The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dixie repercussions...

The Prince got sick about an hour after we got home. He said it seemed as if he had something "stuck" so I guess his surgery is still working fine. We had those itty bitty chickens, that were roasted to perfection...juciy, moist and tender. The pork tenderloin slice was dry, so I only had a taste. I think since he ate most of his (he loves roast pork), this was the culprit. He couldn't sleep, but yet couldn't get the offender up out of his little tummy. He sat and watched TV all night...til about 4 a.m. I heard him in the bathroom...poor guy! It is truly hard to listen to somebody you love having such a terrible vomiting episode. I guess I can now understand how hard it is on the Prince and Prince Zack when I have those horrible vertigo attacks accompanied by days of vomiting and being flat on my back from the Meniere's.

From this point, the Prince's day just got worse. He tried to sleep but was unable to. He had to go work a short two hour shift this morning and he was really not doing well. I tried to tell him to call Al or Dave to step in for was only two hours for goodness sakes. Prince would do that for either of them without hesitation, and I am sure they would do the same for him. Nope. The Prince pooh-poohed the idea and looked at me as if I had grown bunny ears. OK, be a martyr, why should I worry?

About an hour later, I see him trudging up the hill. I see the golf is up against a tree. Oopsie. I guess he had a little problem going up the is tricky in the old clunker of a golf cart we have here, you have to ease the brake while giving it the accelerator cause the hills here are quite steep. Well, the rest is um, history. Damages were relatively minor, a twisted tire rim and flat. However the real damage was someone's ego being bruised. At noon, after the owner came by to take the tire into Springfield to get fixed, Prince returned to the rig, walked into the bedroom, closed the door and went to bed. Poor guy.

I spend my day writing out article outlines; doing a bit of research for article content, and more importantly, competetive research of other RV cooking sites. The good news is that there are only "pages" on other RV sites that deal with cooking. However, some savy old babe has bought up a lot of .com's that deal with RV cooking, RV kitchens, etc, but they all lead back to her site which is basically a recipe site for any type of cooking. Tons of advertising and little content for us. Nothing RV specific, but she owns the darn sites. Bummer! The only competetion is a site called The RV Cooking show and she does do rv cooking but via you tube type videos. They don't load well on typical RV computer setups like mine...via aircard or cell phone connectivity. Thus, it is difficult to watch as it keeps stopping and reloading the video. Quite irritating. I wonder if the gal thought of this while developing her site. Wifi is spotty at best for most fulltimes and part-timers, and most RV'ers don't have the ability to stream video into their rigs and then save to a laptop and run it back to get the recipe. So, I think my idea for the photo step by step is a valid one, and then have a recipe actually printed so the RV'er can just cut and paste the recipe into their files, accessible or printable at anytime, anywhere.

Well, that's pretty much in a nutshell what we were up to today. Somedays are better than others whether you live in a stix and brix house or one on wheels...



Thursday, May 29, 2008

Update: The Dixie Stampede

We were unable to get into the 5 p.m. dinner show, so we went ahead and purchased tickets for the 8 p.m. show. We stopped at Dunkin' Doughnuts to see how much the ground coffee was. It is cheaper for a pound at Dunkin' than it is for 12 oz. at Wally World. Guess where I'll be buying my coffee?

We took a detour, well we were killing time, and went down to Branson Landing. It was dinner time and kinda quiet. The Prince needed some B12 liquid, which we can only find at GotNuthin'Cheap aka GNC. He walked down to the store while I indulged in a Cafe Americano with three SF vanilla shots. Three is way too sweet even for a Grande'. Ok, so I know Gloria Jeans shots of SF vanilla are real shots, not wimpy half pumps like at Starbucks!

Paul came back with his B12 and we caught the Trolley back to the parking lot. We stopped for gas...13 gallons and it was over $50. When is this insanity going to stop?

Arriving at the Dixie place, we are ushered into the Carriage Room, a place where a pre-show will take place. They sell drinks and popcorn at outrageous prices...what a stroke of marketing genius...$40 plus per ticket for the dinner show and $10 bucks for two Cokes and a tiny cup of popcorn. Just like the movies!!!

The pre-show was a juggling act...I really dislike juggling acts. Talented people do this, it just does nothing for me personally. I would rather have wandered around in the gift shop. Anyway, what I did allow myself to watch was quite good (juggling 20 flashing hoops makes me really dizzy, so most of the time I watched a little boy pick his nose). The juggler was a very funny guy and his jokes were really good. He kept teasing the kids in the front row with the fire rings and the bowling pins he was tossing around. We had a chance to talk to him after the show as we were in the back of the room and the last to leave. I told him I normally don't enjoy jugglers but he was outstanding. He was very appreciative. I wonder how much the Dixie Stampede folks pay a juggler who does a pre-show for 30 minutes? Hmmmm. Gotta be worth it for this fella, he does three shows a day...noontime, 4ish and 7ish when we got there.

In a nutshell...the main show was good...Grey Vs Blue (yanno Civil war kinda blue and grey.) The Prince was sure the Blue would win, since the North won the war. Foolish man. We are in a show called Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. She's from Pigeon Forge TN and therefore the South or grey guys and gals always win. He doubts me. Well. He thinks cause he is a Prince he has smarts. I let him think that all the time. I did enjoy myself and there was a lot of audience participation. The chicken scramble was really funny...two grey kids and two blue kids get to chase chickens down the arena. Poor grey kid, Zachary fell and his poor little face went right into that nasty stuff the horses roll around in...btw, there was no pooping antics by horses either. We all gave Zachary a nice round of applause and he got a be-ribboned medal and a Dolly Parton CD.

Well, they forbid pictures, so I can't post any...bummer.

Well, I guess I am ready to hit the sack. I was just thinking I hope I don't have lizard nightmares. Ick. I still catch my breath when I think of how close that little bugger came to crawling up my shorts!



Dixie Stampede Tonight!
Yep, we are going to the Dixie Stampede Show...the same as in Dollywood and some other place I can't remember.

I just read my post from last night. I must have been very made no sense to me at all. So far today the most exciting thing that happened, well there were two things. First, this morning I spilled a mug of hot tea all over me and the wing chair. Ouch. I just hate when that happens...

The second thing happened just a few minutes ago...we have these little creatures in the park...lizards of some hardy stock to survive here in Branson. They look like the little gieco guy on TV but I haven't had any meaningful conversation with any of them. Usually, I just go in the rig until they lose interest in me. Well, I was busy checking email and one of them little suckers climbed up my leg. Instant tachycardia. Once I could inhale I let out this blood curdling scream which brought out campers up and down our street. The Polish Prince thank goodness was at the office in the basement aka down under, looking for some scrap wood to make my steering wheel table...yanno the kind they sell a camping stores for $45, and are made of plastic? That'll be the day when either the Polish Prince or myself spends that outrageous amount when we can make one of our own. I took pictures and will be posting an article on how to when my new website is up and running. I am starting to get more and more ideas on stuff, I have to write them down right away or pffft! they are gone from my overloaded brain.

I did recover from my frightened state and ran in the rig...all these guests must think that dizzy blonde campground host is nutso. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now!

Well the Prince says we have to leave now so I will post more with pictures I hope of the Dixie Stampede...supposedly they have LONGHORN steer in the show now...gee, how much more excitement can I take today!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Benefit Show for Missouri flood and tornado victims...

We attended a wonderful show put on buy 50 or so Branson entertainers such as Moe Bandy, Pierce Arrow, Roy Rodgers Jr. and Penny Gilley among many others. It went on for four hours! Incredible talent all doing this charity show. At $20 a ticket it was a steal...the show was fabulous!

Just wanted to post a bit but I am really tired (had a busy afternoon in the office, lots of check in' least 7, phone ringing off the hook, and it was our day to scour the bathrooms. Will be taking some meds and will be hitting the sheets asap.

Take care and hugs,


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Two Wolves

An old Indian Grandfather said to his grandson who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice.

"Let me tell you a story. I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times."

He continued...

"It is as if there are two wolves inside me; One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way. He saves all his energy for the right fight.

But the other wolf, ahhh!

He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing. Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked..."Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said...

"The one I feed."

As posted by
May 27th, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day...

I belong to a number of blogs, and am a faithful reader to most. I will check them all for updates and now I know how my readers feel when I don't post for a while. I guess, unless you are a dedicated daily blogger, you just get involved in everyday stuff and then forget to post. Subject matter is never an issue with me...I have a lot of stuff to talk about. Anybody who knows me knows that I am a talker.

This morning I read a moving entry by a gentleman I greatly admire, a man who self-publishes a newspaper for RV'ers, and many, many books. He is wickedly funny, irreverent and opinionated. I sometimes agree, sometimes not. Today, being the day we honor those who have given their lives in service, he wrote a heartfelt, wonderful message reminding us that our freedom here in the USA has been earned by those willing to sacrifice their lives to keep our country safe. Well, I agree. This particular war in Iraq just nags and picks at me. Supposedly, we entered this war with the intent to get the terrorists that destroyed the Twin Towers right? The Bush administration made a compelling and emotional case preying upon our fears and our sorrows over this terrorist act, that these terrorists were tied to Iraq. Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and they were soon to be aimed at us. Yes terrorism is frightening. Yes, we should be vigilant and ever watchful for those who would do us harm. Yes, terrorism is the one thing we seem to have a hard time wrapping our minds around. I know I do. Yet, in the Revolutionary War, were the colonist's terrorists? The British certainly thought we were. How 'bout them Calvary guys, like Custer. Didn't the US Calvary decimate hundreds upon hundreds of Indian villages, killing old people, women and children? I bet the Indians thought we were terrorists. The legendary pioneers settled in lands that since the beginning of history had belonged to Native Americans? Terrorists? Well, of course not...Americans are not terrorists. This is all history, right? Well, most people agree, Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist. Alrighty then, I will get off this tangent and say what I feel I need to say. It is simple perspective.

Please please don't think that I am not patriotic or a person who does not daily pray for those men and woman who serve, sacrificing each and every day, or that I don't pray for our President...I do, really I do. I just don't agree with this war.
That's it. I don't want to see any more kids men with kids, family women with kids, sons, brothers, fathers, mothers, nephews and nieces, grandsons and daughters...just bring them home. The tribes of the Middle East have fought for centuries over stupid things...Sunni Muslims vs Shi-ites. Will our presence change this. I think not...they hate us too...! OK. I am done. I love my country, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with all it's policies or actions.

Bless you all this holiday...and a heartfelt thank you for those who serve, who have served and whose have loved ones who have served and continue to serve.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

The first test of my idea for my web cooking site for RV'ers.

Ever since I told everyone what my new website will feature, I thought I'd give you a preview of the type of content, such as instructions and pictures for making the recipes. I started with the most simple of recipes, beer bread. So here goes...please leave your comments, suggestions and any feedback you may have.

EZ Beer Bread

This is a great recipe if you are looking for something different to bring to a potluck or just make dynamite french toast or even regular toast for that matter. This recipe has been handed down over generations of campers. Well, I think it has, anyways..but if I just made that up, we can start handing it down to future campers, eh? It is great to take along the ingredients in a plastic baggie...just the flour and sugar ok?. Keep the beer warm. This recipe can be made in a rig kitchen oven, a counter top roaster, which is how I did mine today, or in a dutch oven over the coals with a few briquettes on the top to brown the bread top.

Assemble your ingredients. You will need:

3 cups of self-rising flour (yes make sure it says self-rising on the bag!)

2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar

12 oz. of any good lager beer.

Here is good place to experiment. Use seasonal specialities, unique imported beers, local microbrewy offerings. Be bold for goodness sakes. I brought this Blue Moon in Edwardsville, IL where the college kids imbibe great quantities of this served in glasses with slices of orange in them. It does have a slightly citrus note to it. I have also made this with MGD. I could fib and say that I send Paulie to the grocery store to buy beer just for bread, but you will all laugh at me and snicker to yourselves...Pffft! So I enjoy a cold one now and then!

Now, get a nice big bowl and a wooden spoon...I have only one large bowl in the rig so it is a multi-purpose mixing bowl, serving dish and punch bowl.

Measure three cups of the self-rising flour...dump into the bowl. Next add the sugar.

Now slowly pour in the beer. Reminder...only use warm or room temperature beer. And, no, do not warm up the beer in the microwave...just don't put it in the cooler or fridge. Again, you can use cans or bottles, it's your bread yanno.

Next just mix until the batter has incorporated all the beer and there are no dry ingredients in the bottom of the mixing bowl. The batter will be lumpy and sticky. Like this...

Then this...

A closer look...I need to mix just a bit more here...

Flop the sticky dough into a greased pan. I am using my old faithful silicone bread pan, only 'cause I didn't bring a regular bread pan for goodness sakes. I don't like the silicone cause it bulges in the center. I use Pam baking spray with flour in the silicone pans.

Smooth out the top...I like it seems more homemade or "rustic". All right, no comments on the brown edges on the is a well used staple in my kitchen and it was a cheap one to boot.

Now put the bread in your cooking appliance of choice. It should bake at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. I am using my Nesco knockoff. I left in the rack, turned upside down just to keep the pan off the bottom of the roaster. I have also made this in my rig's oven . I have added a flat pizza stone, or you could slip some unglazed ceramic tile into the oven. I have found(after burning countless goodies in my oven) that you need something to absorb the heat and let it distribute evenly. Rig ovens can be tricky to use. Not the convection oven...I don't have one of those...yet. My old Pampered Chef cookie/pizza stone works well for me. The temperatures are very static in these propane devils.

OK, set your timer for 40 to 45 minutes. If you don't know how hot your rig oven cooks, keep a watchful eye on the don't want it to over-bake.

I lost track of time and I think I over-baked by about 5 minutes. I will note this on my personal recipe so when I use the Nesco knockoff, I will adjust baking time. I will add dutch over baking in a campfire at the end of this recipe. Note: use a serrated will make slicing easier.

I just had to try it so I slathered it in margarine (I hate margarine, which is all Paulie wants to use...I do have real butter in the freezer...) and blackberry jam. Ohhhh.....

It's great!

See, I have NO self-control. I just had to eat a big bite. Then I sat down and ate this with a french press brewed cup of coffee with cream. Oh my. So. Good. Paul came in and he whacked off a hunk. He only put that crappy fakey margarine on the bread and then had the nerve to say it was...."well, you know...bland" Ass. From now on I shall refer to him on this new site as "The Polish Prince". He doesn't deserve to be named.
Dutch Oven directions for a campfire...
The difference here is you are really camping...kinda like pioneer people...and good for you! One of these days, I think I will try it. If I can convince the old skin-flint Prince to let me buy a decent Lodge dutch oven...when pigs fly I guess. Anyways...if you are a Pioneer Camper, just grease your smallest dutch oven and plop the sticky dough in...Bake over hot coals about 1 hour. Place a few hot coals on lid so top of bread will brown.
So, folks there you have it. My first attempt at my RV cooking website. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I will now be "photographing" my cooking adventures and saving them in files I can upload to the page. It may take a couple of weeks to get enough stuff to post with. I will not only be posting recipes, I will be sharing a lot of tips and tricks I have collected in my years of RVing. (And reading other tips and tricks, and yeah, picking fulltimer's brains...!)
Take care, and hugs to you all

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I found this quiz on line and gacked it over here...

1.) If I were a doll, the accessories packaged with me would be:
diet pepsi, a cuddly puppy like a Morkie and books.
2.) I have an irrational fear of: being murdered, beheading and falling in a green pond, weird crap I know.
3.) What type of food did you eat at your grandparents house? I only had one great grandma and I can only recall fried chicken from the local chicken shack and small sausage sandwiches we bought on Belmont Avenue and were 5 for $1.00. Honest. Oh yeah, she liked to serve spoilt milk...ick.
4.) What weight were you when you were born? All of us McPhillips girls were porkers, um, er Campbell's soup kids...over 8 lbs to answer the question.
5.) What would you do if you were stranded on an island with the person you hate most? When they fell asleep I would bury them in sand....
6.) What would you do if you found out you had been cheated on? Find a good lawyer like Alan Shore on Boston Legal...
7.) Do you stalk anyone on myspace? Snort...why bother?
8.) I find the thought of childbirth: very scary and painful...why do you think I have just one?
9.) Next door to my house is: an empty campsite!
10.) My feet are: incredibly large and's that long second toe yanno.
11.) My preferred style of jeans is: Boot cut, nicley stretchy, thinner material, they are much more forgiving and make my ass look less fat.
12.) Why is your 1 your 1? I married him and he's cute to me anyways.
13.) Know how to cook? Yes and rather good at cookies, candy and fruit cake.
14.) I am annoyed with: Ultra conservatives who think their way of thinking is the ONLY way of thinking and call those who disagree unpatriotic or communists....suuuurrrrre. I also get annoyed with all of the talking heads on Fox News...fair and impartial, my ass.
15.) What is the worst way you were dumped? via the telephone from Colorado...
16.) What child-related smell do you not like? Vomit or Poop....take your pick, I can't abide either without getting dry heaves.
17.) What sea creature scares you? Sharks and stingrays. Any biting creature...I NEVER go in the's full of fish poop.
18.) What hair color do most of the people you are around have? Around me? Blonde in varying shades.
19.) What object have you broken most recently? Just a compression fracture in my back...oh yeah and I dropped a can of diet pepsi on the floor...horrible mess.
20.) Name one of the Spice Girls. Scary spice Mel B on dancing with the stars.
21.) What was the last thing to make you cry? I had a bad fibro day and was having a pity party.
22.) What are the stems on wine glasses for? You got me swirl the wine in the glass?
23.) My favorite shoes are: My newish blue suede cowboy boots, followed closely by my new eel skin cowboy boots.
24.) Can you use chopsticks? Ummm, I can't use a fork well yet...
25.) Do you prefer beaches or forests? I like both, but I love beaches, because they're usually next to large bodies of water. However, I never enter the water, I just sit and watch it.
26.) What serial killer do you find most disturbing? Jeez, they are all disturbing, I try not to think about the suckers.
27.) Who knows a secret or two about you? Hmmm, any one of my sisters, which scares me.
28.) Have you ever burned yourself? Too many times to count.
29.) Who is probably talking a load of crap about you right now? Nobody...well I think nobody!
30.) Who is/are your hero[s]? Hillary Clinton, and anyone who has been to Iraq. Well, that does NOT include the current fool serving as sorry, I think he's a putz.
31.) Do you believe in things that last forever? Nothing lasts forever. Well, except God.
32.) What are you listening to? Josh Groban.
33.) What do you smell like? Me, Smell? I use deodorant yanno.
34.) Are you married? Yep, going on 24 years...
35.) Does anyone regularly tell you they love you? Yep and on a daily basis.
36.) What's most confusing to you? The terrible stuff going on in politics right now...we are all Americans, yes?
37.) Do you have any bad habits? Oh no, I have no bad habits since I stopped biting my nails years ago. Well, maybe I like beer a little too much for my own good and weight?
38.) Have you ever wanted to be a teacher? Yeah, but I decided I didn't really like kids, way to hyper and once they learn how to talk they lose their charm... so I encouraged my son to become one.
39.) What is one thing you've learned about life? It ain't for sissies. And sometimes it hurts.
40.) What's your favorite color? Red
41.) Have you ever been stuck in an elevator? Yes...with a person who was doused in some gosh awful cheap perfume.
42.) What does/did your dad call you? Deedee is the only one I want to remember, LOL!
43.) Has anyone told you that they like you as more than a friend? Ah, yeah...many times, it started in kindergarten and just continued until I met Paulie.
44.) What are you looking forward to? Zack's graduation and the financial relief it will bring...sure...
45.) Who do you miss? Zack, my son, my Mom, my dad who passed away a few years friends from my old work since I am retired. The Chicago Girlfriends, Karen, Eugenia, knitting friends in Springfield, my support group from Springfield, my good friends from our FMCA group, The Cenois Prairielanders, our SKP friends, the folks in Weslaco....I could go on and on but now I am depressed and glad this quiz is over....

Now you know a little more about me and it's crazy kinda stuff!



Friday, May 23, 2008

Prune face...

I don't endorse products on this blog...that may be changing, however. I have found the most wonderful product. It is a mist/spray that is spritzed on face and body. Here is the description:

Non-oily The Natural Moisturizing Factor In Human Skin Twinlab Na-PCA is a Ph-balanced, concentrated solution of the sodium salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, the natural moisturizing factor found in human skin. Na-PCA is synthesized from glutamic acid, a nonessential amino acid. The skin contains natural moisturizers, the most important being Na-PCA. Old skin contains only about half the amount of Na-PCA as that found in young skin. The ability of skin to hold moisture is directly related to its Na-PCA content. It is water, and not oil, that keeps skin soft and supple. Na-PCA pulls water out of the air, moisturizing the skin, improving its appearance, and giving it a moist and youthful glow. This is not a cosmetic cover up; it is a physiological correction of an age-related deficiency state.

Here is a photo...

It is called Na-PCA with Aloe
I have been using this for a few days, morning and night. The change in the texture of my face is truly unbelieveable. Yes, in just two days! I spray it on the legs and arms and they are improving from my normal dry prickly skin. For my face, I spritz the stuff into my hand and then apply. I am really impressed. I had to buy it over the net, from I paid $3.something for each one with I got three. I also purchased some other stuff that I can't buy in Branson (or even Texas for that quality health food stores in the BBQ state). One is a herbal flower formula for Stress...which works well...the other is a Relax and Sleep tablet that really did nothing for me last night. (I am still recovering from the 100 mg of Paulies sleep med from the VA...Trazadone. I slept all day Wednesday, our midweek day off...won't do that again!) I did a search for a health food store and found one 35 miles away in Sprinfield, MO. The price for one bottle was $9.69! I got three for that...and shipping was a flat $4.99. I bookmarked that site so I can order again!

I heard about this product from several gals on my GBIC list and they all reported excellent results. Now, at the ripe age of 55, I am looking for something that will help my poor tired face. I hate the rows and rows of highly priced "wrinkle" creams and serums. Ick. What brand do I buy, and can I convince myself that a $40 jar of goop is gonna work. $3 plus some change is better IMHO! If there is a Vitamin Shoppe in your area, or a GOOD health food/vitamin shop, they may carry it. I don't know the cost at these outlets tho.

Just my little "tip" for the day...oh yeah, and fish oil supplements are good for skin too. So is getting fat, it fills out the wrinkles, but heck, I've been there, done that. Well, at least I don't look like Star Jones, all pruney and mean looking! Ooops...did I just really say that? Jeesh. My bad.


We were off today, but are filling in for another couple tomorrow morning. They have to drive to Kansas City for a memorial service...they lost a nephew in a fatal morotcycle accident. It has been quite busy the last few days, all the Memorial Day guests arriving. The problem has been that many of our guests don't like their spots. I don't know what they were expecting, calling at the last minute...primo spots? The early bird gets the worm...which is a nicer and larger campsite. Grrrr. It is our job to make them happy so yesterday we were moving folks all over the place. This is an older park, built when a 27'er was considered a big rig. Now we have folks driving 45 footers and we just cannot accomodate them. I met a KOA workamper at the Red Skelton impersonator show and told them I was sending the big rigs over to them. I have sent so many, I am thinking of asking for a finders fee!

New Web Site update...

Well, not too much to report. I am still trying to pick the best .com name. I really like but I also like about 25 others. All of my choices are available which is remarkable. I want something catchy and easily remembered. I am open to are some of the one's I am pondering.... a few...I said the other day I will put up a poll...but I have to narrow it down to 4 for the poll. If for some reaon, Google won't let you post a comment, just send me an email at OR

Having two emails is great...I just keep forgetting to check them both at the same time!

take care all...hugs


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday...Paulie has to work for about three hours, but I have the whole day off. I need it! Tomorrow I work in the afternoon and it is my day to clean the bathrooms. Well, Paulie and I clean them together. The weather is beautiful, sunny and warm with a beautiful breeze.

When we finished our shift yesterday, we received a frantic call from Zack. He was checking with financial aide to make sure the student loan funds are available for the summer session. Gee, ya think he's growing up a bit, I didn't even have to nag him this time. Apparently, we did not "e-sign" the promissory note. For those doubters out there, we do all of our banking on line, and besides an occasional "operator" error, have found it to be convenient and easy. We have always made sure the sites are truly secure, and never do the transactions on public open access...well, maybe I forgot once or twice and used the open wifi here at the park. Then I pinch myself and tell me that I have been foolish and if we get dinged by identity thieves, it is my very own fault. We do have a special service on our credit card...more than two purchases a day and they are calling us. Makes it hard when I am on a buying spree (yeah, right, shopping spree, married to The Polish Prince...riiiiiight). OK, so I calm down Zack who has reverted to childish whining and nasty language directed at the Financial Aid staff who has told him at least 5 times (according to the boy...) that his aid package was complete and nothing else was required to disperse funds. He needs the funds not only to pay his summer tuition, but to pay his RENT. Oh yeah. He needs to eat too. Apparently, this has been a bust of a day for my poor Zack. He finds out there is no money to be dispersed, and his new roommate who was to move in and begin paying half the rent on June 1, has now delayed his arrival to mid-August. It seems the kid's dad had been in a bad car accident and he is needed at home. Zack is not sure if this is truly the case or the guy is miffed that Greg, the current roommate didn't move out May 6 like the new guy wanted. Hmmmm. College games. I told Zack to go ahead and put another ad on the roommate match site on Unless this Jordan guy comes up with some cash, he may just lose the room. As the old saying goes, a bird in hand...

I will now tell you all what I have been researching and working on. A new website. Not just a personal site, but a site that is a "how to" for cooking in the RV on the road. There are so many quick and easy recipes we can do in the rig kitchen, but many Rv'ers tend to make the same things over and over due to space limitations, limited pantry staples and just plain not wanting to cook after driving, site-seeing or workamping for the day. So, this is my idea. I will cover the rig...what is standard equipment, discuss appliances that perform more than one function and we can't live without (espresso maker comes to mind...Paulie says it is unnecessary and wants to pitch it...I say ok, then pitch the golf clubs we have carried for ten years and you have yet to play golf....standoff!), space saving tips, organization, buying staples, and mainly recipes that are easy, nutritious and quick to prepare. I have been collecting recipes all my life, and I have files and files on line. I have also been doing research on various appliances, what works, what is great to have but space hogs and even solar cooking in addition to traditional camping favorites such as dutch oven cooking. There are so many easy recipes for singles and doubles, rather than the way we are used to cooking...for families. I have a great three step bread recipe that is good and I am going to take step by step pictures as I prepare the dishes. I have a great camera and it should do a decent job. Another area that I want to explore is how to bring a dish to a potluck that doesn't cost an arm and a leg (and doesn't always have jello in it!) I am pondering a site name, and have come up with loads of them. I want a catchy, easy to remember, easy to link to site that can grow along with the educational stuff I want to add. I am going to set up a new poll with a couple of ideas, and tell me what you think. I will most likely do that this weekend. Oh, yeah...I will also be advertising products on my site. I will be hooking up with Amazon and a few others to promote products I talk about, recipe ingredients when I post those, such as King Arthur flour, etc. This should be adequate to pay for the hosting fees. Maybe even enough to buy some yarn!!

Once I get the RV cooking site kicked off, I have already outlined several other pages I can write about...Fibromyalgia and CFS, Meniere's Disease, Gastric Bypass, pros and cons of joint replacement (lots of experience in all of these, lol!)

Each site will have the ability to generate $ by advertising products and other places that sell related items to the subject.

OK, enough information for you today! Keep my ideas in mind and if you have any ideas of site names, send me a comment or an email.



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We finally had a day off after working three days straight. Not really all that hard, yanno...three hours in the afternoon...well, er, that's for me. Paulie had to work 5 hours each shift. Poor fella. Driving around in that little chug-chug golf cart is really tough. Oh yeah, some days he must water flowers or run the blower to keep the streets clean. He does check bathrooms for me, which is nice. Work camping is certainly not difficult. We are not full, but this weekend for the holiday we are pretty well booked. The RV's are getting bigger and bigger it seems, and we can only handle about 6 big rigs. This little campground was built maybe 20 years ago when a 28'er was big. Plus we are built on the side of a hill, each spot carved out of the landscape stairstep fashion. Many of our guests are just weekend campers and get white knuckly when they see how they must either pull in or back into their spots. Lots of trees, and a tight turn at the bottom of the hill right by the office. I can peek out the side window and see the faces of the drivers and it can be quite amusing. We also get a lot of calls fishing for info on pricing. It isn't cheap to camp in Branson, unless you want to drive a long way. Even the outter lying parks are pricy. The Corp. of Engineers Park at the Lake is beautiful as is the Missouri State Park. Unfortunately, their lakeside sites are underwater and limiting the number of campers they can take. I am seeing numerous cancellations in our books too, no doubt due to the price of fuel. Diesel is like $4.67 here. Ya think it'll go down by the time we leave in August? Nah, we prolly will have to stay here forever.

Since it was our day off, we went off to ride the Branson Belle, the paddle boat dinner show venue. Quite a treat. I will certainly suggest that place to folks. It is a bit pricey...$50 per person for dinner...that hurts. But since Paul and I are work campers and now possess a MO State ID, it only cost us the price of the meal...$25 for each of us. Still pricey to me at 50% off, but then I am a cheapskate at heart. Dinner was a delish beef tenderloin, a nasty chicken cordon blah, mashed taters and mixed veggies, steamed of course. Good bread, great salad with Silver Dollar City Vidalia Sweet Onion dressing. (the Branson Belle is owned by the same company as Silver $, Celebration City, The Ducks, the waterpark and Dixie Stampede, they must own most of Branson....). The entertainment was good...the usual four singers, two guys, two gals who sing and dance well, a good band, and an unusual Russian act. The husband-wife team do a kinda aerial act with what looked like sheets looped on chains. I guess you hafta see it to understand. Very enjoyable. Then the ventriloquist. I hate ventriloquists...along with jugglers, clowns and oh yeah, flying monkeys. Call me nuts, but somewhere in my childhood, I must have had some sort of frightening experience with a clown. I hate clowns. Ventriloquists creep me out...I think I saw a horror movie about them once. I find jugglers stupid. Especially the idiots who toss around knives. Just my luck, I'd see some fool cut off his hand. Flying monkeys are self-explanatory. That damm Wizard.

Back to the show...I will admit however, this guy, the ventriloquist, used real dogs in his act. He had some sort of muzzle on the dogs to do the flapping lips thing. He asked basic dog type why do you do this or that. The dog answers are hilarious. I laughed the whole time he was up there which says alot.

After we docked, we went off to the Mansion for a VIP performance from Red Skelton. Yeah, he's really dead but the show is a tribute to his comedy. The actor who performs is wonderful. He has all the mannerisms and wandering joke lines Red was famous for. Great show, and really a treat since he never uttered a four letter word or did obscene jokes. I will recommend this to everyone also, however his shows are at 10:00 in the morning!

Well, I have to get dressed and head down the hill to my "job". This morning I work 8 to 12. I will have Paulie bring the camera and take some photos of the place now that the trees have filled in nicely and we are having beautiful weather.



Sunday, May 18, 2008

OK, why aren't you guys voting? Do I have NO ONE reading my blog? Geesh. I am crushed.

I guess I will just have to do more exciting things, eh?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I promised some photos of Zack before and after surgery. I don't have one with the actual incision, but I am sure he will send me one soon...

Here is the boy, all smiley, waiting to go to surgery...

Here is the boy showing off his nifty little cyst. How could he have missed this? It has to be the size of a jumbo egg.

And here is the boy after surgery...the same look I got 18 years ago when he got his tonsils it is MY fault he is hurting. Like a knife to his mother's poor heart....

And, here is a picture of Paulie, going off to orientation at Celebration City. I don't think this gig is gonna last long...on his feet for 5 to 6 hours is just too much for the poor guy.



It's Saturday and Paulie and I are scheduled to work this afternoon. It was also our turn to clean the bathrooms. We can get all four done in 40 minutes...we are a great team. I am just waiting for a few more minutes then I will change clothes and head down to the office. I don't mind the can be fun and then again, there are a lot of goofs in this world. Yesterday, a man traveling with his 95 year old father (sound familiar?) wanted a better "spot" as the black tank wouldn't drain. Now for those of you who don't RV, you NEVER keep the black tank open when parked...the sewer smell will sneak up through the lines and make the whole place stinky. You decide when you need to dump the black, then make sure you close the grey water valve(where dishwater and shower water goes...ick to the black, not so ick to the grey). Then when you dump the black, you can then use the grey water to flush out the black tank. Simple. I am assuming this is simple...however I have never done the dumping before, so I may be talking gibberish. This guy needs RVing 101 school. Well, we all have to learn the hard way I guess.
I brought three packagaes of Jay's Kettle Chips back with me from Edwardsville. I was gonna stop and buy a lot more, but then, heck I don't need the damm things. Just an excuse to overeat something I shouldn't ever let near my lips. Gosh, they taste good after a year of not having them. Ah well, I'll just suffer. I am chowing down on them now...great lunch, kid.
It is a nice day here in Branson. The sun is shinning, no clouds, and the temps are in the 70's. The park is half full. Lots of cancellations lately. I guess gas prices are affecting the economy here. Too bad...I guess it is gonna get worse before it gets better...
Well, I hafta get ready to do my thing this afternoon.

Friday, May 16, 2008

OK,OK...I know, I know...I have once again fallen behind. However, this time, I have a real excuse. I had to travel to Edwardsville to accompany and comfort my baby while he had his surgery. If you recall, Zack developed a huge mass on his head on the left side which was thought to be a fatty cyst on the temple. It was huge. Who knows how long it was there...the plastic surgeon said easily a year. Well...after the CT scan showed it was a lipoma (fatty tumor) he set up a date to have it excised. May 12. So after I did my shift at Shenanigans on Sunday, Mother's Day, I hopped into the car and drove 5 hours to Edwardsville. Zack took me out to dinner at Pasta House and then we went to a movie, Iron Man. Good food, good movie too.

We had to check into the hospital at 6 am...ugh. He was scheduled for 8 and the doc said it would be about a 30 minute procedure. Baloney. He was in for an hour and 20 minutes, all the while this wuss of a mom was in the waiting room going apesh*t. Finally they get him into recovery and I talk to the doc. It was a cyst, not a fatty tumor, and it was full of gross liquid. It broke open when they tried to remove it, so it was a mess. It was a lot bigger than the CT indicated (this I don't get...) so it was a bit of a booger to clean up and get it all out. When I got to the recovery room, I got the same look from Zack that I got when he had his tonsils out when he was 5. Yep, it's MOM'S fault now just as it was then I guess. He was fine, said he felt like somebody had wacked him with a baseball bat in the noggin. He had antibiotics and pain killers to keep him comfy. Once we got home, he just slept the afternoon away. I tried to nap to no avail. When he got up around 6, we ordered takeout Chinese and had a good dinner. We watched "Dan in Real Life" and both of us hit the sack early. We had to go back to the doc's office to have the dressing changed Tuesday morning. We drove to Litchfield to meet Mom and Cecil for lunch. There was a drain which was left in since it still was oozing a bit. Gross, I know. I have some pictures which I will post as soon as I can get the camera outta the car. Paulie is at Celebration City for his second day on the job...and he took the car.

We are having fun work camping. The job is fairly easy and our co-workers are fun. We did have a scare last Saturday. Tornadoes were rampant in the area, so we had to make all the campers go into the basement of the office when the sirens went off. Scary. The storm actually split in two and Branson was right in the middle of the split. We were extremely lucky and all we got was some very heavy rain and some thunderboomers. 25 people were killed by this storm system...some just a few miles from us here. Again, it was so strange that the storm split north and south of here. I am so grateful for that.

We have been going to more shows and exploring the area. Lots of stuff to see and do. The weather has sucked, lots of rain and it's been unseasonably cool.

I am working on another web page. As soon as I get more done, I will clue everyone in on it's location. Content is top secret at this point. Have I peaked your curiosity yet? Tune in for updates!



Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Oh's already Tuesday, and I haven't posted since last week. Hmmm. I guess we are keeping busy!

Friday was a running around day...picked up the shelving unit from L'boutique Target, did a bit of grocery shopping and not much else. I am surprised at how tired I am after a short three hour shift in the office. I worked again on Saturday as did Paulie. I did the afternoon shift which is the shorter time. But, it was OUR turn to clean the restrooms. Ick. I swore I'd never do this. However, they are not typical RV park bathrooms...they are individual personal bathrooms, just like at home. And, the folks who use them are not pigs. They clean up after themselves. One lady said she thought they were cleaner than her home and she even wiped down the shower walls cause she felt guilty it wasn't as she found it! OK by me. They really are clean bathrooms. Of course, everyone checks them at least twice each shift and keeps them spiffy. Three times a week they are thoroughly scrubbed with bleach or ammonia, floors are scrubbed, etc, etc. I told Paul he had to help me...heck, I can't clean ONE bathroom much less four...! So, I filled all the toilets with cleanser, and sprayed all the shower walls with stuff. He brushed the toilets and then scrubbed the showers with another brush(I checked). He wiped down each shower stall and polished the chrome. I sprayed the mirrors and stuff with windex and wiped down the chrome, tissue and towel holders. The sinks are quickly done and Viola! All that is left is to scrub the floor. I swept each room out, then took the "green" cleaner, sprayed it all over and mopped it up. Easy. I was sweating however. Paul finished up by vacuuming the hallway carpet and we are done. Once a week we must do this. Each workamper team has an assigned day to "do" the bathrooms. It took us about 40 minutes. The other team took over an hour. Lorriane used rags to clean. Nope, not me. I don't do rags...its paper towels or nothing. Too bad if they cost money. I am not using rags for anything. That means putting hands(even with my rubber gloves on...) in water. Nope. Not me. Ok, I am with it. It just isn't gonna happen. Just like these toes will never touch the bottom of a lake, river, ocean or stream, I will not put my hands in water that cleans bathrooms. I refused to go in the pool down in Texas all year because it looked cloudy. Ick. What makes chlorine water cloudy? Body lotion? I think NOT. The filter is not working I think...or dirty people are bathing in it, OR there are no chemicals in it or they are not working....and if that is the case, there are critters growing in there. OH. MY. Ick. Ick. Ick. Paul already has to deal with my goofy idiosyncrasies. Now you can too, LOL!

Sunday was a bust for me...I was only up for a few hours. Terrible fatigue hit mid-morning and that was it. Paul had slipped on the gravel while painting one of the dumpsters and wrenched his knee and jerked his bad hip, so he was hurting anyway. The day off of just sitting around was beneficial for him although he'd never admit to that. Monday morning was my shift to open the office at 8 a.m. Paul had traded with Doug another workamper, so he was gonna work the afternoon. Of course, I get down to the office and there are three campers waiting for me. I open the door, punch my code into the alarm system and you guessed it, the sucker went off...again. Quickly I called Lynn and she gave me a code to punch in and thank goodness it stopped. I think I was a bit short with her (oh no!) cause I said, something like, this is the second time my code didn't work! Of course, Paulie is there, wanting to do our laundry and is asking me for the of the other campers wants to check in and pay since they got in late last night, another camper wants to extend and another guy wants to use the local phone...his truck is acting up and he wants to get it if he does, he'll need to extend. The phone has not been transferred back from forward, so I gotta do that right away so calls don't go to the owner. Geesh. Everyone take a step back and I'll help everyone. Give me a minute to catch my breath. The day got worse as the phone messages could not be retrieved...the local phone company changed the voice mail system and requested everybody to reset the system...I can't do that...the owner needs to do the incoming message, etc. I can't find more reservation forms, or cards and am hunting all over the office. Paul helps a guy out and takes him into town to pick up his rental car. OK...he leaves the laundry which normally wouldn't be a problem...but two other campers come in and want to use the washers and MY laundry is sitting in the machines. Where the heck did he take that guy? I run to the laundry and move our stuff into dryers so the others can use the machines. Run back to answer the phone. Take a reservation. Get the picture? I had hang ups, wrong numbers, reservation calls that demanded certain spot numbers, and again, you can get the picture. Sweat is dripping off my hair I am so stressed. I can't DO stress remember. Finally it calms down and I can get stuff done. Grrrrr. It is never this busy, I gotta get a handle on this stuff. Oh well, this isn't rocket science. It is just crazy in the office sometimes and you are all by yourself.

And so it goes. Paulie is still asleep. I had a migraine last night...I had a mild Meniere's attack in the afternoon, so I knew it was coming. I didn't sleep well last night and got up early. It appears that my attack was triggered by a cool front which is bringing in some rain. Well, at least my radar ears are still working ok. We are off today, so I am not sure what he wants to do today. I need a haircut. I think one of the worst things about fulltiming is that you don't have a hairdresser. Not everyone can cut hair the way you want it. It took me years to find a good stylist in Springfield. I continue to get haircuts that suck. And I PAY these people to make me look stupid. There is no justice in this world.



Thursday, May 01, 2008

Gee, I can't believe it's been over a week since I posted. We are learning our "jobs" ...of course, The Polish Prince regales me with ways to improve the current system...this is stupid, that is just not doing the job, why do they do this...gets old. I keep telling him, these folks own the place...they do things the way they want 'em done...not some first time workamper who thinks he has all the answers. Give it up already! Also, there is not enough to do around pool, no shuffleboard, cards or games...he is bored. So, he went over to Celebration City, an amusement park that is part of the Silver Dollar City organization, which is just up the street, and applied for a job. They hired him on the spot. He will be a floating ride attendant...working in the evenings. Good for him, now maybe he will be tired. I set off the freaking alarm system this morning. Almost wet my pants, the sucker is so LOUD. Of course, my code number wouldn't accept...after about three tries I panicked, knowing the sucker would erupt any minute. I get sixty seconds to open the locked door and punch in my code before the alarm goes off. Yep...she blew...I ran to the phone and called Doug the other workamper and he came right up...he was able to put his code in there and stop the thing. Meantime, ADT had called the did the Branson police. And they called ME. How embarrassing! Well it was about time for me, Miss hotsh*t to screw up. I had been so proud of myself. OH well.

We have seen several shows...Yakov of course is still funny after all these years, the 12 Irish tenors were really great, and then we saw The Pierce Arrow show...comedian, 5 guy singers, one gal singer and a great band. We also went to the Circle B Ranch Chuck wagon dinner show. Very excellent food, great entertainers...singing cowboy songs and wonderful guitar and fiddle players. I think we will be able to get to see all of the shows before our three month work stint is over! We are off tomorrow, but we really need to clean the rig. I also want to go to one of the shoppes that I recall from the last time we were here ten years ago. It like ten shops in one...antiques, crafts, gifts and kinda place. I also want to find a small houseplant to put in the bathroom on the corner shelf we installed last year...and find a nice different kind of flower pot to put it in. I am itching to get some outside flowers...they are just starting to get them in at the stores now. Home Depot here I come. I have a rain check for a foldable book case that I want to put in front of the large mirrors next to the island. We need better access to stuff like bread and veggies not stored in the fridge...and I am thinking some nice fabric bins to dress it up. This way digging in the overhead cabinets will be reduced as will the number to times I wack my forehead on the slide ceiling. I really really hate that.

Well, I will try to post again soon, maybe with some photos. I put the camera in the car...just never think to grab it when I see something really kewl. I promise to try harder!