Monday, September 19, 2016

Birthday Safari and a Trip to Kansas

Last weekend we celebrated our granddaughter's 9th birthday at the OKC Zoo. The party was held in the Treehouse room and featured a private tour and special animals brought in for us. A great time for a special little girl.

Yesterday (Sunday) it was finally our turn to hit the road again. This time a trip into South West Kansas and Sheryl's old family homestead. We plan on being here for a week or so. Sheryl's brother and sister will be meeting us here later in the week to celebrate her birthday. Not a bad place to hang out and just get away. More to come later.......

Thursday, September 15, 2016

All Clear!!!

Sheryl graduated from Cardiac Rehab today with great results!!! 15 pounds loss, 2 inches from her waist, blood pressure within normal limits and her cardio level was excellent. I'm so proud of how she improved!!! On our end, we cut out as much salt as possible and began eating alot more fresh foods and much less processed foods, in general just good healthy eating. I also have lost almost 20 pounds, lowered my blood pressure and lost a few inches to boot. All is well and we're ready to hit the road again!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Projects, Projects, Projects!!!

 Since returning to OKC from our getaway to Bull Shoals Lake, we have actually been staying rather busy, over and above the normal day to day life. First it was off to the foot doctor to get the "Ok" for Sheryl to return to Cardiac Rehab and her final few appointments there. Cardiac Rehab has been going very well and as of today she only has a couple of more sessions to go, Woo Hoo!!! She is doing much better and we fill in just how good after completion. Next, her Cardiologist gave her the thumbs up for at least a year before he'd like to see her back (usually it's every 6 months), so that was also great news!!! As for staying busy, we are finally Marrying off our last daughter and Sheryl decided she was going to make the little girls dresses for the wedding, one is 9 and the other 2 1/2.
 
 We think they turned out really nice and both the kids as well as the parents loved them. the kids loved them so much that they asked grandma if she could make them play dresses?? Of course Sheryl being the good grandma she is, just couldn't refuse.


 So with the extra material and leftovers, she whipped together one play dress for the littlest one (she wanted to be a princess0 and the older one a tutu as requested. Again they turned out so cute!

 Of course Sheryl's not wasn't the only one staying busy, I had a couple of projects I wanted to complete myself. First thing was the water pressure valve. Now for us RV'ers we know we need to have one and usually we pick up the small ones that fit on the end of the hose. These work well, for about a month or so, then get dirty, clog up or just seem to stop working, all, resulting in really poor water pressure. Then of course it's off to the store to pick up another one. Well of course this happened again, so I did a little research to see if there was a better way. What I found was, many RV'ers are going to the whole house residential style valves, adjustable, cleanable and much better flowing. They are a bit more expense than the  $8.00 RV ones, but the same price as the little fancy ones at Camping World with the little pressure gauge $53.00. So, off to Home Depot I went, they had several in stock and the additional fittings needed to connect to the water hose fittings on both ends.

 Just a few minutes of putting the pieces together and installation, it works like a charm. It is preset to 50 psi so there was no need to adjust it. You can also see in the top picture how much bigger it is and really allows for a good flow rate.



 Next up was finding a place to store the fresh water hose when traveling. For as big as our new home is, outside storage is really at a premium and the hose needed to be stored in the main cargo bay. As I was looking at our wet bay, I thought, why not a couple of hooks to hang the hose on?? Again off to Lowe's to see what I could find. I was able to come up with 2 wooden fence brackets, I placed one in each upper corner of the wet bay and now the fresh water hose can live there when not hooked up!!! I placed the black hose there just to show how it works.
Oh you may also notice the "Y" connector, just in case you were wondering why? it's placed so I don't have to hook up a second hose to flush the black tank and is routed so we are not using filtered water to flush the tank either. I'm all about simplicity when traveling.

 Next simple but effective mod, was to pick up a 10' plastic house gutter to help contain the sewer hose. If you don't have this, you know how the hose can jump off the plastic risers when you pull the tank handle. This keeps everything neat and flowing down hill. Highly recommend picking one up if you are not using one. Just cut it in half so it is adjustable for most any run length and storage.

My last project for now, well, more of a purchase, was to pick up a much heavier duty electric extension cord for mooch docking (plugging in at a friend or family's home). Now we have mooch docked several times over the years and have been just using your standard outdoor extension cord. Doing this we have noticed the cord gets pretty warm and we have been very lucky not to have melted it or caught fire, just something that never dawned on us. Well the light bulb finally came one as I was thinking, we are headed to the family farm for a couple of weeks and will be plugging into a 20 amp house plug in the barn. So again after a little research it was off to Lowe's to pick up a 100' 10 gauge extension cord rated for 20 amps. We now feel much safer, you can see the difference between the new cord and our old 16 gauge one.
I know most of these mods are minor and many of you may /are already using them but just in case your not, they are pretty good ideas and are working well for us,
That's really all the news that's fit to print for now. We will be leaving OKC next Sunday and heading to SW Kansas for a couple of weeks to spend time at the farm and celebrate Sheryl and her twin sisters birthday. From there we are thinking of attending a Good Sam RV Rally in Shawnee Oklahoma, just east of OKC. We have never been to a rally and thought it would be fun and interesting as long as we have to stay in the area anyway. After that a couple weeks back in OKC to get our daughter married off, then it's south bound and down for the winter!!! Ok, that's really it this time. Thanks for following along, I know post are fewer while we sit here, but that will change as we begin traveling again, so until next time.............................

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas Family Trip

 Since we have needed to stick around OKC for a bit, we decided (while we had a break in the action) that a family camping trip to the Ozark Mountains of Northern Arkansas would be just the ticket for a little break away. Our son was able to take off work for a week and our daughter and family would meet up with us later in the week also. With the desire to escape OKC as soon as possible, we left two days before we really needed to. This gave us a good excuse to have the motorhome serviced after an overnight stay in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This allowed us not to be too rushed in the morning for our appointment at the Cummins Service Center. We knew going in that diesel motorhomes were much more expensive to maintain and a simple oil change, chassis lube and fuel filter change did not disappoint. So after a couple of hours at the shop and a much lighter wallet we were on our way.

 Arriving a day before the kids were due in, gave us a little time to kick back with a glass of wine and enjoy the quiet view.

 Once the kids arrived (funny, in their 30's and we still call them kids....lol) it was time to enjoy the lake. We hit the swimming area just down from our RV's and enjoyed a couple of hours with our grandson, who is quite the water baby himself!!!

 The next morning provided a beautiful sunrise to highlight the parks Sundial sculpture.

 Our son wanted to rent a boat for a few days, but bad weather was forecasted for the next several days. So a one day outing was in order. We had a great time cruising around the lake, which is several miles long, getting in a little fishing and of course more swimming in the clear Arkansas waters.

 The ladies

 Us guys

 Even our grandson showed dad how to operate the boat.

 Of course Sheryl got in as much grandma time as possible

 We stayed at the 125 Corps of Engineer Park on the North end of Bull Shoals Lake. Most of the sites here are large and well shaded and all with a water view, the RV park is actually on a small peninsula.


 A very nice COE park and with our National Parks Access pass it's hard to beat at 10.00 a night, which includes water and elec but no sewer hook ups, however a dump station is provided.



With the storms rolling in and out of the area, it did provide some nice sunsets and a beautiful rainbow almost at our doorstep.

It was a nice 10 days away from OKC, but alas we had to head back for another month of so of Cardiac Rehab, After that, it will be off to SW Kansas for Sheryl's birthday with her twin sister (yes theirs two of them....lol) then back for our youngest daughters wedding.
That's all the news that's fit to print for now. Thanks for following along with us and we'll see you next time!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Exciting Last Few Days

 Lately I have managed to win a couple of online contests, one was an actual photo contest and the other a "Like us on Facebook" contest, both contests had photo enlargements as prizes. Well after much debate on which of my 1000's of shots to have enlarged, I decided on these 2. The bird shot was taken in Everglades N.P. and the Leaf was shot at Natural Falls S.P. in Oklahoma. Sheryl and I were quite pleased with how they turned out. Hmmm, now what to do with them???, not much wall space in the motorhome. Probably keep them to display during my photo sales.
The next exciting news was, the folks at Military Living magazine contacted me, requesting to use some of my photos on their website and publications. How cool is that!!! Of course I said yes and was happy as a clam to know a magazine thought they were good enough to use. No monetary compensation was requested and they will be giving me full credit for each photo used, and of course just knowing they will be enjoyed by lots of people works for me!
 
 After a few days of hanging around the house (been to hot to really get out much) I took a little backroads trip around the rural OKC area and ran across this sign. Well of course that instantly got my curiosity up, so I explored a little further.

 Yes indeed, the bridge was definitely out. I'm sure, if you've been following along on our journey, I'm a sucker for old and abandoned places. This bridge turned out to be pretty cool, so I just had to get some shots of it.

 Not even the roads exists anymore.

 I say it been quite a while since it's been used.


That's all the news around here that's fit to print, we'll be heading out towards Northern Arkansas on Aug 7th. Looking forward to some new scenery and fun with our kids who will be meeting us there for a week. Ok, until next time......................................

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

My First (Real) Wedding Shoot

 Hard to believe it's almost the end of the month already, my how time can fly, especially when your busy. These last couple of weeks have been just that. First off, Sheryl had her pinky toe operated on, to remove a piece of bone that never healed. You see she broke it while we were in Key West (no she wasn't drinking (that day.....lol) and it never healed. Shes doing pretty good now and due to get the stitches out here in a couple of days. Next on the agenda, a friend asked me if I would photograph their Sons wedding for them and I agreed. With the planning, bridle shoot and the wedding itself it all added up to several days and I must say quite the experience, now I know why wedding photographers charge so much.  As much fun as we had doing it, I don't think it's my cup of tea and I'll stick to travel and landscapes, not saying I wouldn't help out a friend or family again.

 The wedding was held at the Oklahoma State Capital Building and what a beautiful venue for a wedding. Surprisingly there is no charge for the use of it and they even provide all the chairs and tables needed for both the wedding and reception held on 2 different floors.
With Sheryl's help in posing everyone while I took the pictures, I believe they turned out pretty good for my first time. Everyone who saw the pictures so far has been very pleased, and of course that makes Sheryl and I happy as well.

 Fleeing the Scene of the Crime

 Wedding Party

 Striking a Pose

 Of course the Voluntary Signing of the License

The Happy Newlyweds

Our time here in OKC is coming closer to an end (finally), we have about to weeks left and we'll be off and running again. We'll need to stay with-in a day of so of here as we need to be back around mid Sep for an appointment. Then off to SW Kansas to celebrate Sheryl and her Twin Sisters birthday at the Family Homestead. After that another wedding in the OKC area and then we'll make our escape and head towards Key West again. Man this retirement gig with wear you out!!!

Ok, that's it for now, there is more, but we'll save that for our next post. Until then.............................

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A 4th Birthday Party

 Our little grandson in Dallas turned 4 this month, so of course we had to drive down from OKC to be there. Mom and Dad put on quite the party.

 Naturally there were presents galore.

 The spread was amazing, with fresh fruit and veggies. The star of the however was the smoked brisket, Yum!!!

 With a whole herd of little ones in attendance, a bug hunt in the back yard helped with burning off a little energy. Little plastic bugs were hidden (not to hard) all around the back yard, with each kid getting a bucket and getting to keep all the bugs they could find! What a great idea.

 I think Sheryl's favorite part was being surrounded by grand babies.

 After the party was over, we broke out our gift, a Slip and Slide. The perfect present for a hot summer day. We can say with out a doubt, the kids loved it and had a ball.


Mom and dad even got in on the action, however, us old fogies opted out, nobody wants to see 200 pounds of Kevin hitting the wet ground (just wouldn't be pretty.......lol).
It was a great weekend away from OKC and of course seeing the kids and grand kids.

So that's it for now, take care and we'll see you back here again before long...............................