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Old 04-21-2021, 06:24 AM   #6861
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I have watched the “Longmire” series now for I think the third time in recent weekends, but finished the last few episodes propped up in bed in the evenings earlier this week...because I was almost to the end, couldn’t remember everything that happened to all the key characters and didn’t want to wait a week to find out.

Walt is pretty much Walt, Vic is Vic and Henry is Henry, but Ferg really finds his feet over the life of this series...I enjoy watching and feeling his evolution.


And, I am reading the second or third of this “Anna Pigeon” series, which I have really enjoyed...

https://www.goodreads.com/series/40958-anna-pigeon

In this one, the main character, a ranger for the National Park Service, is at Mesa Verde and surrounding areas.

The book is rich in historical detail regarding the Anasazi, also about the ruins themselves, and the unsolved mysteries regarding this culture.

Doug and I visited Mesa Verde some years back in the before, and I remember three things very clearly...it was absolutely pouring rain, only Native Americans were allowed inside the kiva, and we viewed the open cliff dwelling from the Visitor Center...because of the rain, and because climbing that rope ladder up was simply not an option.

I usually buy these and most other series I am interested in only as they come up in my BookBub choices, so don’t read them in order, but I am really interested in one set at Isle Royale on Lake Superior.

Isle Royale National Park apparently is accessible only by boat, but there are several campgrounds there and it looks pretty amazing...tho not something I will likely experience in this lifetime.

Anyway, this an interesting series, for what it may be worth.


We had snow and rain here most of yesterday, and this is my back yard this morning.

Hopefully, my lilacs and flowering plants will recover.
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:45 PM   #6862
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I have been pre-cleaning my garage the past few days, as in going thru a dozen or so boxes of CYA documents and those from various things , much of which to dispose of properly will need to go thru a shredder.

My son is going to help me with the latter, there being more than my Toyota can carry, then take a day or two off of work before it gets too hot and help me really clean my garage...which has not been done in a very long time.

Doug was a political scientist in his heart, and one of the smartest people I have ever known.

We both worked for the State, and weathered a few political storms together in our 27 years ...being wiser than I on some things, one of his favorite sayings was “never confuse a memo with reality”.

Sorting thru documents, this saying repeated itself in my head many times, as SOI bureaucrats were wont to construct their own realities in writing...or get someone else to do it...and then treat that constructed written word as fact.

I could write a book on just that.

There is actually a book with “never confuse a memo with reality” as title, which I should probably read...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...o_with_Reality

but I found this list online, taken from the book, and they are good enough to share.

I have whittled them down to those I like best.

“Never confuse a memo with reality… most memos from the top are political fantasy.”

“Don’t take a newspaper to the bathroom.”

“Life in business is made up of ambiguous victories and nebulous defeats—claim them all as victories.”

“Never assume you can keep major changes a big secret, because you can’t. Employees always know.”

“Make a ‘to do’ list every day. Crossing things off the list is very satisfying.”

“Never apologize for an idea that didn’t work—but always admit a mistake.”

“Make friends with the guard in the lobby—someday you will forget your i.d. badge.”

“You will never regret spending too much time with your kids.”

“If you think people don’t know what you are really after, think again.”

“The size of your office is not as important as the size of your paycheck.”

“Keep your desk clean and you will think better.”

“There is no such thing as job security.”

“Learn to recognize people who are bad medicine and stay away from them.”

“Don’t get a reputation for being a climber or a political animal; get a reputation for always doing what is right.”

“Never underestimate the ability of people to develop strange interpretations of anything you write, say, or do.”

“Don’t confuse extensive documentation with insight, and don’t confuse spreadsheets with analysis.”

“Don’t make people feel bad when they make a mistake.”

“Being good is important; being trusted is essential.”

“Become known for building ideas, not for finding fault.”

“Keep the good pens in your desk, otherwise you lose them.”

“Never sacrifice quality to make numbers.”

“Be direct but not confrontational.”

“The fastest way to create organizational change is to change people.”

“When someone tells you these are the best years of your life, believe it and act accordingly. They are.”

I mean...


Another night dipping down below freezing, but we are on the uphill climb and those should be behind us.

And, my flowering plants seem to have survived to bloom another day.

Maggie
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:00 PM   #6863
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Some great Gibb`s (Doug's) rules here!
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:17 PM   #6864
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Yep.

And it’s because we humans are so much alike that people we have never met can articulate and speak to experiences we ourselves have had.

Another favorite saying of mine, which I think came from Mother Teresa...

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can do only a little. Do what you can.

That is the getting up every day, doing your part, focusing on what is in front of you...that has carried me thru more than one difficult time.

The scars are there, but I not only lived thru it all but came out the other end.

Sometimes the end of the tunnel was a different one than I started in, but hey! That’s okay, too.

Things turn out the way they’re supposed to, that’s what I believe.

Do your part, look for the breadcrumbs that tell you you’re on the right path.

They’re always there.

In my humble experience.

Maggie
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Old 04-23-2021, 02:11 PM   #6865
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I finished this Anna Pigeon book last night, and moved it to my “Read Again” shelf.

Not a remarkable book, but an interesting one...because Anna is a National Park Ranger, and because this particular one was set at Mesa Verde.

Lots of cultural and historical detail.

My Nook app allows me to save sentences from books, tho it does its own thing to them in the saving.

A little girl in this book was living with some very difficult things, and her amazing Aunt Hattie created games they played together that helped the child deal with what she could not change.

In one game, the little Princess is kissed back to life...by her Aunt Hattie, who in real life would be the close relative whose love made an immeasurable difference in the life of her niece.


And then, someone is murdered and Anna muses about the purpose and function for the left-behind of laying out the dead.

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Old 04-26-2021, 09:21 AM   #6866
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Wrestled a hose out of the garage and got it connected in the front, never an easy task for me as holding it precisely while twisting to connect in a manner that doesn’t spray water everywhere is always a challenge.

Had to pull out the pliers, get on my hands and knees, tripping once over the ground cover...but, I got it done.

Then scrubbed down my front porch with a little Dawn in a bucket of hot water and a long handled brush.

Another small chore, off my to-do list.


The new bumper for the Interstate has come in, so my sweet son is going to help me get it to Peterbilt and myself back home after a bit.

A new bumper and grill, remove and paint the hood...will be an improvement in the keeping-things-tidy department.

I don’t look to be on as many gravel roads this summer as the last few, which will be a good thing.


Found this nifty leather wallet with a crossbody strap at TJMaxx at a very modest price a few days back...it’s best feature being that it has a snap-flap pocket for my IPhone, big enough that it fits in there comfortably even with its OtterBox case on it.

Also has an outer zipper closure for the inner sections, and a smaller zipper pocket inside that.

All the essentials.

Perfect for upcoming trip with the grands, as I hate to carry a purse...but, of course, when you’re traveling you’ve got to have your basics, including the phone.

There was a beautiful little card and ID holder in there, tooled leather with roses on it, which I held and admired but wisely left behind.


This little bear bell is on its way for Lily...she will not be going to Glacier, of course, but I feel she needs it for forest camping and most HC projects...not just for bears, but to know her location and when she is moving.

She likely chased after something two summers ago, then with the roaring of the rushing River we were working by could not hear me calling her to find her way back.

Some tense minutes when I feared a mountain Lion had carried her off, but she had made her way back to our camp and was sitting by her empty water bowl.

Now, she will jingle when she walks or runs.
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Old 04-27-2021, 02:16 PM   #6867
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It’s been a busy day at the little house, starting with a tree service that came this morning to clean up broken branches from the ice storm in February.

And some others that would be the next to fall.

Took them a month to get here since I first called them, they’ve been that busy, but it’s done.

I had a tree back there that I thought had died and was going to have to be removed, but it is leafing out and so apparently has not. Whew.

A good thing, as getting back in there with the truck that carries the guys up into the air would have been difficult...as in removing fence, in all likelihood.

And now a pile of sectioned wood to be stacked and then turned into firewood.

Lots of balls in the air right now, me busily confirming all pending and in-process projects via email so that if my son has to pick up my life without notice and planning he will be able to do so.

No loose ends, if at all possible. It’s become a part of me.
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Old 04-29-2021, 11:12 AM   #6868
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Four trips with wood rack loaded across the back yard this morning, to lay the cut-into-logs branches out on my patio to dry. Yikes.

Pulling a couple hundred pounds across the yard each trip is a lot, and 4 trips only got about half of what was finally there, so my son is bringing the boys over to finish for me this evening.

Young, strong and with boundless energy, they will make quick work of it and Grandma will give them a little $ for their pockets.


I was signed in and ready to go on recreation.gov this morning, when the new ticket sales for the Going to the Sun Road at Glacier went on sale.

New this season, and I’m guessing to limit the number of vehicles on that road.

Took 6 minutes and maybe 30 attempts to save a 7-day pass before it went thru to purchased, but I breathed a big sigh of relief.

Some tickets were held back to go on sale 2 days before ones selected date, but that would be cutting it way too close for me, so I will sleep better tonight with this out of the way.

No guarantee the GTSR will even be open yet when we are there, but it would be pretty awful not to be able to be on it for lack of a $2 pass.


It’s kind of amusing to see all the articles and advertising in recent weeks about how to camp and RV, reserve campsites, etc., with the burst in enthusiasm for this means of travel that has occurred in the past year or so.

I was never one to be much ahead of a curve , but we already with good rigs and experience in harness do, indeed, have a leg up into a safer way to be out and about during a pandemic.


This article in the CNN app this morning, about how crochet has experienced a boom in pandemic times.

https://www.cnn.com/style/article/cr...end/index.html

With this cute hat picture...tho I only occasionally wear hats, this one is pretty but more decoration than head covering.
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:38 AM   #6869
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Now that you mention a surge in crocheting. Laura has also taken it up. I now have slippers and hats galore.
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:56 AM   #6870
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Hi Gerard!

Good to hear from you!

Crochet is very calming and centering, to me, and I hope Laura likes it even half as much as I.

Some of my earliest efforts were good for nothing but the trash can, but I’ve gotten better over the 20 years or so I’ve been at it.

I’ve always got at least one something in process.


Picked up the Interstate from Peterbilt this morning, after what was intended to be bumper replacement turned into them repainting front and back with the “rock guard” they paint onto trucks.

It looks pretty gorgeous, and they did a great job of matching up the paint.

Brought it home to the driveway for some detailing inside and out before we leave for a little road trip north next week.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:37 AM   #6871
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I needed to cook something yesterday because, of course, I need to eat , and found this website just by googling “what to cook for dinner”.

https://www.thecookierookie.com/wprm_print/30303

I didn’t make these tacos as shown, tho they look yummy there’s just me, but did cook the chicken mixture...doubling the recipe with about 1 1/2 pounds of chicken, using an entire packet of taco seasoning mix and adding a large can of drained and rinsed black beans.

Because I like black beans, and they are good for you.

I put a good scoop of it into a soft tortilla, with some cheese and a little sour cream, and it was very flavorful and delicious.

Going to portion it out to vacuum seal for my freezer here in a bit...will make great MRE’s for travel.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:47 AM   #6872
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Looks good! I'm going to try it.
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Old 05-03-2021, 08:43 AM   #6873
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Hi Mimi!

Hope you get some camping done out amongst the bluebonnets this spring.

Maggie
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Old 05-03-2021, 06:41 PM   #6874
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Great idea for an on-the-road easy meal, Maggie! I'm heading up to the southern Oregon beaches for a few days this week in Gizmo, and I will make up several MRE packets for quick meals.
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:01 AM   #6875
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The bluebonnets have done their thing already, so no camping among them this year. However, other species of wildflowers are still in bloom. I'm headed for Inks Lake with family and friends in a couple of days.
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:45 AM   #6876
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Great idea for an on-the-road easy meal, Maggie! I'm heading up to the southern Oregon beaches for a few days this week in Gizmo, and I will make up several MRE packets for quick meals.
Hi Tim!

Good to hear from you, and that you are going to be getting out as weather warms up.

I am really looking forward to getting away for a few days, as Lily eyes the rig in the driveway and looks at me with “when are we leaving???” in her eyes.


Mimi, you have a great time, as well.


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Old 05-04-2021, 09:55 AM   #6877
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Plugged the Interstate in this morning and then wrestled my upright vacuum out there...so that I could clean good under all the cabinets and the area between the two front seats.

On my hands and knees, using the hose and attachments, pulling everything out, shaking the rugs, all that necessary stuff.

And most of what I clean up...dog hair.

And, some sand.

I did all the upper cabinets during my trip to SC this year...required at least annually, not only just for the sake of neat and tidy, but to reacquaint me with what is in my cabinets.

Every time, there are surprises, things I’d forgotten I had.


Thinking this morning about Tim heading out in the rig he and his wife had together, I remember those first years after Doug died, when the good thing but the difficult thing was that he was in every pore of that Interstate and what was inside of it.

His little bottle of hand sanitizer, a matchbook, the receipt he’d laid there from the humongous oranges we’d bought in Georgia just a few days before he was stricken...all remained for several years, in the little cubby to the left of the steering wheel, right where he’d put them.

Doug touched these, I would tell myself, every time I saw them.

For four years after his death I traveled in the one we had together, soon to be three in one he never touched.

Gone is the spot right where you first step inside, where he had taken his shoes off when we got back from a bike ride that morning.

After he died, I came inside to sleep for the first time in three days, and there were his shoes.

I sobbed, then every single time I stepped in that side door I saw that spot...and remembered his shoes.

I do feel looking back that it helps we travelers to have our loved ones around us in what had been our rigs, as we transition to going it alone.

At least, it helped me.


I have a good friend who lost her husband about a year ago, and some months ago she found a nice Chinook that will be her solo travel vehicle.

Easier to manage on her own, the camper needing to be taken off and put back on the truck.

Sold their truck camper first, which she traveled some in by herself last year, then more recently the truck itself.

A new stage for her.

Life. We get up, and we go on.


So the Interstate has had some tlc, next I will fill with propane and flush the antifreeze out of the system.

Maggie
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:32 PM   #6878
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Hi, Maggie...your insight so often hits the bullseye. "[H]e was in every pore of that Interstate and what was inside of it" so precisely describes what I experience from Penny's nurturing of Gizmo, in every drawer and locker that she so carefully stocked to make it truly our home away from home. On my last outing in Gizmo I needed a band-aid, and pulled down from one of the overheads the toiletry and makeup bag she had filled with soaps and fragrances, the scent of which overwhelmed me with longing as, for a moment, my senses insisted that she must be just an arms-length away. Yes, I could remove all those items that are of little use to me, but just like Doug's shoes, those incidental items contain the soul of what we experienced together. I perch her black Airstream hat, with the pink flamingos, right on the dash in front of her seat. It's the one she is wearing in nearly every photo I took of her on our many trips in Gizmo, and it's that awful but unavoidable (at least now) simultaneous experience of pain and fulfilling a need, that I glance at it so often as I drive. Yes, she touched every place in Gizmo, but stepping into it every few weeks is, for a moment, like slipping into her arms again. Someday, I know, it will be different, and maybe, like you, I will have another "Gizmo" that did not know her. But for now we have an equilibrium that I can live with. Take care, my dear friend.
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:23 AM   #6879
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been reading your posts now for a few years; always feel you're a few years ahead of what either I or my husband will go through at some point. Touching. But I caught the watching Longmire mention & just had to comment- I had never even heard of the series until March, & while we were cross country traveling from wintering to summering spots I binged the whole series. Limited myself to 2 episodes a day. I have been experiencing withdrawal since I finished. No idea what to replace it with. Also- I took up crocheting last summer since I needed to keep my hands busy and have something in our fc19cb that we live in (yes, really, until we get sick of it, almost 2 years now!) that I could just pick up and set down easily without a lot that has to stay out & organized. Very juvenile in my knowledge, but suits fine. Made 11 afghans so far. Running out of people to give them to! Enjoy your day!
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Old 05-05-2021, 04:41 AM   #6880
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Hi, Maggie...your insight so often hits the bullseye. "[H]e was in every pore of that Interstate and what was inside of it" so precisely describes what I experience from Penny's nurturing of Gizmo, in every drawer and locker that she so carefully stocked to make it truly our home away from home. On my last outing in Gizmo I needed a band-aid, and pulled down from one of the overheads the toiletry and makeup bag she had filled with soaps and fragrances, the scent of which overwhelmed me with longing as, for a moment, my senses insisted that she must be just an arms-length away. Yes, I could remove all those items that are of little use to me, but just like Doug's shoes, those incidental items contain the soul of what we experienced together. I perch her black Airstream hat, with the pink flamingos, right on the dash in front of her seat. It's the one she is wearing in nearly every photo I took of her on our many trips in Gizmo, and it's that awful but unavoidable (at least now) simultaneous experience of pain and fulfilling a need, that I glance at it so often as I drive. Yes, she touched every place in Gizmo, but stepping into it every few weeks is, for a moment, like slipping into her arms again. Someday, I know, it will be different, and maybe, like you, I will have another "Gizmo" that did not know her. But for now we have an equilibrium that I can live with. Take care, my dear friend.
I believe that in those sudden floods of memories the spirits of our loved ones are very close.

It feels like they’re right there, because they are, and they may guide us to their things to let us know.

I still have those moments, and they are always briefly overwhelming.

Cleaning the upper cabinets in the Interstate a few months ago, Doug’s favorite baseball cap from Gunsite is still tucked away up in there.

I had it hanging on the hook on the passenger side for years after he died, and it comforted me.

His colognes are still in his side of our medicine cabinet at home, right where he left them.

We go on in life wrapped in memories, is the truth, and these tangible bits are a part of finding a peaceful coexistence after the loss of someone so close to us.

Take care, Tim.


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