Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie
Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Work has been keeping me pretty busy, but I did manage to get out with some friends for a meal and a movie. We saw True Grit, which we all really enjoyed. Tonight I will ring in the new year with some friends. I'm wishing all of you a happy and safe New Year's Eve, and a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2011!

Rylie's Notes:

This place is teeming with cats. They stroll back and forth outside my window, taunting me with their insolent looks. They drink from my water dish, lounge on my doormat, and even climb on The Staff's car. If only I could open the door...That's my New Year's resolution - perfecting my door opening skills.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I made it to the Bay Area after a half day delay in the LA area for repairs. My wiring connection from the motorhome to the car broke somewhere along the way, so I had to get that fixed. It was pouring rain in LA off and on, so I was glad to get out of there. I had four long driving days, but I made it in time for Christmas and with as little down time from work as possible.

I'm including a link to a Christmas greeting from me and Rylie. I hope it works. I stole this idea from my friend Nancy, who sent one to me. I hope it gives you a smile.


Remember to be kind to everyone at this busy time of year. Even the rude drivers, frantic shoppers, and especially to the animals. I appreciate all of you, my family, friends, and readers, and I wish you much happiness and all the best for the coming year.

Rylie's Notes:

I think I make a pretty good-looking elf.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Does Texas Cover Half the Country?

It sure seems that way when you're driving across it. I'm on the move again! I'm on my way back to the Bay Area to spend Christmas with Cammie and friends. If you're wondering why I haven't posted for so long, it's because I got a couple of other jobs. I was working three jobs before I finished up my Air Photo work and left Texas. I got another instructional design contract job writing training materials and recording computer screen videos, plus I got a freelance writing job doing web pages and blog posts for an RV tour company. This will keep me very busy, so you'll have to excuse me if I don't write blog posts very often. I'm excited about my new gigs!

I've had a couple of problems on the trip back. My electric step stopped working, plus the wiring/cable to my tow system broke today, so now the brake/signal lights don't work on the car while I'm towing. I'll have to deal with these problems in the morning.

I'm happy to be returning to the Bay Area. I've missed Cammie and my friends. Also, I was working in the middle of nowhere in Texas. It was 30 miles to the nearest supermarket, movie theater, store, decent restaurant, or entertainment of any kind. But the campground where I was staying was actually quite nice, and I'll write more about that later.

Other news: Cammie got engaged! She and Doug are planning to get married in a couple of years.

That's it for now, I've got more work to do tonight, and I'm hitting the road bright and early.

Rylie's Notes:

I have been spending the past three days in my den, my little space beneath the passenger seat. I only come out when we stop, and we have been driving very long days. To top it off, we have had some mechanical problems along the way. You know how The Staff gets when we have mechanical problems. Not only that, but we hit wind, rain and fog in California. I think I'll just stay in my den....

Monday, December 06, 2010


One of my stops along Highway 395 in California was the ghost town of Bodie, which is a state park. While traveling the road to Bodie, it's easy to understand why this once-thriving metropolis with a population of 10,000 residents, is now a ghost town. That road is terrible! Especially the last few miles. I believe it was the road to Bodie that signed the death warrant for the shock absorbers on my motorhome. ( Of course I know that the roads were different back when Bodie was a thriving mining town, and that they weren't made for motorhomes.)

Bodie claims to be the most well-preserved ghost town in the country. I have included a lot of photos, so you can judge for yourself.

Rylie's Notes:

The Staff has been doing her morning run without me. First she takes me for a 30-45 minute walk, then brings me back home and feeds me breakfast. Then she goes back out for her run. She gives some weak excuse about my leg being too sore to run. That's okay, I get my revenge. While she is gone, I get up on the table. heeheehee

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Lembert Dome

Climbers on Lembert Dome

I couldn't travel up Highway 395 this fall without a stop in Yosemite National Park. It had been years since I had been to Yosemite, and I was anxious to get back. Although I didn't have enough time in my schedule to do a proper visit, I did want to at least have a quick, little, look-see.

My pal Lorna was headed that way, so we both managed to snag a campsite in the Tuolumne Meadows campground. It's pretty high elevation there, around 8,000 feet. That meant chilly nights and a lot of huffing and puffing when I went hiking. I did a hike to the top of Lembert Dome, and then took a side trip to Dog Lake on the way back down. You'll have to double click on the photos to see some of the finer details.

Hiker on Lembert Dome

View from Lembert Dome

View from Lembert Dome

Dog Lake

Rylie's Notes:

What the _______?! The Staff went to Dog Lake without a dog?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Best Honda Service Ever

I'm headed to Texas, to chase better sales. Let's hope I catch some. However, before I left Southern California, I had the oil changed on the car at DCH Honda in Temecula, California. It was the best service experience, EVER. I have gone to Honda dealers for service all over the country, so I have sampled a few. Not only did they give me immediate attention as soon as I walked in the door, but they started driving my car back to the service bay while I was still being checked in. That never happens.

Once I was checked in, the service manager led me back to the waiting area. While I was waiting, I was treated to a free manicure and a free chair massage. Not only that, but someone brought around Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, warm out of the oven. By the time I was done with all of that pampering, my car was ready and I had to go home. I was kind of hoping I could stick around. I bet they would have been serving pot roast for dinner, or maybe lobster. I would definitely go back there again.

One of these days, I'm going to catch up on all of the blog posts about my activities the past couple of months. But not tonight, I'm pooped. It was a long day of driving.

Rylie's Notes:

I can tell we're not in California anymore by all of the stickers I'm getting in my paws when I walk outside. Ouch.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blood-Sucking Parasite, Continued

Before I left Carson City, I had to get my front shocks on the motorhome replaced. One was completely broken. I think the road to Bodie signed the death certificate on that one. Another $300 down the drain.

And now I'll start the catch up on my recent activities. After I left Pismo Beach I headed to a Lazy Daze Ladeze (ladies) get-together. This was my first with this group, although I have known and traveled with Lorna and some of the other gals before. We stayed at the BLM Tuttle Creek campground at the foot of Mt. Whitney in Lone Pine, CA, on the eastern side of the Sierras along Highway 395. What a view.

The Rigs

My Campsite

The Ladeze

We learned, we ate, we did some wine tasting, and we took in some of the local sights. More on that later.

Rylie's Notes:

There were lots of dogs at this gathering, but as usual, The Staff wouldn't let me hump any of them. How else am I supposed to let them know who's boss?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

For Laila

Cammie and Laila

When dogs come into our lives, they worm their way into our hearts, they are woven into the fabric of our daily lives, and we are forever changed. For many, dogs become almost like children. I know that for me, just seeing Rylie's wagging tail and freckled face will move me from a sad place to a happy one, and I can't help but smile. When we lose our furry loved ones, it is just as painful as losing a beloved friend or family member.

Laila, also known as The Little Squirt to Rylie, came into my daughter Cammie's life when she was just a little pup. Her beautiful Sheltie coat was complemented by her sweet and loving spirit. Laila struggled with strange health problems that the vets could never diagnose, despite numerous and costly medical tests. Poor Cammie tried everything she could think of - numerous food changes and medications -- but nothing seemed to work. Even though she was only five years old, Laila aged. Her fur became gray, her eyes stopped blinking and she sustained corneal abrasions, she vomited frequently and lost all muscle mass. Despite all of her health problems, Laila never lost her sweet spirit. She always greeted everyone with a wagging tail and kisses, no matter how poorly she was feeling.

Finally, her poor little body couldn't take any more, and Cammie had to say goodbye. For those of you that have lost a pet, you know the toll this takes and how traumatic it can be. Cammie and Laila were both so strong and brave, and this wound will take time to heal, but sweet little Laila will live forever in our hearts. We are better people for having had her in our lives.

We will never know for sure what caused Laila's symptoms, but we wonder if it was the flea treatment she was on since she was a pup. It turns out that many pets are getting sick and even dying from various flea treatments, even when the dosing and application directions are followed to the letter. Dogs younger than three years and less than 20 pounds that are given flea treatments are especially prone to problems. If you give your pet flea treatments, please observe them carefully for any irritation or problems. Also, if you have noticed any problems with your pet after receiving flea treatment, I would be interested in hearing about it. Symptoms can range from hair loss, skin irritations, excitability after receiving treatment, nausea, and neurological problems.

Rylie's Notes:

The Little Squirt was the sweetest little sister a dog could have. I will miss her.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Blood-Sucking Parasite

No, I'm not talking about Rylie. I'm referring to my motorhome. I had another electrical problem last week, requiring another visit from the RV doctor. This time it was apparently a loose wire in the automatic transfer switch behind the converter that caused the wire to melt and I lost my electricity -- again. Grrrrrr. I have decided that this is an expensive way to live when you consider all of the repair costs.

At least it stopped raining. It was really cold last week, and very dreary with lots of thunderstorms. Poor Rylie was shaking like a leaf and sticking to my legs like a barnacle. He hates thunder. The temperatures in Carson City went from 95 degrees to 48 degrees in just a few days. It has warmed up a bit since then.

Rylie's Notes:

The Staff gets very grumpy when the motorhome requires repairs. She gets all worked up over a little thing like an electrical problem. Now thunderstorms, THAT's something to get worked up about.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

More Pismo Beach Photos

I'm posting some more photos that I took while I was at Pismo Beach. There were some really neat rocks on the beach in a variety of colors, as you'll see below. You'll probably need to double click on the photos to get the full effect.

Tire tracks on Pismo Beach. You can drive on a portion of it.

One day while we were walking on the beach we saw all of these people in the water, and they were not wearing wet suits. That water is cold! These brave souls were there helping disabled people to surf. Everyone cheered when someone successfully surfed a wave. It was a great sight.

There is an old stairway at the end of the beach, with a sign stating that it is dangerous and closed.

You can see why when you get a closer look:

I love the photo below. That's something you don't see very often on the beach.

Rylie's Notes:

Some people might find those beach photos interesting, but I prefer the one below:

Me in my new bed. Ahhhhhh.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where Have I Been????

Lots of places!!! That's why it has been so long since I have posted. I had a big batch of fun while on my vacation, but first I'll start with something I did in San Francisco before my vacation started. I did a Go Car Tour with my friend Nancy, and we really had a fun time. Tooling around San Francisco in a three-wheeled vehicle that only goes 35 miles per hour, seeing the sights on a beautiful September day -- how could we not have fun??? The word of the day was Wheeeeee!!

We saw Ghiradelli Square, East Beach, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, Lands End, the Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Palace of Fine Arts, Robin Williams' neighborhood, one of the houses where the Zodiac killer got one of his victims, and even drove down Lom
bard Street. You get to create your own tour and can go at your own pace while the car gives you driving directions and a bit of history on the sights you see along the way. It's a great way to see the city. I did an article about it (link provided), and you can see some more photos in the article slide show:


View of Marin Headlands

The View South

We also had a nice lunch outside afterwards and some Ghiradelli ice cream. What could be more perfect?

Rylie's Notes:

I'll tell you what could be more perfect -- if I had been invited. No need to stick my head out the window in that vehicle -- it's an open vehicle. A perfect ride for a dog. What's this, lunch, ice cream, and no doggy bag? The Staff was being piggy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Beach Boy

We made it to the Central Coast, and of course, Rylie insisted on going for a walk on the beach, pronto. He loves the beach. Once his feet hit the sand he kept running, and running, and running. He only stopped running for his second favorite beach activity: digging.

There are always birds to fake charge.

And rocks to explore.

I got my new converter installed the next morning, and all is well now with my power, but not so great with my wallet.

Rylie's Notes:

The Staff doesn't know what she is talking about. This is my favorite beach activity:

Marking my territory. I continue my quest for world domination.