It’s a Cougar

Over the past few years we’ve been toying with the idea of getting an RV.  We borrowed my step-father’s motor coach after Thanksgiving 2013 and enjoyed a few days of RV camping.  This past fall we rented a 25′ RV for two weeks to sightsee and experience a different type of RV.

In March we went to the RV show at the fairgrounds and learned a lot.  We’ve done a bit of RV shopping for new & used and over the past several months Keith’s been researching and asking lots of questions of others who have an RV.  Then last weekend we rented a bumper pull type trailer to try yet another type of RV.

Now that we sold our boat and have been doing lots of researching we are ready to get serious about purchasing an RV.  Yesterday morning Keith noticed that there was an RV for sell that seemed pretty close to all the features and price we are looking for so we made a small road trip to Enid to see it. We looked the RV over pretty thoroughly then decided to sit down and discuss it over a nice cup of coffee at a local cafe.

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We loved the coffee and decided we love the RV.  We agreed upon a price and will pick it up later this week.

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Sitting behind our truck, here’s the 2013 Keystone Cougar Xlite 25′ RET that will soon join our family.

Weekend rental

We rented a bumper pull trailer to test out our truck’s limit to tow and did a bit of sightseeing at Lake Ouachita, Arkansas.

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We arrived late on the first evening and didn’t have a site that had full hookups so the next day we moved to a different site. The lake was steps away at both sites.

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My favorite camera lens stopped working properly right after I took this photo so the rest of my photos for the weekend were taken at a ridiculously high ISO or with my cell phone.  Guess I’ll need to see if it can be repaired or buy a replacement lens.

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Along the drive to our second campsite was this old railroad track.

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Our journey this weekend had some interesting twists and turns that overall helped us feel more comfortable about a decision to purchase a trailer.  Who knows what’s around the corner for us!

Finials on the Fence

With such beautiful weather Keith was eager to work outside. The result is an updated look to our fence, no doubt some soreness along with a bit of sunburn on the back of his legs.  The finials certainly add a nice finishing touch!2016-04-03-update-fence

On another note, we sold our deck boat this week.  After owning it for 14 years and enjoying good times on the lake we’re ending that chapter and considering RV ownership.

City Farm

A few times a week Keith has been helping a friend by feeding his farm animals while he recuperates.  I accompanied him this weekend and the place is just on the edge of town so you get a feeling of being in the country but your not really.  Since I didn’t grow up with farm animals it was interesting to watch. 2016-04-02-18Standing in the food bowl makes a statement.

2016-04-02-15There are about 14 chickens and each day there are 4-7 eggs.

2016-04-02-23The cows get a little extra for their diet.

2016-04-02-35After dinner the cows watch me and pose for me.

2016-04-02-36The chickens were thirsty after eating so they went to the pond.

2016-04-02-37This one reminds me of a cartoon character.  “I say, I say…son.”

Easter weekend at a Pond

 

2016-03-26-37Simple, natural beauty surrounded us at the private pond where my Dad, step mother and our families spent the afternoon together.

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Wayne and Camellia

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Keith fishing…err napping

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My nephew riding his bike

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As the afternoon was ending this eastern meadowlark (I think it is) sang to us.

Spring is in the air

The wall hanging caught my eye with the stripes in the letters that were the result of the shadows.  I found myself focused on the short phrase “and be” that is a small part of the wall hanging.  Most often I ask myself what to be, when to be, how to be or why to be yet this morning the shadows directed me to the phrase and be.  Never mind the questions of what, when, how or why of being rather focus on adding to being, that is and be.

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As Keith was gazing out a window at our lake place he observed an adult male yellow-bellied sapsucker woodpecker in a nearby tree and told me to come watch.  I was able to get a couple of photos of the bird hunting for just the right spots to drill holes in the tree and wait for sap to seep out.

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You can see his red head and throat and his chest has a bit of yellow on it.

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In the photo below his head is blurry due to his drilling action in making the sapwells.  Can you imagine the knocking sound it makes?

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It’s officially spring with beautiful sunshiny days, birds playing and lots of wind.

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As I drove home I was intrigued by the 50 or so wind turbines in the Arbuckle Wind Farm that are busy capturing the kinetic energy of wind and converting it to electricity.  This product of electricity then is exported to Nebraska.  It boggles my mind.

Busy as a bee

On our way back from a quick visit to our lake place we stopped to see how my Dad and step mother are coming along with the workshop.  They’re busy painting the ceiling, walls and floor while just outside the workshop many bees are busy pollinating the pear trees.

 

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Notice the pollen baskets on the bees legs are getting pretty full.

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Purrs that signal

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Our dear Purrkins’ burial spot

A few days after Purrkins, our 18 year old Siamese cat, died we received a condolence card from the veterinary clinic that included the following poem:

Saying Goodbye

Gentle eyes that see so much,
paws that have the quiet touch,
Purrs to signal “all is well”
and show more love than words could tell.
Graceful movements touched with pride,
a calming presence by our side.
A friendship that takes time to grow,
Small wonder why we love them so.

There it is again, my Mom’s voice reminding me that all is well.

(see my All is Well post for the back story).

Along the path

As I was getting my personalized tour of the small Oklahoma town where my Dad recently moved, we entered mule country apparently.  Back road travels generally offer sights that city girls don’t see too often. 2016-02-13-Wynnewood-26Notice the dachshund is running to catch up while the horse inside the fence tries to engage the passersby.  As they passed he turned and shook his head seemingly frustrated that he couldn’t go with them. 2016-02-13-Wynnewood-27The dachshund  was not talking much but was sure interested.

2016-02-13-Wynnewood-29This wagon, which is similar to the Sooner Schooner, is frequently in the local parades and, in order to keep the mules in practice plus enjoy gorgeous days, they go out for an afternoon stroll occasionally.

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The other end of the wagon has signs that say “mule lovers are stable people” and “caution your entering mule country” while the family dog quietly lays down and peeks out of the doors that are open.

Fall Road Trip

We signed up to use Tripcast, which “lets you share your travel photos with the people who want to see everything, not just the highlights.”  We’ve really enjoyed using it and highly recommend it.  For the purpose of this blog I’ll just post a few photos from our trip.

We flew to Seattle where we rented an RV for 2 weeks.  We headed toward Pasco, Washington to meet up with some friends.

We enjoyed a private tour on this 55' boat on the Columbia river. We went through the locks at Ice Harbor bay, which was a fascinating experience on a gorgeous day.

We enjoyed a private tour on this 55′ boat on the Columbia river. We went through the locks at Ice Harbor bay, which was a fascinating experience on a gorgeous day.

Next we ventured on toward Spokane and stayed at Coeur D’Alene Lake, which was quite lovely.

I was taking a photo of Keith sitting in the chair facing the water when a woman in the RV park came up to me and said it was no good taking a picture of just one of us and that if I'd set my camera up she'd just push the button. I said sure and told her it was our 26th wedding anniversary and then she began telling us what to do for the photos by saying things like "look at her", "hold hands", "turn around" while she snapped several photos. She was a hoot.

I was taking a photo of Keith sitting in the chair facing the water when a woman in the RV park came up to me and said it was no good taking a picture of just one of us and that if I’d set my camera up she’d just push the button. I said sure and told her it was our 26th wedding anniversary and then she began telling us what to do for the photos by saying things like “look at her”, “hold hands”, “turn around” while she snapped several photos. She was a hoot.

The next day we drove to Missoula, Montana and I got to spend time with Carol, who was a good friend when we were in Junior High in 1973 & 74. The last time we saw one another we think was about 1985.  She and her husband graciously entertained us and we had a wonderful time.

McDonald Lake at Glacier National Park

McDonald Lake at Glacier National Park in Montana.

We had intentions of touring around Glacier National Park but most everything of interest was already closed so we headed on to Yellowstone where we spent two days then visited Cody, Wyoming and another day at Yellowstone.  I have a ton of photos that are scenic as well as of wildlife.

The bison were pretty much everywhere and we were able to get pretty close to them.

The bison were pretty much everywhere in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and we were able to get pretty close to them.

Deer that just crossed the road near the east entrance to Yellowstone.

Deer that just crossed the road near the east entrance to Yellowstone.

Driving through Yellowstone National Park there was a mama grizzly bear and her cub beside the road. I had a pretty good view and as they were walking by the posts they each stopped to scratch their backs.

Driving through Yellowstone National Park there was a mama grizzly bear and her cub beside the road. I had a pretty good view and as they were walking by the posts they each stopped to scratch their backs.

After Yellowstone we headed for the Grand Tetons.

As the couple in the canoe paddled by Keith called out and thanked them for helping make our photo opp complete. –at Jenny Lake in Grand Tetons still in Wyoming.

We enjoyed roasted marshmallows (actually Swirlmallows caramel & vanilla) over an open fire.

We enjoyed roasted marshmallows (actually Swirlmallows caramel & vanilla) over an open fire in Montpelier, Idaho.

The National Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier had a simulated adventure along the old Oregon trail that we did. It was entertaining and educational.

The National Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier had a simulated adventure along the old Oregon trail that we did. It was entertaining and educational.

Google maps said we could take a 16 minute longer way to Garden City. Thinking it would be more scenic we opted for it but little did we know we'd be on an I paved road. It brings new meaning to shake rattle and roll when you're in an RV. On the way back we took the quicker route.

Google maps said we could take a 16 minute longer way to Garden City. Thinking it would be more scenic we opted for it but little did we know we’d be on an I paved road. It brings new meaning to shake rattle and roll when you’re in an RV. On the way back we took the quicker route.

Saturday morning we headed for Salt Lake City, Utah.

Spent an afternoon at Park City and enjoyed the Alpine slide and coaster. Pure fun!

Spent an afternoon at Park City and enjoyed the Alpine slide and coaster. Pure fun!

Monday we returned the RV in Salt Lake City and flew back home.  It was a grand trip with friends, fun, food and freedom from work.

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