A Gentle Reminder from Mother Nature

 

Snow morning of 04262017

View out my office window this morning!

Mother Nature is giving us a wee reminder of what Winter will be like here in northern Minnesota, so we’ll have time to prepare before the cold and seriously snowy months roll around later this year. 

We are on the waiting list for a detached garage.  There was one available when we reserved our townhome, but we didn’t take it.  We still had the truck (which was too big for the garage), we weren’t sure of our expenses, and so on. Hindsight is a lovely, precise 20/20, eh?  Wishing now I had included it.  Not only for the car, but for the bikes and other “garage” stuff that we have stashed away inside here.  We’re 3rd on the waiting list and hoping we’ll have the car snug inside before Winter kicks in.

Our vehicle was always garaged when we lived in Hibbing, MN 10 years ago.  If we don’t get a garage, I’ll need to study up again on the best ways for de-icing the car doors, windows, etc.  We had to do this in New Jersey, so it will just be a matter of refreshing the memory … and skills.  Hopefully won’t have to do that, though.

Our front porch and door is exposed to the North.  And the North wind.  Ha!  This morning, even with the small amount of snowfall we were having, there was a wee drift in the corner by the storm door.

So I’m thinking, “What if we get a blizzard with a foot or more of snow?  We’ll have a huge drift right here at the door! Might be tricky getting out.  Better get a shovel or something so we can dig our way out if we can get the door open a bit.”  Even though they did come clear the sidewalks a bit this morning, we’ll still want a shovel to tidy up our porch and sidewalk in front of our unit.

Snow afternoon 04262017

Here we are around 4:30 PM today

Even though today’s event is unexpected and a bit of a nuisance so late in the year, Momma is presenting us with a mild drill so we can be thinking about these things and preparing for later when Old Man Winter settles in.

I need to start a “Get for Winter” list.  Seriously.

On the domestic front, Dave got his computer desk and chair in place yesterday.  Drapes for that room should be arriving tomorrow (had to order them; can’t find pinch pleat drapes anywhere in stores around here).  If they are okay, I’ll order the same kind for the living room.  One of the 2 recliners we purchased had ongoing issues, so that was taken away today with a replacement on tap to arrive next week.  The other chair is heavenly, but this one was just not right in several ways. 

We’ve spent a good part of today finding places for our treasures that go on the walls.

Workspace 04262017

Painting by my aunt Margaret, given to me by her years ago. It brings a sense of peace, comfort, and the joy of animal companionship.

Puma over entry 04262017

Cougar was gifted to me about 15 years ago by my Reiki mentor in Austin.  It has hung over every entryway since then, even in our RV.

Baby and Maggie 04262017

Baby was with us during our Hibbing, MN days and boarded with sled dogs while I spent Winter 2005-2006 with Dave in Scotland.  Maggie had her share of “snow days” in our New Jersey years.  Both our girls loved snow! (Sorry about the reflection on the photos.)

This storm started with an awesome sleet/ice storm last night shortly after we hit the blankies.  Such a sound on the windows!  It’s been snowing since we opened the blinds this morning and is still coming down.  The temperature today won’t get to the freezing mark, but will be warmer after that with sunshine for Friday.  Next week is looking good again with pleasant temps and a prolonged reappearance of Mr. Sun.

Hope your days are sunny and pleasant!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be safe out there, okay?

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You Know You’re Back Up North …

Snowfall 04232017

  • You know you’re back up North when you’re wearing thermals in late April.
  • You know you’re back up North when you hear the North wind howling outside in late April.
  • You know you’re back up North when your weather forecast for the next few days has the chance of snow – accumulation of such – in late April.
  • You know you’re back up North when you’re posting photos of snow on your blog!

No complaints about any of those things.  I’m sleeping very well.  My body is physically much happier here.  My soul is much happier here.  “Content” is the word that applies, I think. 

We’re on our “Saturday night” this evening, and we’re winding down a nice day.  Ran a few errands together this morning, including a trip to Home Depot.  I think it may well have been 2 years since we’ve done that together.  Nice. Then it was back home, where Dave put together his computer space and I spent time in the kitchen with the slow cooker going as part of our meal for tomorrow and the work week, and then made quesadillas for our dinner.  Again, nice.

I’ve been having fun finding more “treasures” that have been packed away for much too long while living in our RV.

Bear candle 04232017

Rock stash 04232017

Tomorrow we may just watch it snow and begin hanging things on the walls.  I’m digging having my “weird” stuff out in the Light again.  Not sure yet where my hoop drums will hang, but I’m looking forward to having them on display and truly in my presence again.  Who knows?  One of these days I might even find a drum circle around here.  There’s plenty of time for that.

It was our first full work week for both of us.  We seem to be settling in rather seamlessly, which is a relief.  Not that I had any concerns, really, but one never knows when one relocates to a new area.   You know what?  Today was our first “Saturday” that felt like what I think a “normal” weekend day should feel.  Wee shopping errands together, home projects, cooking, actually eating together, chilling out watching a Netflix program.  Relaxing.  Yeah, it had been a tough couple of years …

What do you think of the new format here?  I found myself struggling a bit to read this the other evening in the old theme colors.  I prefer a darker background color for photographs, but I’m finding this easier on the eyes to read.  We’ll see …

A cross-country relocation is a massive undertaking, and I’m not just talking about the trip.  There are so many things to see about like address changes, new driver’s licenses, finding out where things are in your new hometown, etc.  We located the recycle station last week and I picked up driver’s manuals so we can study for our tests. 

Oh!  Friends in Texas are selling their 2006 Nuwa Hitchhiker 5th wheel.  If you’re in the market for a nice, well-maintained RV, take a stroll over to their listing on RVTrader and check it out.   They are preparing to move back onto their sailboat, “Raven,” and take up life on the seas once again after a few years of living on land.  Sound interesting?  Follow their adventures at Raven’s Cruise Log.  I do!  Gosh, I’ve known Hilde and David for … forever.  Hilde and I not long ago were trying to recall how and when we met back in Texas.  Seems like each of us  was just “always there” for one another.   Good friends, good times, good memories.  Those, too, are treasures that belong in the Light.

Hard to believe it’s already 10:30.  Geez, where does the time go when one is blogging with groovy tunes in one’s ears? 

Hope you have many treasures basking in the Light …

Thanks for stopping by!    Be safe out there, okay?

Good Excuse as Any

One of my major work systems is undergoing maintenance this evening, so I might as well blog.  Right?

To say that our days are full right now is a bit of an understatement.  We’re both back to work and have most of our weekly routine back, although interspersed with relocation-related activities.

Sherry, (In the Direction of Our Dreams), in response to your question about how the Edge would handle the snow, it is front-wheel drive (a must for up here) and has intuitive all-wheel drive.  Apparently it senses when the tires are slipping, and kicks into AWD automatically.  I’m told I won’t even notice, but I wonder about that.  Our truck had 4WD on the fly which I manually engaged when needed, and I could tell a difference in traction and the way it handled.  We’ll see later this year when the white stuff starts falling for real.  I still need to study the owner’s manual and spend some time in the “cockpit” learning all the in’s and out’s of our Beastlet.

Here’s snippets of life in a small northern Minnesota town so far:

  • Wednesday at a local grocery store is Seniors Day, with 5% off your bill.  Yes, I qualify, which I find both amusing and bemusing.  Tuesday is Double Stamp Day. Are you old enough to remember collecting Green Stamps in a book?  Well, they have their own version of that which you collect on paper cards.  Twenty stamps = $1 off groceries or gas, up to $10 at one purchase. 
  • The small mall is within walking distance.  No kidding. There are a lot of other amenities within walking distance.

Bear tapestry 04212017

I purchased this small tapestry at an outdoor market in 2005, when I lived in Hibbing, MN. Not sure where it will “live” here, so in the meantime, I hang it temporarily at night to keep it from becoming wrinkled. It’s nice having special items out for enjoyment instead of packed away.

  • Our townhome has drapery hardware already in place.  A traverse rod, mind you.  Are you old enough to remember drapery hooks?  These worked with pinch-pleat drapes, which you will be hard pressed (no pun intended, but there ya go) to find anywhere except by ordering online.  After hanging the first set as an “experiment,” I now understand why women of the 1940s and 1950s did not work outside the home.  It could take all freakin’ afternoon just to hang one window’s worth of drapes with hooks.  The result is better than I anticipated after watching a YouTube instruction video on doing this.  It’s doable, but I may order a different brand – and certainly different color – for the other rooms. No matter what type of curtain top treatment, the vast majority of curtains in stores here are foam-backed insulated.  You might ask, “Why is that?”  Well, it gets cold here in Winter, baby!

Curtains in office 04212017

Looking out my office window, with curtains

Deer next door 04202017

View from our front porch yesterday evening. There are 5 deer that seem to pass through about the same time on a daily basis.  I’ve also seen a fox out in the field.  Building in forefront is the Home Care and Hospice agency associated with the hospital, and the hospital is in the background. Told ya there were amenities within walking distance.

  • Speaking of walking, one sees frequent walkers here throughout the day.  Yes, people walking on purpose, for exercise and/or enjoyment.  I hope to join their ranks once things settle down a bit.
  • It is still pretty chilly here, and we’ve had some rainy days.  Today, however, it was in the low 60s and stunningly gorgeous outside.  Difficult to stay indoors and work, I tell ya.  Good thing I enjoy my work!

Workspace 04142017

Here’s my workspace. I. Am. In. Heaven.

Work buddies 04132017

Top shelf good vibes

  • I met our mailman the other day.  Wow.  We have a mailman.  We’ve even gotten mail!  You know, the paper kind you can touch.
  • I’ve cooked a few times and, with my first “major” cooking effort wondered at the fact that I had prepared the same meal in our RV.  “How did I do all this in such a smaller space?  Wow!”  Not to mention having hand-washed all the resulting dishes, pots, pans and utensils.

Aloe Vera in kitchen 04192017

Having no plants in the RV, I have reinstated my tradition of an Aloe Vera in the kitchen.

The evening is progressing, so I’d best wrap this up and publish.  I am once again very grateful that we were able to make this move.

Front porch evening 04082017

Front view from porch at evening

Thanks for stopping by!  Ya’ll stay safe out there, okay?

Settling In

We departed the RV park in College Station, TX the afternoon of Tuesday, April 4, and arrived at our new digs in Bemidji, MN that Saturday afternoon.  Our departure was a bit later in the day, by the time we loaded the truck with our belongings from the rental travel trailer.  Besides that, we weren’t in a hurry.  We drove each day until we decided we’d best look for a hotel for the night.  We ended up staying in Ardmore, OK; Emporia, KS; Sloan, IA; and Fargo, ND. 

We were fortunate to have no issues on the road, although the wind was incredible every day. One day it was headwind, the next tailwind, and so on each day.  We were sure glad it wasn’t a crosswind!  We were able to find lodging every night with parking to accommodate our truck and U-Haul trailer within walking distance to restaurants.

The AmericInn in Fargo was our fave of the trip.  They boast of being “Rated the Best Hotel in North Dakota.” I have no arguments with that!  Flipping through the cable channels, we found the move Fargo.  Even though we’d seen it before, you know we just had to watch it being where we were!

AmericInn Fargo 04072017               Lobby of the AmericInn in Fargo. We enjoyed the lodge theme, which was found throughout the hotel.  Sitting by the fireplace for a while felt good!

After unloading and dropping off the U-Haul trailer Saturday afternoon, the process of unpacking and setting up our new home began.  All the boxes are gone now, and we’re awaiting delivery of some furniture tomorrow. 

Our home 04122017

We’re in a 55+ community, each building being a 4-plex of townhomes. Ours is a 2-bedroom unit.

The Monday after our arrival found us at the Ford dealership.  One of the truck batteries had gone bad and, while that was being addressed, we decided to look at cars while waiting.  We had plans to downsize in the near future, as we no longer needed our Beast – a Ford F-350 1-ton diesel – since we no longer had to tow an RV.  Well …

2014 Edge Sport new ride

Our “new to us” ride, a 2014 Ford Edge Sport with low miles

After about 5 hours at the dealership, we had negotiated an excellent trade-in value on our truck (everybody wanted the Beast) and a whopping deal on this Edge.  I had been doing research for a while on the Edge and a Honda CRV, with the Edge having … pardon the pun … an “edge” over the CRV.  The Beastie here has all sorts of electronic gizmos and systems, and I still need to get the owner’s manual out and spend time with it.  For now, I’ve got down the basics – syncs my phone, plays my Pandora, I know about the basic computer screens and systems, and can get us around.  It has heated seats and a sunroof.  I’ve never had a sunroof (and that feature wasn’t a factor in our decision), but it might be nice in the climate here.  Personally, a sunroof in Texas just doesn’t make sense.  Anyhoo, it’s fun to drive and handles well.  We certainly didn’t anticipate making a car deal on our 2nd full day here, but there it was, and we won’t have to do it in the future.  Cross off one item on the “to do” list!

Betty Paul and Babe 04102017

Requisite “touristy” photo with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

We both started back to work on Saturday, and are settling into a bit of a routine once again.  I don’t think either of us would trade the years we spent full-timing in our RV, but this is a welcome change. Everything here is nearby – a nice walk or short drive.

I step out on the porch in early mornings and smell pine trees. Eagle makes morning rounds, and gulls (yes, gulls because of Lake Bemidji), ravens, and Canada geese are seen and heard throughout the day. I saw a fox and a deer in the field nearby last night.

It’s such a relief to be in a small town and closer once again to Mother Nature.  My stress level has diminished greatly over the past week.

Evening view from office 04182017

Evening view from my home office

More later as we explore and settle into our new hometown!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be careful out there, okay?

Locked and Loaded, or Loaded and Locked

We rented a climate-controlled storage unit at the facility right across the highway when we began moving our possessions out of our 5th-wheel home last month.  Today was the day to pick up the U-Haul trailer and empty the storage unit!

At storage facility 04032017

The trailer size is marked on it as 6×12, same as I had when I moved to Minnesota in 2005. 

MN move 2005

Loaded for June 2005 move to Minnesota, with help from friends Jim  (left) and David (right) in Brenham, TX.  I made that journey as the only human in the truck, as my traveling companions were 1 dog and 2 cats.  What an adventure!

I tell ya what, though, it sure feels and looks smaller. Perhaps it looks smaller because back then I drove a Tahoe and now it’s a Ford F-350 diesel beast.   If this is the same size I had before, I have no idea whatsoever how I (friends who loaded it, actually) got so much more stuff in it than we have in this one.  We have no furniture; previously, I had a queen bed set, loveseat, kitchen table and chairs, coffee table, papasan chair, a couple of bookcases, not to mention boxes, vacuum cleaner, bike … I tell ya!  This one seems more like 12’ from the end of the tongue to the back vs. 12’ of box.  Guess that’s okay, because I think we’ve got it packed nicely.

Almost empty 04032017

Almost empty

Empty 04032017

Empty!

Ready to roll at Aggieland RV Park 04032017

We have the site behind us to park overnight

Dave chillin after loading 04032017

Dave  chillin’ afterwards, well deservedly!

It took us about 1.5 hours to load the U-Haul.  Then it was time to chill out, rearrange a few things in the cab of the truck, I got a load of laundry done, dinner, and more chillin’ now.  Yay! 

We don’t anticipate an early start tomorrow, as we have to pack up and empty our “hotel room,” i.e., the rental travel trailer.  The mornings in hotels will be easier, as there will be less packing.   Too, I anticipate tomorrow being a slower day since we won’t pick up an interstate until after a while.  Although we know when we would like to arrive in our new hometown, we have no deadline, so we’ll just enjoy the trip!

For years, I haven’t considered a long trip starting in Texas to actually begin until I cross the state line!  Texas is big, ya’ll.  

Cheers to Matthew at U-Haul Moving & Storage at Texas Ave for fitting us out this afternoon and giving us a few extra courtesy days on the rental.  That location had great reviews, and I see why.

I continue to be grateful – very grateful – that things continue aligning nicely for us as we embark on a new chapter of our life together.   Well, I think that about wraps it up for tonight.  It’s almost 8:30, and it’s been a long day. 

Thanks for stopping by!  Ya’ll be safe out there, okay?