.

In the evening we went over to Lonn’s for dinner.  Michael grilled some delicious steaks, Katie made a salad and green beans.  I provided a flourless chocolate cake–a wonderful meal spent with family.  Those great grandbabies are adorable!!  Everyone was almost falling asleep in their plates so it was an early evening after all that hard work of the morning.

Friday we spent the day just puttering. The new mattress had arrived for the motorhome and we got it in place. We have the absolute best UPS driver!  When Tony delivered the mattress on Wednesday we were in Billings.  The back patio where he usually leaves boxes was missing in action, ready for the concrete pour.  Tony carried that heavy mattress box around to our front deck which faces over the creek–he’s a good guy!

Saturday we headed over to Sarge and Sarah’s in the new to us motorhome, camping in their driveway for the night.  It’s my birthday–I’m only ONE year away from Medicare!!–and we are taking a little road trip.  Sarge and Sarah live off the road which leads from Livingston, MT to Yellowstone National Park.  For my birthday in the early years of our marriage we always went to Mammoth at the north entrance to the Park to have dinner and watch the elk.  We got out of the habit–too many people, too expensive and the food was awful.

We arrived at Sarge and Sarah’s a little after 4pm, visited for a while and drove down the hill to the tiny community of Emmigrant where we dined outside at Follow Your Nose–a fabulous barbecue spot.  The rain stopped, the sun came out and it was pleasant to dine outside. Our plan had been to eat at Chico Hot Springs–nope, even though I called on Thursday morning the earliest we could be seated for dinner was 8:30pm.  That doesn’t work for us.  Granddaughter Katie told us about a place where she and Michael spent their anniversary this summer and Sarah also raved about this restaurant–Yellowstone Valley Lodge.  Nope again.  Earliest we could eat there was also 8:30pm.

So Follow Your Nose it was and it was delicious!  I grew up in the south and will occasionally eat greens–as in collard greens, turnip greens, etc. if they are cooked right.  On the menu last night were Aunt Mary’s Collard Greens.  When I asked the guy taking our order if this restaurant knew how to cook southern he said, “my Aunt Mary was southern.”  So I caved and tried the collard greens–they were absolutely amazing!!! So was the rest of our food.

Back at Sarah and Sarge’s we enjoyed homemade ice cream–four different flavors–basil/ginger, lemon, chocolate and vanilla.  It was amazing.  What a fabulous birthday–I’m a lucky woman!!

After we enjoyed a great night’s sleep on the new mattress in the motorhome Sarah once again outdid herself by making us blueberry pancakes and sausage for breakfast–amazing!!  Sarah sent me home with a big container of heirloom tomatoes she grew.  Yep, I’m a lucky birthday woman!

Our plan was to leave Sarge and Sarah’s this morning and head to Yellowstone National Park.  Even though the Park is technically in our backyard we don’t spend much time there.  We might drive through on our way to somewhere else but we don’t stay too long. Too many people, way too many people and today was no exception.  I have always wanted to camp inside the park and take drives out in the early morning and evening to spot wildlife.  The campground at Mammoth, “our entrance” at the north end of Yellowstone is a first come, first serve campground, no reservations taken.  Checkout time is 10am, we were there by 11:30am and encountered a big Campground FULL sign.  So, back down the hill we went and we came home.

We are loving our new little motorhome–easy to pack, easy to unload, easy to drive.  The Cowboy would have never, ever driven our big 40 foot motorhome into Yellowstone.

Sarah and Sarge’s view–Emmigrant Peak.

It’s a chilly, rainy Sunday afternoon here in Montana–fall is definitely here.

Quiet Holiday Weekend

Please excuse the buggy windshield, I took this photo as we were leaving home Wednesday morning headed to Billings.  My job is to help watch for the suicidal deer who are determined to plaster themselves all over your vehicle–we were driving the motorhome–so it was even more important for me to watch for deer but I couldn’t help taking a break to take this photo.

Monday the Cowboy worked on his concrete pour project in the morning and then we retrieved Max and Dave at their house near us. They wanted to buy us lunch and who are we to turn down an offer like that.  We headed to Livingston and enjoyed another great meal at the Rib and Chop House.  We took a little driving tour and then back home we went to our two needy dogs.

Tuesday it was more concrete work for the Cowboy and chore day for me–laundry, etc.

As I said above, Wednesday we left home at dawn and didn’t get home until 6pm–long, long day.  We took the motorhome as there is no way I was asking our friend Kathy to come to our house that early in the morning–she is most definitely NOT a morning person! The forecast for Billings was HOT and when we started home it was 100 degrees.  The generator and air conditioner in the motorhome work well! And so does the dash air!  The Cowboy had a routine yearly doctor’s appointment which went well.

Next on the agenda was a dentist appointment for me.  Another one of my Mexican dental work crowns has been giving me trouble–every time I bite something hard with that tooth I get a little “zing.”  This has been going on for about two years.  My Billings dentist thought maybe the crown was just sitting high and would buff the tooth each time I went in.  Today they took x-rays again even a panoramic one (not sure that’s exactly what it’s called!) and could see nothing on the x-rays.  So we wait.  The dentist and I do not want to just start drilling through crowns trying to locate the problem tooth–they can’t isolate the issue when I am in the chair and I cannot be totally certain which tooth it is–one of two.  So we wait.

We did manage a Costco run and lunch in between doctor’s appointments.  My last appointment was with the orthopedic surgeon for my knee.  Dr. Goover started practicing with Ortho Montana three weeks ago and I really liked him–plus he was super easy on the eyes!! 😉  After x-rays were taken he told me, “you have a very young knee!!!”  This was really good to hear as my mom had a total knee when she was about my age!  With that said, he thinks I have probably torn my medial collateral ligament which runs up the inside of my knee.  I possibly have a torn meniscus too but we elected to wait and see how well the cortisone injection and physical therapy improve my pain before doing a MRI.

Image result for knee anatomy

Walmart to do our grocery pickup then home–whew, what a day!!!

Maintenance work.

Life is good.

Road Miles

We’ve been putting on some miles the last few days.  Thursday was a yoga day in town at our instructor’s home where we all learned a good friend/neighbor had been injured in a horrific horse wreck on Wednesday.  She had multiple injuries and was in a Billings hospital ICU.  After lunch the Cowboy and I decided to make the drive to Billings to see our friends.  When we arrived we were immensely relieved to find she had been moved from ICU to an orthopedic floor.  We were able to spend a few minutes talking to her and her family.  She will have a long road to recovery but will recover–she’s a strong, strong woman and ranch wife.

Also on Thursday a good friend had surgery–a guy type surgery–for an enlarged prostate.  His procedure was a new, cutting edge one–prostatic artery embolization (PAE)–and there is actually a radiologist performing these procedures in Bozeman, MT.  Friday afternoon late we drove to their home to visit for a while and warn the patient that if he didn’t behave I was coming back in my “nurse” clothes!

It was dang chilly at our house on Friday and we even had a rain shower.  Never in all the time we’ve lived in this house, 18 years, have we not run the underground lawn sprinklers and flower bed waters on a daily basis in summer.  This summer the sprinklers have been off more than on–I’m loving this weather we’ve had this summer!

The concrete patio work continues–now the Cowboy is under a deadline–his helper, Lonn and the redi-mix are coming on Thursday of next week.  He’s close to being ready–almost.

Saturday evening Nancy and Geoff along with Boo and Terry joined us for dinner here at home.  Even if I do say so myself–I outdid myself!  Nancy provided a delicious salad with greens from her garden and Terry (he cooks!) made his tomato pie, YUM!  I roasted a prime rib on the grill and made garlic mashed potatoes.  The prime rib was absolutely perfect!  For dessert I made a flour less chocolate cake–oh, my goodness was it ever good!!  I used Michael’s mother’s tablecloth and crystal glasses, my grandmother’s silver and my china.  It was a great evening spent with good friends!

Sunday I quilted for a bit but my knee is not cooperating.  I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday–let’s hope he has some suggestions–this knee is cramping my style!  The Cowboy worked off and on, puttering with the concrete project. Emmi slept and played ball when someone was willing to throw it for her.

Nancy grows the most beautiful sunflowers and brought me some last night–they are gorgeous!!

New Deck Project

These little guys let me get within just a few feet of them.  Emmi wasn’t paying attention.

It’s very unusual that we have a project–right??  No, as you all know it’s the norm around here!  The Cowboy decided as part of the rain drainage project he would remove our old (18 years) wooden deck and replace it with concrete.  He would also go around the east end of the house, taking a large portion of my backyard flower bed and build a concrete deck almost the entire length of the east side of the house. I’m OK with all of this project and today I even helped!

This is where the back door deck was located and there will soon be a concrete deck.

When the Cowboy started digging around the corner from where the rig is sitting he dug up some columbine plants which I then planted in a bare spot in the front yard flower bed. Long ago I planted day lilies in the backyard flower bed–I’ve decided I’m not a fan of day lilies!  They grow like weeds and take over plus after the first freeze they require a lot of maintenance.  I’m going for less maintenance! 🙂   I also painted the lower boards of the house with a sticky, black tar substance–Henry’s.  I managed to keep most of it on the boards and not on me! Emmi did her best to get tarred but I think we managed to keep her out of that messy stuff.

Well–I ordered a new mattress today.  The Winnebago motorhome we just purchased came with a really, really nice “looking” mattress.  When you first lay down it’s comfortable.  But as the night wears on it’s not so comfortable–in fact, it’s downright uncomfortable!  I have only spent one night sleeping on the mattress and had all ready decided in my mind that a new one was in order.  The Cowboy took the motorhome this past week when he took his “guys” trip.  When he came home he said, “you can order that mattress any time!”  I laughed and laughed!  Well–I decided I would try placing a 3 inch gel foam mattress pad which we all ready owned on top of the uncomfortable mattress before I ordered a new mattress.  Last night I went out to the motorhome and slept on that combination.  I ordered a new mattress today. 🙂  Decided to order from Costco as they have such a fabulous return policy.  We’ve had to repack a “mattress in a box” so as to return it and it was not fun.  If we don’t like the “mattress in a box” from Costco we can just return it to the store.

Life is good–I need to get out and take some photos!

What A Fabulous Summer We’ve Had

I can’t remember when we’ve had such a glorious summer and as Bayfield Bunch Al said, it’s flown by!  We’ve had no 100 degree days and only a couple 90 degree days. Our long range forecast for the end of August shows temps in the 70’s and even some in the 60’s.  I will take it!

Thursday morning Emmi and I pulled out of Shannen and Mark’s at the crack of dawn after watching their dog and a buck deer play with each other out in the field.  The dog is supposed to keep the deer from getting into the stacks of hay–I think they might need to come up with another plan! 🙂 Once on the highway we dodged a couple deer ourselves and made it to the dentist office with only minutes to spare.

The root canal is finally finished.  The endodontist told me, “don’t be in a hurry to get a new crown, let’s see if this works.”  Didn’t instill too much confidence but I can hope!  It was a tough appointment.  I’m not a dentist wimp by any stretch of the imagination.  Now my sister and my brother–that’s another story–at least when they were young! 🙂 🙂 I wore braces on my teeth for three years as a teenager. I had a spacer bar in the top of my mouth which had to be expanded each night with the turn of a little key–my teeth hurt all the time!  I drank a lot of milkshakes and wouldn’t drink one as an adult for a long time–couldn’t stand the taste or texture.  I’ve had my share of crowns and fillings.  My Dad had horrible teeth and wore dentures as far back as I can remember.  Mom doesn’t have the strongest of teeth either so I came by it honestly.

But back to the “I’m not a dentist wimp…..”  When the dentist was injecting me this time he hit the actual nerve sending a major electric feeling shock out to my lip.  OUCH!! He also did some major pushing and pulling so my jaw was sore.  I sure hope this root canal works!

After the dentist Emmi and I headed to Walmart for our grocery order then pointed the truck toward home.  It’s usually me doing the traveling leaving Emmi and the Cowboy at home.  When we got home Emmi wandered all around looking for her other people–she was a sad pooch!  I unloaded the truck camper and collapsed!

Friday I puttered a bit, quilted a bit and was very glad to see the Cowboy pulling into the driveway late afternoon.  He is so pleased with the way the motorhome performed pulling the cargo trailer with CanAm inside.  He had a great time–he was hoarse from talking and laughing so much–it was a good trip!

Clouds rolling over the Crazy Mountains.

Saturday the Cowboy installed on the motorhome the new air bag the company sent us after the original one had a leak. In the late afternoon we went to a party.  And for some strange reason I left my camera at home.  One of the area ranches was celebrating their 100th anniversary.  It was a beautiful setting right beside the Boulder River. Under a big white tent, were beautifully decorated heavy duty, gorgeous tables made from former bridge planks–with benches to match.  Dave, the owner of the ranch made the tables.  The food was marvelous–Dave, Peggy and friends created all the food.  There was a great band from Red Lodge, MT–Band Montana. It was a fun party!!

Usually we each do our own breakfasts.  I eat yogurt with fruit and granola, the Cowboy eats cereal or makes himself an omelet.  On Sunday I frequently make bacon and eggs.  We then will have a later than usual lunch–that’s what we did today because I’ve been quilting!  I finished the little “It’s A Dog’s Life” quilt and now just have to hand stitch the binding.

And here are more photos of our adorable great grandchildren.

Grandpa Lonn and the wild bunch! Hey, who said my babies could ride those big ole horses????

These two kids are growing up in one of the most beautiful places on earth just like their Mom and Aunt Laci did.

On My Own

Bright and early Monday morning the Cowboy was on the phone with Air Lift, the manufacturers of the air bags he had just installed on both the truck and motorhome.  A new bag is on its way to us–great customer service!  We spent the day puttering with the rigs–motorhome and truck camper.

 It’s a good thing we own two RVs at the moment! You see, we had some scheduling conflicts. The Cowboy had planned to head out with some of his long, long time friends for a few days of tall tale sharing, ATVing and hot springs soaking. I had a hair cut appointment scheduled in Billings during the time the Cowboy would be gone. Those two events would not have been a problem. Then the endodontist called–they had an opening and could move up my last root canal appointment by more than two weeks. Now I had appointments on two different days. Haircut could not be rescheduled and I wasn’t messing with that root canal appointment! So, we decided I would take the truck camper to Billings on my own!! The Cowboy would take the motorhome.

Parked outside the hair salon you can see truck and camper are still in one piece! I would run out the slide, start the generator and air conditioner so the Princess Emmi could stay cool each time I stopped to go in a store. It was miserably hot in Billings today.

When I finished my errands we headed out to Shannen’s–the Cowboy’s daughter and her family who live just outside Billings on 20 acres. I really didn’t feel comfortable boondocking by myself in Billings. I would have had to run the generator all night so as to stay cool. I’m not inclined to pay Billings RV park prices so I have a place to sleep–$80 a night! Hotels which take pets do not allow the pets to be left alone in the rooms so the truck camper it was!

Parked at Shannen’s with views all around. They’ve gone off to barrel race tonight and I declined to go–way too hot for this girl!! Emmi and I are hanging out in the air conditioning!

I love this photo!! Laci and Lora are back in Germany. On the flight to Germany Lora suddenly realized she had her first loose tooth. I gather there was a little drama. 😁😁

Life is good!

More Improvements

Everything worked in this new to us Winnebago Aspect but there were some things the Cowboy felt it needed.  We will be pulling a small cargo trailer and the motorhome did not have trailer brakes.  The Cowboy has installed trailer brakes on countless rigs but this one had him buffaloed!  We have the wiring diagrams and could see where the wires were located but those wires were connected to other things and the Cowboy wasn’t going to indiscriminately start cutting wires.  So, he crawled around under that coach all. day. long! on Thursday without success.  Friday morning he made the decision to run totally new wire from the connection on the rear bumper to the brake controller on the dash.  That took him all. day. long. and then some!  Whew!

When we lost our minds and purchased that R-Pod we joined a Facebook group for R-Pod owners.  We learned a lot, cringed a lot and chuckled a lot.  When we brought home the Aspect we joined a Facebook group for Aspect and Cambria owners.  Right away the Cowboy noticed the discussion about rear air bags. On some of the longer models rear air bags are an option.  He was concerned about the low rear clearance on our 26 foot rig.  So, as he had just installed air bags on our Ford pickup for hauling the truck camper, he decided air bags were a good idea for the Aspect.  Amazon to the rescue!  Saturday the Cowboy was once again crawling around under the Aspect installing air bags only to find at the end of the day one of the bags has a leak.  We will call the company Monday morning and hope they will ship us just a bag so he doesn’t have to remove everything (the dual rear wheels have to be removed to install airbags) and ship it back to Amazon.

Saturday I quilted–it’s been along time but it was a day for quilting.  We had the strangest weather–a high of 65 degrees, windy and low hanging clouds all day.  I even made a large pot of spaghetti sauce–comfort food on a chilly August day.

Today the Cowboy dumped the tanks on the Aspect, hooked up the trailer and mounted the trailer spare tire in a different place–he’s taking a trip soon–joining some of the guys from his high school days to ride ATVs and soak in the hot springs.  Emmi and I will hold down the fort.

It was warmer today but still a gorgeous day–you can feel fall in the air.


It’s A Revolving Door

Tuesday was yoga day and a special day–Shirley’s birthday.  Usually on Tuesday’s yoga is practiced with the accompaniment of a DVD but our yoga teacher Julia made a surprise visit in honor of the birthday.  After yoga we feasted on brunch food–most definitely YUM! I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen  to make a breakfast casserole.  Even though the dish was good it needs something–maybe sausage??

Our friend John said it best in his comment on the last blog, “……..You guys are not the bedroll beside the car types.”  I just wanted to have fun with the previous blog to see if anyone would notice we went in the car and then boondocked.  And no, the Cowboy and I are not the bedroll beside the car kind of folks.

And yes we have another new to us RV.  That truck camper wasn’t in the driveway even two days before the Cowboy was searching Craigslist again–to be fair, he’s always searching Craigslist and what should pop up not one but two Class B RVs with a dedicated bed and in our budget.  Why a motorhome you might ask.

  • We both love motorhome travel and haven’t been happy in any RV since selling our Country Coach 40 foot motorhome.
  • We wanted to be small–26 feet or under–and those motorhomes are difficult to find when you have a budget and want a dedicated bed.  When friends Paul and Nina moved to France and purchased a new RV they wanted the same thing, “Plus we really didn’t want to be “making the bed” every night. Many smaller RV’s get around the whole bed issue by having lounges that convert into bedrooms at night. We just knew that would become old real quick.”      Now, you won’t find king size beds in US made Class B’s that you “don’t have to make every night” but you occasionally do find a dedicated bed.
  • A dry bath.  We’ve done the wet bath thing with several campers and weren’t doing it again.
  • We wanted a slide–it makes small spaces feel so much bigger.  The truck camper we just purchased has a slide and even in that small space the slide does help.
  • I wanted a kitchen with some counter space–why do RV manufacturers install such HUGE sinks taking up all the counter space in tiny RVs???  And don’t get me started on the new trend–ROUND kitchen sinks!!  We boondock most of the time and conserve water–you don’t need TWO sinks!
  • I drove the Country Coach but was never really comfortable.  We wanted a rig I felt comfortable driving.
  • The Cowboy’s additional list:  Ford E450 chassis, Ford V10 engine, and low miles.

The Cowboy found two identical Winnebago Aspects 26A motorhomes within driving distance–sort of!  One was in Kalispell, Montana at a dealer and one was in Torrington, Wyoming–a whopping 517 miles away.  After communicating with the owner of the one in Wyoming we made the decision to drive that far to look at a motorhome.  Our original intent was to drive the jeep and tow it home but the more we thought about riding 517 miles in the jeep wrangler, the more we dreaded the trip.  So, we took  my Cadillac and drove down in comfort.  We were absolutely positive that if we didn’t like the RV we would turn around and drive back the 517 miles in the Cadillac–we dreaded the thought of having to make the round trip in the jeep if the deal did not happen.

What a pleasure to deal with honest, friendly folks!  We arrived at Rex and Mary’s home about 10:30am Sunday morning and Rex walked us through every single system of the RV to demonstrate everything worked.  The refrigerator was running with a thermometer inside so we could see how cold it ran.  The air conditioner was blowing cold air, the generator started right away.  He had a step ladder available so the Cowboy could access the roof.  It was an amazing experience!  The water tank had water, the propane tank was full as was the gas tank–Rex should go into the business of selling RVs–he knew how to do it.  And the rig was clean!!!

So, what did we buy–a 2005 Winnebago Aspect 26A with 25,000 miles on the odometer.  It drives like a dream and I am totally comfortable behind the wheel.  It has a dry bath, counter space and a dedicated bed.  It has all the items from the Cowboy’s list. The toilet and shower area of the RV is tiny but we have both taken showers in the rig and it works well.  The Cowboy has been busy making this RV ours.  He is installing a propane line from the tank so we can use the grill without hauling an extra tank.  He’s manufactured a rack to hold the grill which hangs from the larger storage bay.  More projects are in the works.

Weight is a concern to us when traveling in these smaller RVs and Wednesday I began loading the rig with essentials–dishes, silverware, towels, linens, etc.  When I was finished I had added only 111 pounds to the RV.  Much of the stuff we carried in the Country Coach is still in storage.  We’ve ordered some items to make life easier and those will arrive on Friday and Monday.

The previous owner had used this funky rope and swivel snap system to hold open the RV door–it was definitely funky.  He showed us this small aluminum rod with rubber coated ends which looked like the rod you use to pull out the awning.  Rex called it a “mini awning puller.”  Well, we joined a Facebook Winnebago Aspect owners group and I asked the question, “how do you hold the door open?”  Most RVs use one of these–

Winnebago Aspects use one of these–a mini awning puller–

Life is good!

A Party, Road Trip and Cute Grandchildren

We will start with the cute kids–I didn’t take these photos–Laci or Katie did I’m sure and did a great job photographing what this Mimi thinks are the cutest kids!

On Friday evening lots of friends and neighbors gathered at Max and Dave’s for a wonderful summer evening.  Max and Dave’s son Kyle grilled for all us older folks and daughter Kelly prepped, crafted and served. We all contributed to the menu and no one went home hungry, that’s for sure.  I love gatherings like that–good friends, just good people!

Saturday morning bright and early–not so early–we jumped into the loaded car and headed down the driveway then east once we reached Big Timber.  We landed in Casper, WY for the night where things kind of fell apart but we recovered!  I have a few Marriott Rewards points left over from my traveling days and enjoy staying in Marriott Residence Inns.  For the most part, these Residence Inns are all pet friendly.  When booking the room I made sure to check their website for the “pet friendly” notation which I found.  Checking in about 4pm Saturday evening I was asked if I had a pet.  Yep, an 11 pound miniature schnauzer.  This is where it starts to go downhill.  The clerk tells me there is a $100 non-refundable pet deposit charged per stay.  I said, “you have got to be kidding!!”  That’s highway robbery!!  I declined the robbery and requested my points be re-deposited in my account.  And, we left to find another room.  We went to three other hotels before finding a pet friendly hotel which only charged $10/day.  Not the greatest hotel or stay–our air conditioner struggled all night long and we didn’t sleep well but at least I wasn’t being robbed!  We ordered pizza delivery which we often do when we can–pizza doesn’t get delivered where we live so far out in the country.  The pizza was delicious–just a couple days ago the Cowboy said, “I haven’t had a good pizza since we left North Ranch.”  This pizza from the Pizza Ranch in Casper, WY was the best!!!

And when walking Emmi the next morning I see the evidence of why so many RV parks and hotels are either totally refusing pets or charging such astronomical fees for pets.  The hotel where we stayed–Main Stays–provided a pet walking area and bags.  The area was disgusting–poop everywhere!  But I still don’t like being robbed!

Sunday morning we continued east to Torrington, WY, met a delightful couple then turned around and headed back toward home.  Sunday evening we were boondocking alongside the Tongue River outside Ranchester, WY and slept like babies!  We are now home and unpacked, relaxing and enjoying these absolutely fabulous August in Montana temps–75 degrees!!!

Emmi is such a good traveler!!