The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Friday, November 05, 2010

I usually try not to be political here, as this blog is about us, but both The Prince and I agree...

This was written by an articulate woman from Colorado Springs. I wish I had written it.

"So, many in this country decided Tuesday that the Democrats had plenty of time to undo the damage caused by the Republicans over eight long years. They have said that 21 months should have been plenty of time to restore the economy, get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and put everyone back to work. Well then, I now give the Republicans in the U.S. House 21 months to undo the damages they initially caused themselves.

In a way, it is nice. Let them use their own methods to get us out of the messes they created. If, by October 2012, we are not all employed, living comfortably, have restored the deficit to where Bill Clinton left it in 2009, and are completely out of all wars in the Middle East, then I challenge those same voters to undo the damage they have done this week and put the Democrats back into office. Twenty-one months. That is all they get. Good luck, may the force be with them, and God help us all."

Saturday, September 04, 2010

The reluctant blogger has returned.  We are currently in Springfield IL after a terrible month of trying to help my mother and her husband who is 90 and failing .  What a waste of time.  It's time to let these  geezers be on their own for awhile, just like they are demanding.  After all, we are plotting to put them in a nursing home, take over their assets and spend their money.  Yeah. Right.

Enough of the downer stuff.

We have had a pleasant summer, after Florida traveling to Georgia to visit Paulie's cousin, into Indiana to check out the Thousand Trails parks there, and visiting the eastern side of Michigan and Lake Huron.  We then attended a family gathering in the Chicago area and then headed to Iowa to visit another one of Paul's cousins.  We stayed in the Amana Colonies and had a nice couple of days to revisit some of the places we saw a couple of years ago.  Then we were off to Sioux Falls SD to do our change of address stuff, get our driver's licenses and other mundane stuff.  After Sioux Falls, we headed west to Mitchell SD and saw the infamous Corn Palace.  We also stopped at several popular places such as the world's largest truck stop, where we left some of our tourist dollars like most everyone else.  Wahl Drug was also on the list and we were not very impressed, however I will confess that they have the best handmade chocolate donuts I have had since I was a kid in Chicago from the Polish bakery.  We landed in the Badlands and stayed about three days.  The first time we saw the rock formations, we were awestruck.  By day three, it was monotonous.  We decided to continue west to see Mt. Rushmore.  We did a 12 hour tour which included all you can eat cowboy pancakes, all the sites like the Rushmore Monument, and of course, Crazy Horse.  We had lunch at a Lodge in the State Park, and for the first time, we had bison meat prepared in a delish stew.  Very tasty, but I would not go out of my way to have it again...well, maybe a burger.  From SD, we headed back east, heading for Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin.  Door County is a great place and we had some time to kill.  Had a nice time, but the place is totally outrageous in regards to prices.  A hot dog will cost you about $6...yeah, right.  After the frantic phone call from Springfield, we headed south making the trip in 9 hours of bumper to bumper traffic.  Female geezer sprained ankle, male geezer was acting off his nut.  In addition geezer husband had been scheduled for some type of heart "procedure" which both geezers insisted that male geezer must have.  Paulie kindly agreed to stay with the geezers so my trip to Cancun with my sisters would not have to be cancelled.  The trip deserves a post on it's own, but  suffice to say it was beautiful, very hot and I am truly glad that I never had a teenage daughter. I doubt I shall ever write that post to protect the innocent.

It is now the Labor Day weekend and we are getting to pack up and head to Goshen for the Escapee's Rally.  We will be early arrivals which means getting there on Friday the 10th. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sometimes, I just want to slap the crap outta The Polish Prince. Yesterday, it took all I could muster not to turn towards him while driving and just bitch-slap him. I needed to go to the dollar store just down the road for a new container for my cherry tomato plant. He insisted on going, and then followed me around complaining about how long it was taking. Jeesh. Finally he went to sit in the car. Why did he insist on accompanying me if all he was gonna do was bitch? I find what I am looking for, checked out some stuff, and check out. When I get to the car, he is talking to a gentlemen about SSI, which neither he nor I have any knowledge about. After what seemed like an hour, I told him we needed to go. As we are pulling out of the parking lot, he asked me if I wanted to go to Wal-Mart and see if I could find round labels for my new spice jars. I thought he would go to the Wal-Mart in Seffner, down the road about 5 miles. He insisted on going on route 301 which meets I4 which then you can exit on the Camping world exit and go to MLK drive where the store is located in SEFFNER. I told him to just catch the county road just behind our campground and we’d be there in 5 minutes. We have used that road to GO to Camping World for heaven’s sakes, and we are there like I said, in 5 minutes. No, not our direction challenged Princy. He stays on 301 and tells me to put in Wal-Mart into the GPS. OK, I comply even tho I am starting to get a little steamed. We get to I4 and follow the GPS directions then all of a sudden the Prince decides to pretend he is Hernado DeSoto and disregards the GPS. Putz. From this point it is all downhill. He is lost, he knows it and the sob is too stubborn to admit it. For the next hour we are getting a tour of a part of Tampa I have no idea even existed. He keeps making turns and more turns and then and behold we are at Busch Gardens. At this point, I cannot even LOOK at him I am so pissed. After being lost for an hour, he inputs into to the OLD GPS that hasn’t been updated since we got in 5 years ago. He continues driving and we find a Wal-Mart. A new, non-super Wal-Mart mind you. We get out of the car and I leave him in my dust. This damm Wal-Mart is so different from any other Wal-Mart I have been to I can’t find anything I supposedly needed. I find nothing. A real bust. We get back into the car and silently drive back to the rig. A ruined afternoon, waste of gas, anger and frustration not to mention the threat of potential violence(on MY part, not The Prince’s) all because DeSoto ‘s evil spirit entered the weak soul of the Prince and he was looking for the fountain of youth or the Lost City of Gold or some such nonsense.

Just another day in the life of adventure. Even adventures that piss me off.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Well, it has been a while again, hasn't it?  OK, so you’re right. I am a lazy ol’ blogger. What do you expect? I am a creative loafer. I am retired. I try not to schedule, stick to guidelines, do things from habit or anything remotely linked to our former working lives. ‘Nough said .

Well, we are still in Florida. Who would have thought that? We did get a fantastic deal at this RV park…$199 for the month plus electric. We have really enjoyed our stay here. It is a nice quiet park…lots of working people. Many of the trailers are single wides, some nicely kept, some not so much. The atmosphere is very “old Florida” with lots of oak trees with moss hanging down. The units are quite old also, which would turn off a lot of RV’ers. The spots are varied in size…some incredibly small, others large, like the one we occupy.

We are breaking “camp” here on Sunday morning, May 2 and actually are going south for a 5 night stay at one of the most beautiful county parks in Florida, Ft. De Soto. Located on the water, and almost impossible to get, we snagged a waterfront site. We will be heading north when our stay there is over. We will be headed to Atlanta to visit Paul’s cousin Gene. We will be parking in the driveway of their lake home on the shores of Lake Lanier. After that we will continue up to Central Illinois to see Zack, my mom and maybe get a chance to attend the first Cenois FMCA rally. We are hoping to get to South Dakota to get some business done. We have registered and paid for the Escapee’s Rally in Elkhart the second week of September and then want to head west. The Prince says we will hit bad weather, read SNOW and we can’t do it. Pffft!

The Polish Prince bought some cheap hair clippers and proceeded to scalp both of my babies. Oh well, it’ll grow back…will be OK for hotter weather.

Gene seems to be doing fine, and since the weather has warmed up in The Valley, he is using the pool and hot tub. Of course he wouldn’t be Gene if he didn’t complain even about this…the hot tub is not hot enough, and the sail type cover over the pool is not to his liking…he has to “chase” the sun. I wonder if he will say the same once the temps hit 100 soon.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

We took the kids to the vet for their checkups and to settle them in for their boarding this week.  Off we go to the Caribbean.  Miss Lucy is over 9 lbs! The Mack Attack is now a robust 5lbs, 6oz!  He is such a little cutiepie, all the girls in the office and even the lady vet were ooohhhing and ahhhing over the little stinker.  He just eats that stuff up.  After getting them settled, arranging for Lucy's surgery(no puppies in the future), we wrapped things up by paying $595!.  Jeesh, these kids are expensive!

We had a nice breakfast at the local cafe called Ram's where the food is good, service is with a smile and the prices so so.  We came back to the rig and started packing.  I also started the "dismataling" for breaking camp early tomorrow in the morning.  We will leave the rig at Suncoast window repair, and hopefully we will be able to stay plugged in.  We had made prior arraignments to leave the rig there while we are gone so we could have a place to store the rig as well as getting it repaired.  Paul talked to the office manager and even if they have to move us out of the hookups area, we will be plugged in with a 20amp cord so the fridge doens't get turned off!  I don't want to come home to spoiled meat and rotten royal red shrimps that are $14 a pound.  I think they understand and even if no outlet is available, they will make sure the refer is on LP.  That very thing happened to us while we were on a five day cruise with Grandpa, and I was one unhappy momma.  Yuck.

We can board the ship at 12:30 p.m. but am not sure what time we will get there.  No use getting there early and have to wait for hours to board.  I have read on several cruise critic sites that Carnival has the embarkation down pretty well, and there isn't a lot of waiting.  I am taking my scooter, and I am sure I need it, even if we just disembark at one port where a lot of walking would be involved.

So, we are hoping to have a great cruise, and celebrate our 25 unbelieveable years together!  Never thought that would happen!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Photos speak a thousand are my "babies"....Lucy is now almost 7 months old, and Mack will be 2 in May!

Mack is still under 5lbs but Lucy, who knows?  It's like picking up a ten pound sack of potatoes!
We will get an update on Saturday when we drop the kids off at the Vet.  Lucy will get spayed and they will be boarded while we are off on our anniversary crusise.  We leave Sunday afternoon for 7 glorious days.  We are sailing with Carnival this time, a first, and don't know what the ratio of spring break kids will be on this crusie. Oh well, we'll see...I am just going to enjoy it all, especially not having to cook or make meals for 7 whole days!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Here are some recent updates to the Aluminum Assylum:

We added some storage by taking out the hard to move island storage (which had replaced the paltry dining table and rickety chairs.

There is a lot of storage under the benches which are actually higher...about 27" tall.  Considered "counter height" seating. I keep my daily use appliances in here on the right side and store my hand held Orek vac in a backet and lesser used stuff on the left. While traveling, the pillows get stored in the right side also.

This is the setup I usually use while cooking.  The island is a foldable, portable one with  lot of storage.  I use baskets so when breaking camp it is easy to just grab the baskets, put them on the bed, and go.  I have one for dishtowels which saves drawer space.  I have a bread/snack/cookie basket, a veggie/fruit basket and a puppy supplies basket.  All easy to just place on the bed while traveling as they don't slide around on the bed..  Behind the island you can see my other can't be without folding shelving.  I bought this a number of years ago at El Boutique Target.  This also holds various baskets, the two Mexican  pots that I store my kitchen utensils (yes, two...I like kitchen gadgets ok?) I also store my toaster and my huge canister of protein on it.  It too simply folds up and along with the island and stores in the bedroom while traveling. I have a foldable canvas box where the stuff on the shelving unit goes and it too travels in the bedroom.
When set up for dinner, we just roll the island to the bench area and viola! Dinner is served.

Here is a shot of the kitchen area and the new backsplash I put it. It is really just plastic panels from Lowes, and is cutable with a scissors.  A very cheap way to protect the walls and I think if you didn't know it was plastic, you would think it was metal...which I eventually hope to replace it with sometime in the future.  You may also notice we put in lineolem which I hate as it doesn't cover the slider rollers.  Not too terrible in the living area where the throw carpet covers it, but I hate the other one sticking out like a sore thumb.
Here's another view...

I still have some honey-do's for the Polish sink and new faucet...I get so frustrated with the ones we have side of the sink is normal the other is a tiny useless dinky thing and you can't even fill water in anything with that short faucet.  So far though I like the space I have gained.

Here is a picture of my "lamp table"...a file cabinet topped with a square wood top and a table cloth.  I need a different cover, but overall the double use is good.  I do worry about the weight of the stuff IN the file

cabinet!  One more shot....

Ok more pictures of the puppies coming in a while...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wow, it is now St Patty's day. Where has all the time gone. We are really having a great time in Florida. Well, that's not entirely true. The weather here has been as bad as in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Rain. Cold. Wind. Nasty. We did see frost, and I froze, I have been cold since October(!) winter coat. I ditched them all. I guess I will look for a lightweight fleece jacket at the flea market. I saw them with flea market kinda "themes"....geese, wolves, strange zigzags and the typical fugly patterns. But, who cares? I sincerely doubt that some person(one like me, that is!) would walk up to me and ask me where I bought the darling jacket I have on. And I would certainly tell them the flea market, er, yah right!!!!

We celebrated our 25th Wedding anniversay yesterday, March 16. We celebrated with some friends from Central Illinois Cenois Prairelanders FMCA chaper, of which we are still members. Our McDill sponsors, Hank and Elizabeth Kerr were there; Dave our Treasurer and his cutie pie wifey, Patty,and one of my favorite ladys, Roberta Williams with her hubby Tom. I love Roberta...she is one of the most fun people to be with. She tells the most wonderful stories of her and Tom's travels and family, and their missions work. She is not afraid to get on the roof of their motorhome and scrub the roof. No, I am not kidding. I couldn't climb up the latter and here is this slip of a gal, short cropped hair and in her capris, is cleaning the roof! I asked her why and she said she didn't want Tom to fall off. Hmmmm....

We did a lot of running around. A typical kind of Griswald day...Our cruise departs on Sunday, and the Polish Prince needed a sport jacket and a pair of decent pants to wear on the two formal nights. He said he could get in with casual, which for him is basketball shorts and a sleeveless tee and flip flops. I pointed out that a jacket is required, and he said he would chance it...what could they do, not seat him? I said yep, mrknowitall. Then I will eat all dressed up by myself. So we were on a hunt for a jumbo man sport coat. He found one at the second shop we stopped at and while he was browsing, I began a pretty bad hypoglycemia episode. When he got back to the car we headed for the nearest McDonnalds to get me a hot mocha...enough sugar to kill any diabetic is just what I needed. I am going to have to carry packets of sugar with me so I can just suck one or two down when this happens. Of course I have to get in some protein and carbs immediately to avert another crash. Paul pulled in and I went in. He was going to put the jacket on so I could see it. When I exited the store, I saw a man fall just outside the door. I look and it is the Polish Prince. I got to him as fast as I could. He had put the jacket on, and walked over to get the newspaper by the first handicapped spot which was sloped downward but had a strange short curb immediately in front of the newspaper thingy you put the money in. He had backed up a half a step, hit that curb edge and lost his balance. He staggered back a few feet to try and get his balance but fell and HIT his head on the car parked in the handicapped spot! We looked at the car front door and it appeared that there was no damage. We got back into the car when an older lady and her son came up to the car and told Paul that he had dented the door. He went to look again and he did dent the BACK door of the car! Some patrons of the restaurant told us he hit his head on the back door. Well, that's comfirmation, his head is so hard he dented the crap outta a car door. (he did put a dent in our Tauraus about 15 years ago when he was on a ladder in the garage and lost his footing coming down and landed on the hood of the car and dented it with just one butt cheek...I am NOT making this up!) The lady was very nice and asked for our car insurance info. The Prince began to oblige when I stepped in and said, our car insurance won't pay for this...our car didn't make the dent, his head did from a fall on poorly designed handicapped ramp! It is McDonald's responsibily...I told him to go to the manger who had also come out of the store to see if Paul was ok and of course, embarrassed, he muttered he was ok. I told him to make out an accident report, what if he couldn't get out of bed tomorrow 'cause he hurt something that turns up latter. So, he did. He also gave the poor lady whose door was dented, our insurance info, telephone number. I told Paul, she would have a hard time collecting from our insurance company for this, he wasn't in the car when he did the damage. Paul had told her to see how much it would cost and he would send a check. Dumbshit. McDonalds is liable here, not The Prince's hard head!

We stopped at another Salvation Army place and he found some more stuff that he tried on and fit. I found a yellow top for a pair of capris (but once home they clashed...) and I also found a green T shirt that will work. Gotta look carefully at this stuff...and wash it a couple of times, but who can beat $.99 for a t shirt?

Crappy day for St Paddy's but we need to find a place that serves corned beef and cabbage today. The Prince can eat a burger, but I love my CB & C!
*Sigh*. What'sa poor Irish girl from Chicago subpossed to do?


Sunday, February 07, 2010

We are currently parked in Gulf Shores State Park in Gulf Shores, AL. We only drove about 150 miles or so yesterday. The weather is very cold, but we did have some sun today. We were on a mission to Olde Thyme Pottery, a woman's design dream warehouse where I purchsed some seat cushions for the bench seats and some pillows. And drooled over stuff I see on the decorating shows on TV. The prince on the other hand was on a red shrimp shrimp are deep water shimp that are light red in you couldn't have guessed that! They taste more like lobster than shrimp. We found a pound of the headless ones, some frozen whole and then he bought some jumbos we can grill. We will be leaving here in the morning, heading into Florida. Not sure we really want to get there too fast. The long term weather forcast is kinda dim...rain, more rain and cold, the story of every snow bird this year. Maybe Baja Mexico next winter?

Before we continue down to Tampa, we will be stopping in Hudson Florida where we plan to visit Suncoast Designers which is a place that refurbishes double pane windows in RV's that have fogging problems. Rather than replace the windows, we will try this much less expesive "fix".

After our shopping trip, we stopped to eat at King Neptunes, a place we had eaten at a couple of years ago. I had seafood etouffee that had a ton of shrimp, some cod and crab. Outstanding. My mouth was a bit tingly for several hours, but oh my it was good. The Prince had a fried shrimp basket with fries and a cajun bloody mary. The shrimp were small, and the bloody mary was too hot for our little pampered Princey. I tried it and after about three sips I was done too. Way outta our league...anyways who wants to burn their mouth when eating should be pleasurable!

While we were in the French Quarter in NO on Friday, I got a muffletta from Central Grocery...the very best sammich in Amerca I think! We ate at Jimmy Buffets place and I had the shrimp po boy, and file' gumbo. OH. It. Was. Heaven. In. A. Bowl! The prince had a Cuban sandwich. Hmmm, we are heading to Cuban Sandwich Captiol in Tampa and he eats one in New Orleans. Strange.
I had a ultimate Jimmy Buffet Margarita and I was tipsy after two sips. Strong stuff that Ultimate stuff.

We'll try to keep up on our adventures on here. Can't bet on it, but I am gonna try to post a couple times a week. We'll see!


PS...Who Dat won the Superbowl! Yah!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


We arrived in New Orleans around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. It was a long day, going from Houston to NO. Mostly sunny day, so travel was good. We made two stops, those two puppies insist on going potty yanno.

We made good time until Baton Rouge around 4 p.m. and hit the rush hour. Took us a while to get thru but we were certain we could still make the campground before the office closed at 6. Wrong. What time we made up after Baton Rouge, we lost in the horrible rush hour all the way into the city from about 20 miles west on I10.

So to recap, we left the RGV on Monday around noon as we had to settle the lock out problem at the storage yard. Oh well, nothing that couldn't be fixed once the Prince paid the bill!

We stopped our first night on the road in El Campo at the super Wally world. We had a sandwich around 3 pm and were really not hungry for dinner when we stopped. So we had a Bloody Mary and some chips and salsa.
We let the puppies sleep with us as we had not opened up the rig being in the WalMart parking lot. They loved it. Paul said he didn't sleep well as he kept feeling the little wiggleworms move around all night. I had already passed out so they didn't bother me a bit.

Our first day in NO was one of rest and rejuvination...I slept alot and Paulie did the laundry, nice guy that he is. We are facing bad weather tomorrow with lots of rain and wind. We are planning on doing the RiverWalk just outside the French Quarter, after we do Cafe' DuMonde, Central Deli and the French market in the FQ. The first of the Mardi Gras parades begin on Friday night and we will certainly be hoping the weather cooperates and we can attend.

That's about all for now...will update after our day in the French Quarter tomorrow.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

OK. You have me, again. I have been very very lax about writing our blog. Of course, I really don't have anything to write about. The weather has sucked for the entire time we have been here. Finally, this week, it changed. Sunshine, blue skies and warmer temps. We hit 80 a couple of times too. I have been making some roman shades. Not going as planned, but then again, just call me Mrs. Griswald. Paul certainly is Clark Griswald...or like I have said before...he is a bull in china shop. Everything we touch, we screw up. Amazing but true. Example: I was trying to attach handles to our new two drawer flimsy metal file cabinet. The screws were so short, I could not grab them with my thumb and forefinger. I was so frustrated...I must have struggled with those little boogers for 20 minutes...even the magnetic head on the freakin' screw driver didn't help. My finger nails are not daggers, and I wasn't about to cut them to place 4 stupid screws. After about a half hour of cussing, I got two in. Then another waste of ten minutes and my cussing got grosser. Hey I never said I was a good girl yanno.

Since our stint here at Llano Grande RV resort we have accomplished a number of things...all with alot of cussing and sweat and almost tears. I no longer cry, I just throw something or hit something. Thusly, we have decided to change our name to the Griswalds. No more Meandering Ziajas; we are now the hapless Griswalds, and the blog will now be The Griswalds Great Adventures and will be about our long road trip in retirement. Hey, if you remember the wife's name, let me know, I am having a brain fart. We have installed the faux coppper backsplash in the kitchen; we have our L shaped dinette bench installed and stained and the topper table done for the rolling island is also stained and useable. I need to varnish the table top for protection. Hopefully, when I get up the blinds, I can clean up this mess and take some photos.

An update on the RV park Vs. The Ziaja's...they ignored the demand letter and the lawsuit has been filed. That's about it.

I have a new blog. There is a linky in the links box on the right side of the blog. Now if you don't want to read the musings of a 55+ aging hippie progressive liberal pro-choice Democrat, then I guess you should pass. Well it won't always be a political post, I will also have a chance to bitch...yanno, just random thoughts, what irks me, what I like, funny stuff and stuff that just stinks overall. My thoughts and opinions are only mine so it may not even interest anyone but me, LOL! And I promise I will state in the title if this is a political post.

We have about another week or so here, and we are then off to Florida, visiting our fav cajun places along the way.