Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It’s Official, Winter is Here!

First off I’d like to acknowledge and welcome two new followers to our Blog. Bud Russman of Arizona RV Guy and Bev also known by her chat room handle as Soulmate315. Welcome and I hope I don’t bore you too much with my ramblings.

Yesterday it rained constantly. The weathermen said we received almost 2” of rain in 24 hours, which was a record breaker for the Detroit area. It sure looked like we received much more than just 2” with all the news showing everyone’s homes flooded. I’m sure happy I live in an elevated area, I didn’t get a drop of water in my basement, thank goodness.

So with all the rain we had yesterday, the forecast was calling for a possibility of snow by the morning. We woke this morning to our official dusting of snow.

100_1360

So I guess I’ll just say it’s official here at home, Winter has arrived! Sad smile I was a little nervous seeing the snow this morning as I haven’t winterized my new John Deere Power Washer yet. So after my morning coffee I headed out to the garage and made sure there wasn’t any water still in the pump. Actually I started the air compressor and hooked up the air line just like I do the Motorhome, and blew what little water was still in the pump out.

My post from November 22nd. showed the Christmas deer that I replaced the original lights with LED lights. This evening I just had to show you how they look “in action” outside our bow window.

100_1363

The one on the right has the new LED lights.

100_1361

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner with Family

We just had a total of 24 family members for a Thanksgiving Dinner. My sister Judy’s son Derek, his wife Veronica and daughter Marissa flew in from Utah to spend this Thanksgiving with his mother and the rest of the family.

Steve, Judy’s friend, my sister Judy and her son, Derek.DSC_4467

Everyone brought a plate to pass. So much food that we had plenty of leftover’s for anyone who wanted some. My job was mostly the Turkey’s.

Starting the carving of the first of two Turkey’s.

DSC_4472

Just behind me was my brother Ken holding Hayden, his Grandson. Hayden wanted to see where the Turkey’s were because he was hungry!

DSC_4471

In our basement we had a 6 foot table set up to hold the food. Two 10 foot rows of tables with seating on both sides and a coffee table set up to hold the deserts. Catherine’s husband Scott said the prayer and immediately the family lined up to fill their plates.

DSC_4487

DSC_4492

The “desert table.” Just gotta have a Pumpkin Pie! So how about 4 of them, along with a wide assortment of other deserts.

DSC_4498

My youngest sister, Catherine, had a great idea she shared with everyone a couple weeks ago. She suggested that we all participate in a “show and tell” of what we are thankful for. Everyone should bring in something that has a special meaning to them and share their feelings with the rest of the family.

Everyone thought this was a great idea, so after dinner we started with the youngest and worked our way up to the eldest, which was my dad.

The children, my grand kids generation, did a superb job. Most everyone of them touched a tender spot on the hearts of their parents and Grandparents.

We continued up the age group and when it was Derek’s turn, he became a little emotional. His voice breaking and showing a tear really touched some of us. You could tell what he was saying was “from the heart”. Next it was my daughter Angel’s turn. But after listening to her cousin Derek, she was choked up and wiping the tears from her eyes! Actually there were more wet eyes from the “Guys” than from the “Gals”! 

As these spoken words from my family members were from deep down and personal, I feel that I just can’t go into much more detail. Other than to say it was great that we all participated, and I personally feel that it brought the family even closer together. Thank You Catherine for suggesting this “show and tell”.

Wilma and I wish to extend a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday greeting to all our readers!

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This product really does work.

We all have seen those infomercials on TV of products that just seem way to un-believable. One of those products that I have seen for several years now, only around this time of year is the Light Keeper Pro. This gadget is said to fix those strings of Christmas lights that just refuse to light.

100_1358

I, being a gadget kind a guy, just had to try it out as I had several strings of lights that were either fully out or partially out. Getting on the internet, I found that Lowes was the least expensive for this item. So off I went and with $17.00 removed from the wallet, I was now the proud owner of a “Light Keeper Pro”!

I have a large wreath that I hang on the front of the garage. Only half the lights actually work, and for the past several years I just wouldn’t plug it in. An un-lit wreath is better than no wreath at all I figured. So I followed the directions and within 5 minutes ALL the lights now work! Amazing! I didn’t have to change a single bulb. A few pulls of the trigger and like magic they all came on.

So with the smile on my face for “fixing” the bad string of lights, I hung the wreath up on the garage for season decorations. I then proceeded to tackle an even larger problem. More than half the lights on one of our “metal frame deer” doesn’t work. Following the instructions again, and presto, about half the lights turned on. Success, now lets see if we can get the remaining half to light. I just knew this was going to be a little more difficult as the bulbs that were out showed signs of being burnt inside the bulb. All the lights on the neck, head, and antlers showed signs of being burnt inside the bulbs.

Wire frame deer that 2/3rds. of the lights didn’t light up.100_1354

I tried to get the rest of them lit, but it just wasn’t going to happen. Knowing how much Wilma likes her deer, I took a trip to Walmart and purchased some white LED lights. I really hated to buy lights before Christmas, because of having to pay full price. But I just needed to get this deer out front working for Wilma.

Just 4 strings of the $7.00 LED lights, and about 3 hours of work, and presto, a fully lit deer. I’m sure we will get many years of trouble free service out of this deer now, and as a plus, I have many spare bulbs for the other deer that still has the “old fashion” bulbs!

Same deer but with new LED lights.100_1356

I just have to say, the deer looks much much better outside in the front yard lit up than it does on the kitchen table. Smile

Another update on our Samsung refrigerator. I first blogged about it HERE. It seems that the last repair was not the culprit. There is still a fan sounding like it’s hitting something and eventually slows and comes to a stop even while the compressor is still running. Another service call to Lowes was made, and tomorrow morning around 10am the service man will once again take a look and see if he can find a problem. Keeping my fingers crossed he does find a problem.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Special Veterans Day Experience

Who knew what would be in store for Wilma and I this day, 11/11/11 Veterans Day.

I being a US Navy Veteran always had a special feeling deep down on this day and Memorial Day. But this day was to become a very special day for Wilma and I.

Wilma and I had talked early in the morning about going to Applebee's for dinner as they were honoring all Veterans with a free meal. Not that I’m a cheepo, or one who only looks for freebees, but I just felt that this would be a great time for Wilma and I to enjoy a dinner together.

We also had talked about going over to my brother Ken’s home, as he was having an open house for his son Kenny, his wife Jami and son Bryan, who were home on leave from the Marine’s.

Around 4:30 we left for Applebee’s. Arriving there we noticed that they had erected a small tent enclosure to handle the over flow of customers. The parking lot was full but we were lucky to find a spot just as a well satisfied customer was leaving.

Walking into the vestibule, I noticed a young vet with a Navy sweatshirt on. I gave him the thumbs up and told him I was also in the Navy. That was about the end of our conversation, as I proceeded to give my name to the Applebee’s gal putting me on the waiting list.

After a couple minutes, Wilma and I moved into the restaurant to wait, much warmer than the vestibule, or the tent outside. We were only there about 5 minutes when my name was called!

I was asked if we would mind sharing a table with another party of two. I said no I didn’t mind if they didn’t mind, not knowing at this time who we were going to share the table with. We were led to our table along with the young Navy man wearing the sweatshirt that I briefly talked to in the vestibule!

Arriving at our table, the four of us introduced each other. Sat down and immediately had conversation.

What a wonderful time the four of us had. Never a dull moment during the meal and each of us had a turn at conversation. Wilma and I met through a blind date, so did they. Something to say about blind  dates huh? Told them of our plans to go to Florida in March, he said his Father lives in Naples, FL. the very city we were going to. I told them about my working experience since I left the Navy, and retiring from General Dynamics, a defense contractor for the TACOM. He said his Uncle works for TACOM and knew all about the contracts with GD. He told us about his working experience since leaving the Navy, starting out working on a farm in Yale, MI and ending up working for the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI. where he is presently employed. We found it amusing when he said he was one of the “older” of employees at the hospital. Then we found out that he was 28! 

Here we were, sitting with complete strangers almost 40 years younger than us, and the four of us enjoying each others company so tremendously during our dinner! Amazing to me, just amazing!

As we finished, we shook each others hands and bid farewell, we turned and as we walked away I knew that we would probably never have an experience like that ever again. Taking notice of all the Veterans in the restaurant, some eating, some waiting for a table, some alone, some with their families, you just couldn’t help but feel the comradery and the feeling of belonging.

Walking outside to the car, a couple asked if we enjoyed our dinner. Turning around was a couple walking to their car, about the same age group as us. We told them of the experience we just had and he said he also was in the Navy! Asking what year he said 69 to 73. I shook his hand and told him 68 to 72 US Navy and we departed company. Wow, another “small world” moment came to Wilma and I.

Thank You Applebee’s for honoring the Veterans on this Veterans day!

We left and visited with family at Ken’s home, concentrating on Kenny and his future plans as a Marine. The little nephew of mine has turned out to be quite an honorable man! Good luck and be safe Kenny!

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bragging Rights Today

Yesterday evening Wilma and I went to watch our Grand daughter Brooke play in her last of the season basketball game. There were a total of 10 games, and we were not going to miss this game. Angel, our daughter, Brooke’s mom, said that she has not made any baskets during a game. She doesn’t have any problem making a basket during the practice session. But when it comes to the game she just hasn’t been able to find the hoop.

That was until the last game, with only 6 seconds remaining in the game!

Our 11 year old Grand daughter BrookeDSC_2594-1

Brooke’s Basketball Team. She is 5th. from the left, top row. Jersey #9PIC_0004

The video below shows her last shot and basket and how excited she was to make it. In the background you can hear her coach yelling out to the team to pass the ball to Brooke. About all I could make out was him yelling out her name. Smile

Her jersey is #9 but it’s hard to make out any of the numbers. After her shot and basket, you can hear her mom and Nana yelling with excitement. It was a perfect time in her young life to make this shot and basket! What a memory for all of us!

Brooke making a basket with just 6 seconds left in the game.

It was a night that we will never forget.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fridge is Fixed and More Followers

A thank you goes out to two new followers of our Blog. Jolly Ollie joined us along with Bud Russman. Bud has a very informative blog called Arizona RV Guy.  His blog is really worth reading for the in depth information he furnishes on everything RV. Welcome to our Blog Ollie and Bud!

Last week I phoned Lowes and requested service on our Samsung Refrigerator. Seems that the condenser fan would start with the compressor, but after several minutes would come to a stop.

Within a day, last Friday, a service tech. confirmed that we needed to have a new condenser fan motor and ordered it. I was phoned yesterday by the service company that the tech would be out today to replace the motor.

The new condenser fan motor. A 12 volt DC motor.100_1340

The original motor lasted 10 months. Hopefully the new motor will last a lifetime! Winking smile

Our service tech arrived this morning around 11am and by 11:40am he had completed the replacement and was leaving.

Our service Tech. I didn’t want to use the flash, that’s why the blur in the picture.100_1342

Later today I’m planning on re-stringing our last shade in the Motorhome. Then removing the batteries and putting them on a trickle charge until next February when I’ll be re-installing them back in the Motorhome.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween, Memories, and Yard Work

Yesterday being Halloween brought back so many memories for me. Fond memories at that!

Growing up as a kid, Halloween was one of those holidays that stayed with me in memory. I guess it’s because of the way we were raised. Mom and Dad instilled upon us that you should do to others that you would want to be done to you. We always had that saying fresh in our minds in our daily lives growing up. I guess that’s  probably what kept my brother and I out of some serious trouble in those growing up years.

However, on Halloween, or should I say Devils Night, Mom and Dad allowed us to go out and “soap” some windows. To us that was a pretty serious violation in our minds. That’s probably why this holiday sticks with me.

But most of all, it’s my Grand kids that keep bringing those fond memories back. Seeing them all dressed up in costume, all excited to hurry and go house to house trick or treating, reminds me of when I was a kid. Two generations later, and the same excitement is in the kids of today as for me when I was that age.

Savannah, Brooke and Rebecca DSC_4446

Today however the homes are decorated much better than when I was a kid. My neighbor actually starts decorating 3 weeks prior to Halloween. Every evening for those 3 weeks we almost have a parade of cars filled with admirers.

Some of the display in Benny’s front yard. 100_1305

Brooke waiting to get a picture of the clown that jumps out of the box.100_1312

Mr. Clown jumping up and toward anyone who walks near him. 100_1313

The clown jumping up and toward anyone who passes by scarred many trick or treaters. I could hear the kids screaming each time he jumped up and out!  What fun!

Have to walk through the spider web to get your treats.100_1318

100_1319

How about a hazy Grave Yard…100_1324

I believe the home owners doing this decorating have as much fun, or maybe more fun, than the trick or treaters.

As the Grand Kids arrived back at our home, tired from walking, they did exactly the same thing I did when I returned home after hours of trick or treating. Dump the baskets and bags of candy on the living room floor, separating the “best” candy to keep, the rest to trade off.

Checking out the treats on the living room floorDSC_4448

DSC_4451

Yep, seeing my Grand Kids having so much fun at Halloween, really brought back those old memories of yesteryear.

Today brought sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60’s. A perfect time for me to get out and get some leaves picked up, especially today as the weatherman is calling for rain in a couple days.

Flower pots need to be cleaned out and stored for the winter, leaves need picking up.100_1335

I had a few flower pots that needed to be cleaned out also. I actually lost track of the hours spent working in the yard today, even after a lunch break there was a few more hours of work left. I would venture to say I spent at least 5 hours working, which means I’m pretty pooped out and plan on relaxing the rest of the day.

Before and After pictures. I just noticed you can’t even tell I had ALL the leaves picked up. They are falling fast today.100_1338

Six bags packed tightly, weighing more than 50 lbs. each is what was collected today.100_1339

This evening I plan on taking “My Hon” out to dinner at our local family restaurant. Afterward just relaxing and probably going to bed early tonight.

So until next time, be safe and God Bless