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Balanced Rock, Adirondacks, NY

My Readers

Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Pictures and a Question

Yesterday I posted pictures of our garage, and CeiPui had a question about the bags in the garage.

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For those of you who have come along more recently, you may have missed the arrival of our pellets for the winter. We heat with a pellet stove and I explained the whole process shortly after our 2 tons were delivered in August.

We also took a drive yesterday to Walmart in North Greenbush, and along the way there is a spot where you can get some nice shots of Albany which, as you may know, is the capital of NYS. I have been looking at the foliage shots every time I went by there on my way to the store. Each time I thought about taking pictures, but I never had my camera with me. The leaves are falling very quickly now, so yesterday we made a point of bringing our camera with us.

A few pictures of the last gasp for fall 2010…

That road off in the distance is I-90, and the little town to the right of the picture is East Greenbush.

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A view of Albany….

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and a close up…

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That weird shaped building in the center of the photo is called the Egg, and it is a conference center owned by the State of New York. The three shorter identical buildings are Agency Buildings – New York State agencies have their headquarters in those buildings, and the tallest building is Corning Tower, which includes the observation deck for the city and the state’s wind turbine. It produces 30% of the power for the whole complex. Corning Tower is where Harry works, and he is also my source for all the information in this paragraph. Smile

Hard to believe tomorrow is November, and we are going to be feeling like it…tonight our lows are forecast to be in the 20s, and highs in the 40s….sigh…..Crying face

But…to leave on a bright note….hopefully we will sell the elliptical today!!

Have a happy Halloween everyone! Ghost

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pictures and Possible Exciting News

Lots of pictures to share tonight!

While I was at work this morning, Harry worked on organizing the garage. He has almost filled up the garbage can for this week’s pickup already.

This is the new shelving unit that he just built. Right now it’s blocked by bikes, power washer, saws, etc. We are keeping much of this for now, but when we seriously start getting rid of stuff, our bikes are the only large item in this picture that we will actually be hanging on to for our travels.

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Harry’s snow blower is no longer surrounded by clutter, and is ready for winter.

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Look – you can even see the wall now!

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Harry’s car fits in the garage with room to spare. Smile

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We still have some straightening to do on these shelves, but progress has been made.

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Those steps will be painted hunter green to match the door, but we are going to wait a couple years so we don’t have to worry about scuffing them back up.

Today was also an exciting day for another reason. We actually got a call about the elliptical from someone who sounds very interested. He said he will come tomorrow night, if he can find someone to come help him out, or Monday night. Keep your fingers crossed for a sale. Fingers crossed

Relaxing Saturday Morning

At the moment, anyway! Even though I have to go to work for a few hours, I love being able to relax and have my leisurely cup of coffee in the morning. I am also transitioning into a holiday season frame of mind, as I purchased Peppermint Mocha creamer to use in my coffee. Be right back I like the seasonal creamers – most of them - I can’t quite imagine putting eggnog flavoring into my coffee.

This has been a good week – hard to believe that I’ve just about finished two weeks back at work already. I feel like we got a lot accomplished this week. The kitchen renovations have been on our mind for over a year now – we both really felt that redoing the kitchen is needed in order to prepare our house for selling. So now that we have committed to a kitchen remodel in just a couple months, it feels like a huge step toward finishing the house improvements.

The bad news, of course, is that there goes our debt back up. I have been working at paying down the current loans we have all year. Since March, in fact, I’ve cut the amount of debt we owe in half. We are lucky in that we have really low rates for our loans. We consolidated all of our credit card debt a year ago in August 2009 with the credit union where I work, and we also refinanced our mortgage in 2009 as well. Just a couple of weeks ago, we also refinanced Harry’s car (I’m not sure why we didn’t do it sooner). You might have already heard that credit unions have very good loan rates, and because I am an employee, I get a break on top of those. I had planned to have all our debt (other than our mortgage) gone by the end of 2011, but the kitchen remodel will probably extend that into 2012. We think it’s worth it though!

The other big accomplishment of this week is the completion of Harry’s shelving unit in the garage. He finished the shelf earlier this week, and yesterday he started organizing. It looks great! We now have so much storage space in the garage. I think that will be a huge plus for selling. Right now they are still all in their original wood, but next year we are going to paint them. I will take some pictures of the newly arranged garage this afternoon after Harry finishes arranging everything….stay tuned….Smile

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hi-Tech Cat Care–Part 1

Sarcastic smile That is a pretty lofty title for what I have to talk about, but the first part of our new cat care purchase arrived yesterday. I mentioned a few days ago that we are are going to utilize a few automated products instead of boarding the cats when we go away. We ordered both items on the internet on Sunday, and yesterday

IMG_3467 our new litter box was delivered.

Harry and I labored our way through the instructions to get it put together, and we are now working to acclimate the cats to it. So far, they really seem to like it, as they are using it already. We haven’t actually turned it on yet; we are putting it on manually so the new rake piece can do its thing. But in a day or so, we will put it on the automatic cycle, and then it will take care of itself for the most part. Much much easier than the old litter boxes that Harry had to carry outside and empty each week. Also, it uses a lot less litter, which is an added plus. I think this automated box is going to be a great product to have when we are in the fiver as well.

We are still waiting for the automated pet feeder. It has to travel from California, while the litter box only had to come from Pennsylvania. Hopefully we will get it in a couple more days.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kitchen Plans

This morning was our appointment with the guy from Hickory Hill Cabinetry. It was very successful, and we have a lot of information to chew over!

The first thing the gentleman did was take a look at our kitchen. He explained how the refacing process works. Everything gets replaced – the front part of the cabinet that you see, the sides, bottoms, and of course the cabinet doors. The drawers are not only refaced, but replaced completely with completely new drawers, the soft-close type. Our drawer length is actually going to increase by 4 inches. We will replace the dishwasher (which is the only appliance that is not yet stainless steel), the kitchen sink and faucet, and our silverware drawer will actually have dividers in it now so that we don’t have to have the plastic silverware thing in it.

If you look at the picture you can see that the microwave currently goes several inches below the cupboard bottom. They will take a few inches off the cupboards above the microwave, and raise it so the bottom is even.

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On the other side of the stove, there is a small section of wall. They are going to put two pull-out cupboards that can be used as a spice rack or similar storage – one above next to the microwave/cupboard and the other down below next to the stove. Then the tile backsplash will come all the way along to the end of the wall.

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The countertops are going to be granite, which we have already tentatively picked out. We also picked out a type of cabinet door, with a dark wood finish, almost like a cherry. We have to go into Albany to the tile place to choose a tile for the backsplash.

So we are almost ready to complete our last big project! We have another meeting scheduled for Nov. 17th, when he will draw up a blueprint of the kitchen and get ready to order the materials. Our kitchen remodel is going to be done this winter!! January or February!! Open-mouthed smile Something to look forward to this winter…Be right back

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Strange Kind of Day

Today was one of those weird kind of days, in a good way, I guess. In love It started out normally, with me just heading out for my usual work day. So then my assistant manager got a call from one of our branches in Albany that they needed some help for the day. I was asked if I would make the trek over there for the rest of the day, so sure, why not? It was so warm and actually sunny, so I thought it would be a nice day for a drive. So off I go… When I get there, I get the extra desk way back in the corner. It didn’t seem like they really needed much help after all, because I wasn’t too busy. At 2 pm, I went to take my lunch, and came back to find that the computer system was down – just in that one branch. We all had to shut our computers off. So…. after about 45 minutes of that, the manager comes over, and tells me that it looks like the system could be down for the rest of the day, I might as well go back to my own branch. So….off I go again…. By the time I got back to my own desk it was quarter of four, and we close at 5! Needless to say, I didn’t feel like I accomplished very much today.

Came home to a surprise…

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…our driveway was resurfaced today.

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We knew it was coming; Harry had called the guy about three weeks ago. He told Harry that he would call the night before – good thing we didn’t need anything out of our garage (that had wheels anyway).

It was so beautiful today we actually went for a walk after dinner. The only depressing part about it…

IMG_3465…this is what it looked like when we got back at 6:25 – completely dark outside.

Tomorrow is my day off – YAY – and we have the guy coming to look at our kitchen for the remodeling job!! Open-mouthed smile I hope to have good news to report!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Warm Start to a New Week

Wow! It felt so warm today! Neither Harry nor I thought to check the thermometer, but it must have been close to 70 degrees this afternoon. I got home from work at 5:30 and we actually walked without any jackets or sweatshirts! It was getting dark, but oh well, you can’t have everything. Sarcastic smile

I would like to welcome two new readers to my blog – Sue from Our Fiver Adventures and Pidge. Thanks for joining us on our journey to fulltime life on the road!

I started doing research today on real estate in the area. When Harry and I tried to sell my condo last year, choosing a realtor was very much a guessing game. We started out on our own, listing the condo for sale by owner, and when we received a call from a realtor who seemed to be on top of things, we decided to switch to her. We ended up being less than pleased with that agency, and were happy to find a renter a few months later, which put an end for awhile to being part of the selling game.

Today I was looking at houses for sale in my neighborhood, and as I looked at each individual listing, I was struck by the number of agencies there are, and the number of realtors to choose from out of each agency. How does a person choose a good realtor? Do we simply shut our eyes, and blindly point at the newspaper, and go with the person/agency that we see at the end of our finger? That’s what the decision of choosing a realtor has felt like to me so far.

Now, granted, the listing of our house is still a couple of years away, but unless we do something, I don’t see us being any more informed at that time then we are now. So, I’ve decided to conduct a little research project. I created an online profile today with the local newspaper realty section, which means that I can save up to 50 listings. No, I’m not going to go that far! What I am going to do is start with a few properties for sale in the neighborhood, and follow their journey to the closing table! I’m going to keep track of the agent and the real estate agency, see what kind of listings they do, how often they do open houses, what does their website look like, and any other information that strikes my interest.

I may learn something from my project, or I may learn nothing! I’ll keep you posted.

PS….If anyone has any helpful hints for choosing a great realtor and/or agency, I’d love to hear them. Be right back

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pictures from Today’s Walk

During my morning “blog read” this am, I read with interest in Jim and Dee’s blog Tumbleweed of their journey south for the winter. I am jealous! Winking smile This is truly the time of year when I feel the lure of the road most keenly. During the spring and summer seasons, it is so much easier to enjoy being here in the northern part of the country. I also think that our current distaste for winter has partly come from having a plan in place for our future life on the road when winters will be so much more palatable. Be right back I really am trying to enjoy the planning and dreaming phase, but sometimes it is difficult!

I have already taken my morning walk. This week the weather is supposed to be a little nicer, so I may get another week of walking in. Pretty soon I will be making my way back to the exercise place.

Our area sure has that “late autumn” look to it.

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Many of the trees have completely lost their leaves.

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The view from our garage is still pretty nice though.

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If anyone would like to send a little sun to go along with the view, that would be appreciated! Smile

Saturday, October 23, 2010

And Now for the Weekend!

My mouse seems to have a life of its own this afternoon – it just singlehandedly (so to speak) erased my whole first paragraph. All I did was move it a little – didn’t touch the buttons or anything, honest!! Surprised smile

So what I started to say is that I am now home from work! I made it through the first week back. And nothing like a few weeks of disability to make the month go by fast – next week is the end of October already.

It is a dreary day out today – I don’t know what it is about fall and winter that make the days seem so dark. However, it is relatively warm out, so I am still going to venture out in a bit for today’s walk.

Harry is out in the garage working on his new shelving unit.

This is Harry very happy that this is his last project until spring.

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This is how far he’s gotten so far. One more shelf is it for today. See all the mess around the shelving unit? That’s next year’s project! Sarcastic smile

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I have been doing some online research today, having had a huge brainstorm in the middle of the night. I woke up this morning with Ariel sleeping next to me again, and that got me rethinking the boarding question. We still have four more vacations planned before we get the fiver, and I just hate the thought of leaving them there again – they were NOT happy campers.

Here is Ariel hanging out next to me while I work on my computer.

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So, I had a very bright idea, and this morning I started looking up automatic pet food dispensers. There are a lot out there. Good ones aren’t cheap, but it’s going to be A LOT less than it cost to board them for a week – and they will be much happier! A win-win for all of us! Smile

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Almost Through Another Week

Here we are at Thursday evening! I am quite pleased with how I have been feeling during my first week back. I am glad that I took the full four weeks after my surgery and didn’t try to go back to work prematurely. It took me a day or so this week to really get back into the swing of things. But today I realized that I really am feeling good. It also helps that I lost ten pounds during my recovery. SO far I have managed to keep it off, and I am determined that it is going to stay that way!

I found out that the overtime that I had on Wednesday may be sporadic, so in all I may get a few checks with a little extra cash. Oh well. It is also nice to have my full day off, so I will look at the bright side.

Other than that, there’s not much going on. Harry and I went into Albany last night and had dinner at Outback to celebrate my birthday. So that was a fun outing. I thought on the way there that I should have brought my camera but didn’t. So no pictures – maybe next time. Sarcastic smile

You may recall this summer when we were working in the garage. The last project that Harry wants to complete this year is building the other shelving unit over by his workbench. We already have all of the materials he will need to complete this project, so it doesn’t require any further financial investment, which is always good!

Speaking of finances, we have almost been on our new debit plan for two months. So I will be reporting on our experience very soon. So far it’s been a positive one.

Everyone have a great Friday! Open-mouthed smile

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome and Back to a Normal Week

Sometime in the past few weeks, my number of followers has increased, and I discovered this morning that one more has brought me to the nice round number of thirty! I lost touch somewhat during my hospital stay and recovery, so I think I still need to welcome…

Heidi

Cruzin2some

CeiPui

and now…. Margie and Roger

Thanks for coming along and joining us on our road to a life of fulltiming! Smile

This week I have been getting back into my old routine. I went back to work on Monday, and it’s really been not too bad. For the most part, I think my energy levels are pretty much back to normal. The only thing I notice is that my work pants are a little uncomfortable still on the incision. So the first thing I do when I get home is change into my nice comfy jammies.

Actually, today is my day off but I will be going into work for a few hours this afternoon. I found out on Monday that while I was out, the company rearranged personnel in a few branches from now until the end of the year, which leaves three branches short. So the other branches are filling in. And to do this, they are actually paying overtime right now. Be right back So I am going to go in for a few hours on Wednesdays through December, which (can you believe it?) is only 11 weeks. With all of the work/improvements/updates we have been doing on the house this year to prepare it for selling, we have drained our regular savings quite a bit. So this will be a nice little booster to have a little extra money coming in!

We have for the most part reached the end of our work on the house until next spring. Harry’s car has been out in the driveway, as he has his tools, saws etc. all spread out over half of the garage. We are starting to get pretty heavy frosts in the morning, and neither of us enjoys scraping car windows before we head to work. Annoyed So this weekend he is going to tackle one more project before he cleans up his side of the garage and calls it a year for house improvements! We are both pleased with what we accomplished this year.  Now we get a few months off!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reflections on Another Day

I’ve read many beautiful posts today, hoping for some inspiration for my own post. I don’t know for sure what direction this post will take – I am just letting my rambling thoughts take over.

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a very low-key kind of day. It had already been planned that way, but given the events of the previous day, it worked out well, because I definitely didn’t feel like celebrating. We were in Burlington for the weekend, and got to spend Saturday with our beautiful little guy Schaun. It is so great to be able to spend time with our grandson, and I never expected to be able to say those words at all! I have never had any children of my own, but I am thankful now to be able to share our life with Harry’s son and daughter, and now their families. There is nothing like a child to make you feel full of life (at the same time that they drain it out of you!)

This is such a cliché, and I’m not by any means the first one to say it, but life is such a mystery. I’ve thought of it several times in the past few weeks in relation to my own sickness. Although I only felt weak and light-headed, we know now that I was very very sick when I went to the doctor’s office on that Wednesday in September. My appendix had ruptured and I had peritonitis which was spreading. But the main reason the PA sent me to the hospital that morning was that I was dehydrated, and wanted me to have an IV put in to rehydrate. He almost just sent me home, and if that had happened, the outcome might not have been so positive. Two very different possibilities, and I’m very thankful for the outcome that I had.

So many people have said this over the past couple of days, but it is so true – Life is such a gift. We must seize the moment and truly live every day. Kenny Chesney is not my favorite artist, but I do love this song, and it’s message is so appropriate for today….

So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me I’d like to thank my lucky stars
That I’m alive and well
It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you’ve sat and watch go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me… I’m alive

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathing in and out’s a blessing can’t you see
Today’s the first day of the rest of my life
And I’m alive and well
I’m alive and well

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Sad and Tragic Turn of Events

A few months ago, I wrote a post about my reasons for starting a blog. One of the primary reasons was because I had a desire to be a part of this community that I had learned so much about by reading the blogs of other rvers. One of the first blogs that I followed was that of Margie and Bruce. Margie had such an interesting style of writing and seemed to have a way of making everything fun to read about. I admired her dedication to illustrating her blog with photos, like on the day she took pictures while at a dentist appointment. But really, she could make an ordinary day, or a visit to McDonalds, seem vivid and real with her eye for detail and her no-nonsense way of saying it like it was. Her blog was always one of the ones I read first in the morning. Although I never met Margie, I really felt like I knew her. Which is why I felt shocked and saddened beyond words this afternoon to hear that Margie and Bruce had fallen victim to a tragic accident this morning which took both their lives. Margie and Bruce had such a great love for life – for their family, especially the “grands” as Margie called them, for travel and adventure, for living life to the fullest.

Rest in peace, Bruce and Margie. You will be missed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What Month is It?

This picture was taken near Saranac Lake this afternoon – not too far from where Harry and I just spent the weekend.

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Last Day at Home

Today marks the end of my fifth week off since I first became sick. It is also my last day off. Tomorrow begins a normal weekend, (well, other than the fact that I won’t be working tomorrow), and Monday I head back to work. I’m definitely ready to head back. I think my energy levels are somewhat back to normal. It’s a little hard to tell since I haven’t been doing too much. But I will find out soon!

I still have pictures to share from last weekend! On Saturday, after our little walk about the town, we took a ride over to a nearby town where there are apple orchards. We had a specific destination in mind – Rulf’s Orchard in Peru, NY. The place was packed! There were cars lined up along the road.

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We picked up some pumpkin cookies, Macintosh apples, and ended up having to order apple cider donuts. They were completely out of donuts – I believe they said they had sold 3,600 donuts. So we went back Sunday morning and picked up our fresh apple cider donuts. Yum, they are the best! 

After our donut expedition, we headed over to AuSable Chasm to see if we could get some nice pictures. We only took pictures from the road. To actually go in, there is an admission fee etc. We weren’t planning to be there that long.

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And on our way home, we stopped a couple more times to – you guessed it – take a few more pictures.

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It was another nice picture taking expedition!