A new home for awhile. Jan 31

Our cousins welcomed us to their home/driveway back in October and we have enjoyed every minute of our time with them, but it's finally time to move on. We visited the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum a couple of times over the past few years; the last time we learned that they have a few live-on positions. We asked about the details and decided this is something we would like to do for awhile, so yesterday we drove over and parked the RV. Today they are hosting an auction; Randy is helping in the kitchen while I am looking for something I can buy that will fit into the RV.

Finishing some of the RV remodeling tasks

One more tricky job out of the way - Randy filled in the area that used to hold the old TV cabinet. This was a pain because of all the odd measurements, as well as the fact that nothing was square. But it looks very neat and tidy now.
In the bathroom we finally fixed the problem of the hole in the ceiling. The hole was from the old light fixture, which was off-center because of the shape of the corner vanity. We tried to use it for different light fixtures but nothing worked, so eventually we covered it with an air vent. 

Fun things

Like everyone else, I can spend days looking around online, and sometimes I find something I think is worth sharing. I just added a new gadget on the right side of the blog to list some of my current favorites. Maybe someone else will enjoy them as much as I do!

January 28 - Central Community Church and Caesar Salad

I am finally over most of my illness; it's down to a regular cold now. I have learned appreciate the joy of breathing without fear of choking, and the pleasure of a good night's sleep.

Central Community Church has been undergoing some much-needed restoration. They funnel most of their money to missions but they finally had to fix the building before it fell apart.
They have fixed the leaky roof, replaced crumbling fascia boards and freshened up inside and outside with a coat of paint. This should keep a roof over their heads for many years, while they continue to feed the needy, help the homeless and house orphans.
Speaking of feeding, recently Randy made a grilled Caesar Salad as a side dish for dinner. I don't generally get too worked up over salads, but this is the best salad I have ever tasted. It could be the entrée!

International Dinner

Aunt Jean's group is having an International Dinner tonight. I wish I could go but I am not healthy yet and as much as I want to sample that good food, it's not worth the risk of passing this onto any of those ladies. Randy is feeling much better so he is going. His contributions are a Caribbean Potato Salad and individual French Bombe Glacées. Under that luscious chocolate shell is chocolate cake and mint-chocolate-chip ice cream.

Jan 22

Wednesday Randy fixed lunch for the volunteers who are painting the outside of the church. Afterwards he packed up and went to the lake to meet up with Jack. Jack took his RV up there on Tuesday so they have a place to stay while they are plotting how to catch all the fish in the lake. 

It is 3:30 in the morning and I still cannot get enough sleep because of this cough. If any of my pets were this sick I would have taken them to the vet days ago. But I won't go myself because health care is so darn expensive. 


I finally got most of a night's sleep last night! It makes all the difference in the world; I still have a cough but I feel like a human being again. 

Today Randy drove me, Jack and Teresa out to Vista so we could check out a Workamping position. Afterwards we all had lunch at Nessy's Burgers, where they know how to make a good burger and even better fries.

Still sick

Yesterday Randy replaced the last bit of the floor in our bathroom. It was the section around the toilet, so of course he had to pull the toilet out do to the work. He got all the floor laid and I got the walls painted, but it was late by then. We couldn't re-assemble the toilet until the wall paint and floor glue dried, so we spent the night without a working toilet in the RV. Fortunately we could use the one in the house, but that meant we had to go outside, unlock the house door, and scoot inside to use the bathroom. It was cold again last night and we didn't enjoy the experience.

This morning Randy got busy so now we have indoor plumbing again - what a blessing! As for me, I am still a mess. I got about 4 hours of sleep last night, but that was a lot more than I got the night before. Today I coughed so hard I almost passed out; didn't know that was possible but it is. The pharmacist at CVS recommended Delsym; I am taking it but I don't notice it having any effect. I have tried honey, hot tea, pineapple juice, grape juice, melted ice cream and too many cough drops to count but nothing works. I am sure this will pass, but it seems like it should have passed by now.

Early in the morning 1/15

It's been kind of a tough week so far. After I spent all day Sunday in bed, I wasn't feeling much better but I was just too bored to stay in bed another day. I should have, though, because I certainly didn't get anything else done. Randy, who is also sick, has made some real headway on fixing the RV.  But I spend every night coughing and don't have any energy during the day. Randy had plans to got fishing this morning at 4 am, so last night I was slept on the couch, hoping he could get some real sleep. I don't think that worked but he's out fishing now anyway. I haven't slept at all so I got up and am watching Jeanne Robertson online at 6:30 in the morning. Maybe later exhaustion will overcome my cough reflex!

A Visit to the March Field Air Museum

Saturday we visited the March Field Air Museum, where they have a large indoor display and a much larger outdoor field of planes. Inside, in pride of place, is the famous SR-71 Blackbird. It's really beautiful but that's not why it's here. In their 24 years in service Blackbirds set world records for speed (2,193 mph) and altitude (over 85,000 feet); it could fly from London to LA in under 4 hours. But the best part is that they never lost a crew member during active service. When fired upon, they could simply fly high enough and fast enough to outrun everything else in the sky. Eventually they were decommissioned as too expensive and replaced by drones, but it is obvious that to the men who built and flew them, nothing will ever replace the Blackbird. It's got an amazing shape - pure aerodynamics - and from the front it looks a little like a flying saucer.
At less than 19 feet tall, that smooth shape belies how long it is - 107 feet long. I couldn't even find a spot to get it all in frame. It's long and sleek and beautifully engineered.
The hall holds other exhibits like the main engine exhaust nozzle of the Space Shuttle. This one flew on 3 Endeavor and 2 Atlantis missions before being used by NASA to test propellants. Now it's comfortably retired at March Field.
From other exhibits I learned that in WWII our POWs called themselves Kriegies, which is short for the German word for prisoner of war, Kriegesgefangene. And that in 1941 Bob Hope started his tradition of performing in USO shows right here at March Field. And I learned about the B24 Liberator plane "Lady Be Good", whose tragic fate was the basis for a Twilight Zone episode. She disappeared without a trace on her first mission in 1942 and her fate was a mystery until 1958 when the unmanned wreckage was found in the Libyan desert. It was another two years before the remains of her crew were found. The consensus is that the crew realized they were lost in a sandstorm, bailed out, then died trying to walk out of the storm. So sad.

A separate room has individual displays for each of the different wars or conflicts. And unfortunately, there are a lot of them:

WW I (1914 - 1918), when airplanes came into their own in the military. I am always been amazed by what was accomplished with such basic tools.

WW II (1941- 1954), when the US had to fight both Japanese and German forces. They mention the Mighty Eighth, which we learned about in Georgia. It is an odd footnote that the clothes from this war are so darn trendy; I would love to have USAAF wool flight suit.
They also give a nod to the Royal Air Force, who in 1940 did what nobody thought could be done - keep Germany out of England. And to the Tuskegee Airmen, who proved their many detractors wrong.

Korea was next (1950 - 1953), our foray into a civil war.
Then the Cold War (1954 - 1991), with artifacts that I can recall. The caricature in the back is from Russia - everybody used propaganda.
And overlapping that was Vietnam (1959 - 1975), with the quote “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers”. The boonie hat they have on display reminded me of MASH's Colonel Blake's hat, although his was actually a bucket hat.
Operation Iraqi Freedom (2008- 2009) is their most recent display. I wish it could be the last one.

In another building we found this curled propeller of P-38. The pilot was doing a low-altitude salute to patients at a navel hospital when he was hit by the wash of the jet in front of him, which slammed him into the ocean. He got out but the impact curled the propeller right back; never underestimate the power of water, even against metal.
Outside the hangers is a large field with dozens of planes. It's amazing how the planes have changed over the years - some to increase effectiveness and a lot to increase crew safety. I would hate to be inside that little turret below the belly of the B-17 Flying Fortress. It seems like one rough landing would be the last.
They have several different MIGs on display, from MIG15 to MIG23. They are small but that was one of the things what made them effective. And they have a big refueling tanker, the KC-97, which was retired when it couldn't keep up with newer jets. 
The T1-4J Skyhawk has its refueling nozzle attached; that's what would join up with the KC-97 in flight. I cannot understand how they pulled this maneuver off. 
And they have a personal favorite of mine, the F-15. Randy worked on F-15 software at Boeing; that's why they were so good!
They have a big fat C0123 on the field, with its rear ramp that opened for parachute jumpers. The body was designed with an unusual raised tail, so the jumpers could get safely out.
Near the back of the field but visible from everywhere is the legendary B-52. It is unbelievably BIG. The wheels under its wings are a couple feet off the ground because it could hold so much cargo and fuel that when it was full, the weight would bend them down to ground level. In my photo the people are standing in front of it, not next to it; it's hard to give a sense of how enormous this plane is.
I was glad Randy was there with me - he pointed out several things that I would have missed. Like the fact that the Flying Fortress used zippers to enclose its barrel slots. The zippers are attached to the barrel itself so they slide up or down with the barrel, keeping the slots safely closed.
And the F-4C Phantom II has a hook under the tail, which would have been used when it landed on aircraft carriers. I put that feat right up there with mid-air refueling - almost unbelievable. 
And he explained to me that all the bits of wire I saw on the exposed engines were there to lock the bolts into place. I assumed they were added when the engines were put on display, but it was done during the actual engine assembly.
There is an amazing amount of information in this museum. It lacks some of the personal stories that I loved at the Mighty 8th Museum, but it is fascinating and well worth a visit.

Three years ago: A quick stop in New Orleans

Famous Dave's for dinner

Another beautiful day in Riverside, which we spent working on the front cabinet area of the RV. As with so many things in RVs, nothing about this area is standard, or even square. That makes everything harder but we got a lot done anyway. Tonight the evening was quite a bit cooler, and so beautiful.
For dinner Teresa took Jack, Ian, Riley, Aunt Jean and us to Famous Dave's. We ordered a couple of the "Feast" dinners, which is a ton of food served on a garbage can lid.
This place just opened in Riverside a short time ago so maybe they are putting extra effort into it, because everything was really good! 

Shorty's new love

Shorty has a fascination for toys and his favorite toy has always been whatever someone else has. Until now. Now he has a plastic pink shark that he is in love with. 
When he chews it, it makes squeaky sounds. The sounds range from high, sharp squeaks to low, long squeaks, but always loud.
We hear that squeak a lot now.

January 7, 2015

Hot enough to turn on the air conditioning today! Just for a few minutes, but still, a welcome relief. And today I received my Christmas present. Randy asked me what I wanted, and what I wanted was this:
Not a new car; it's our Jeep, cleaned and detailed to look and feel brand new! And I didn't have to do a thing on it, so I am very happy.

We are considering the next thing to repair in the RV. The bathroom isn't quite done but there are enough projects that we can switch things around, to keep from getting dragged down by doing the same thing day after day (if we wanted to do that, we would have kept our day jobs!). The area between the front cabinets used to hold a big, fat TV. Now that we have a cabinet to hold the TV, we don't have the big fat TV or it's cabinet anymore, and we have to fill the space. There are a lot of odd measurements that will make this job a challenge, too.

January 5, 2015

The cold spell in Riverside seems to be over. This morning I was up early enough to see steam rise from the backyard fence. I haven't seen this since we were here in 2010.
The good news is that the cold snap has put some snow on the mountains. Since rain tends to run off into the storm drains, snow is necessary to fill some of the reservoirs. There hasn't been enough to cancel the 4-year drought but every bit helps.

Here we are still working on the bathroom. The room is so small that I can't add a lot of detailing without making it look cluttered. So I just painted the wall behind the linen doors a light blue. 

California laws

If we believe the stickers we see in California, then almost everything in California causes cancer. We find warning stickers on electrical wires, jewelry, dishes, flashlights, cars - they're everywhere! Even the wood planks we bought at Lowe's came with a version of the sticker:
I did a little research and learned that California's Prop 65 (aka the Safe Drinking Water and Toxin Enforcement Act) was passed in 1986, and since then the list of toxins has grown to about 800 chemicals. A warning label gets put on anything that uses any of those chemicals, no matter how small a proportion is used. So by now the legislation is not only worthless, it's actually dangerous because it encourages people to ignore the labels. 

One Year Ago: South Carolina cold
Two years ago: Old hairstyles
Four years ago: At the races
Five years ago: Picacho Peak, Arizona

Happy New Year in 2015!

Happy New Year and welcome to 2015! We celebrated New Year's Eve by going to Baskin Robbins; on the 31th of the month they sell their ice cream for $1.31 a scoop. Of course we did that at lunchtime, not at midnight, but it still counts. I was up late enough to hear the neighborhood fireworks but Randy, still recovering from his cold, was already asleep by then. 

This morning we celebrated New Year's Day by unhooking our frozen water line. It's 27 degrees outside! Poor little Julienne; she cannot understand why, in Southern California, she has to go outside to stand on frost-covered ground.
Later, of course, the frost melted and the water line unfroze. The activity for today was a trip to Winco; it's not much in the way of a celebration but Randy and Teresa have been sick in bed for 2 days so it was enough. And before it got dark Randy unhooked the water line again; it's going to be even colder tonight.