Saturday, October 31, 2015

Random Photos From Our Trip Through Montana/ Idaho




Happy Halloween Everyone!

Looks like we'll have to probably get more treats on our errands out today- picked up a bit while in the US and on our way back into Canada but will need a bit more- as it is a Saturday night and there may be more kids out tonight with it being milder weather out and no snow this year. Not doing too much for decorating indoors or out though- having to unpack the RV as we are planning on trading it or selling it to get a bigger one. Almost all caught up with most washing and housework, mail, etc since we've been back. At least I don't have any little kids I have to take out trick or treating- so I'll have some relaxing!

Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy Halloween!




Friday, October 30, 2015

Back Home Update

Hard to know where to start- but we've arrived back home- mid evening last night. About 3 hours out of town there was snow in the hills and quite alot in the bush, but closer to home it went away. Then about an hour out of town we heard a roaring noise in the RV from seeming like the exhaust. Wow- it was so loud! Good thing it happened close to home. The RV really took a beating on some of the roads we were on. There is alot of rocking back and forth, things moving in the cupboards, closets, etc., if you are not on a smooth highway.  I had internet in most locations, and was able to to keep up with the blogging and such from the kitchen table, while Gerry motored along so that was nice. After running to the auto parts store, he found out the piece he needs is an exhaust gasket that had broke off on the RV. $17

It was Gerry's 55th birthday yesterday and our anniversary the day before that but with being on the road and trying to get home, we didn't do much for celebrating either.

While driving through the city of Saskatoon though with the RV and it being a big thing that can't just stop on a dime, it looked like Gerry may have got nailed with the red light camera. We sure hope not- but it did take the photos as he was going through while it was changing. Looked on the internet and the cost is over $200, so now we wait and see if anything comes in the mail.

Came home to a dusting of snow. Gerry had to get pails of water last night from the RV so we could have some water to flush with last night in here. Got some unloading done, and then was up early this morning to call the town and have the water turned back on. So we're all set that way. I was already washing clothes today and will be nice to have a bath tonight in my FULL SIZED TUB!

When we left we also had to shut off other services such as our cable tv, the phone, the internet, etc. When you do this there are fees associated with suspending services. Luckily by asking, I was able to have these fees waved. Now I'm not saying this will happen everytime you do this or if you have a circumstance like ours where we returned in a week, but it pays to ask, plus, also helps if you are a long time customer with the services.

Will be nice to get back on a regular schedule again. Although Gerry is retired, he was talking about getting a JOB during the winter- so not sure what is happening with that. Think he wants it for something to do.

On a final note- I have added up all my expenses for this trip- and have converted any US dollar amounts over into Canadian dollars for the final tallies.

Groceries- did not do this one but would guess we spent about $100
Take Out- $25
Propane- $100.47
Yellowstone National Park entrance- $39.49
Repairs and Maintanance on RV- $105.19
Camping fees- $280.60
Gas- $1580.80
Total-$2131.55
 **( an expensive week to say the least)

Posting some more pictures soon!

** Additional expense- anti freeze for RV once we got home- $30




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Halloween is a Treat For America

Please click photo to ENLARGE
                     

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

More Pictures From Our "Trip"

Montana road



Yellowstone National Park


Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park


Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park

Pictures From Our Campsite in Pocatello, Idaho

Pocatello Idaho KOA


Some farm animals or maybe a petting zoo across the way- a fence separate us though. There 
was also a lama I saw here as well. We could actually hear the donkey making noise a few times yesterday evening.

Coming Back Home- And Here`s Why

We`ve had to cut the trip short and coming back home- after 5 days of driving to get there- and still with another 4-5 days drive it would have been to get to Tucson.

Where do I start- well things aren't always like you think they`ll be sometimes.
Why are we turning around and coming back to snow after driving half way- well here`s the reasons:
-80% of it is due to RV issues. Although our RV is a 2006, we`ve already spent a ton of money on everything from new batteries to tires to a rad to now Gerry says looks like we may need a wheel alignment as another tire is wearing out. The roads have also been hard on the RV from tabs breaking on blinds, closet doors, the roof is having issues, the floor Gerry now says is buckling in kitchen...and I could go on and on...as well as he says it lacks power in higher elevations or on hills.

- Exchange rate- 35% extra on every dollar adds up. Yes, we knew that going in but its different when you actually see the propane fees you are paying, the gas fees at a $100 a fill, etc..

-We were also rushed to get to Tucson where we were flying out from to get to Orlando to see Ria...
thinking we`d get to Tucson in 4 days was not how it was turning out. 5 days of driving and it looked like we still were looking at another 4-5 more days to go still. This was cutting it very close to making it on time for our flight out.

-We actually left too late in the season as well. Not alot of campgrounds were left to choose from, and as well we did need electrical sites every day- more expensive too- to have the furnace on for the evenings. Gerry said if we were to try it again, he would leave earlier in October.

What we lost:
- $300 of our Orlando timeshare booking fee
- Get a credit for our flights but must be used within a year and on United flights only. And we pay a $500 penalty fee. Flights were $960 though for the two of us to fly to Orlando. It was a good thing I hadnt yet booked our car rental.
-I would also say we lost a bit of money for the 5 days of camping and gas and propane that we did spend to get this far- Pocatello, Idaho- and the possibly close to the same amount to get back- although Gerry wants to drive more hours to get back sooner than the days it took us to get this far.

In the end what would we change and would we do it again:
Have a bigger and newer RV- as really if your going to be living in your RV for a few months you really need more space, as well as more comforts of home. Some call this glamping and say its not really camping and that is true it isnt primitive camping but we dont want primitive camping anyhow. We really only wanted to get away from the cold and long northern winter we have back home.

As well perhaps  have a US account to have money saved for when the dollar is at a better rate and buy and save it then. So not take such a hit with the exchange.

As sad as we are for having to disappoint our daughter not seeing her in Orlando, and heading back home to Winter, we feel it was something we had to do. At least for now and at least this Winter.

I also need to take care of my low iron issue- probably meaning a trip to the city to start with IV injections once we get back.


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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Some Pictures From Today

                                Some oddity- in a farmer's field- Montana


                               Jakey loved seeing the buffalo but while I had the window open for him to see, told him no barking at them!

                                More of Montana- getting more exciting scenery than just fields!

                               Part of the Absoraka Mountain Range- near Livingstone, Mo.

Mileage Today- 278 miles- felt like more!
Gas- $100 US
Propane- $24.29 US
Campground- electrical again for night- $37.56 US - (includes Good Sam discount)

Got my disposable cell phone all set and my Verizon for internet while on the road and where I don't have free Wi-Fi... and when I need to do online banking with a more secure line.

Campground in Livingstone, Mt- Osens RV Park and Campground





and... the weather back home.... ( mom's picture)








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Sunday- October 25th

                          Yesterday's campsite- Cottonwood Inns and Suites RV Campground in Glasgow, Mt. Pretty empty- off season most places. Did a load of wash and dry in the brown building- $1.50 wash/ $1.00 dry but we needed two dries on our clothes. Hotel is a short walk away to use internet in lobby if you wish and get change. Also in brown building is showers and washrooms.

                                       Metal dinosaur statues on hilltops leaving Glasgow.


                                              Almost like the Badlands of Alberta..

                       No other camping neighbors- stopped at Fort Benton, Mt.. Electrical pull through site- $26.75 with taxes- off season rate- $3 savings.  Free Wi-Fi here as well.Check outs at most campgrounds have been 11 am. Will be glad when we're settled in one spot and don't have to worry about that!

Yesterday's trip was 240 miles but we made a K-Mart stop ( for pay as you got cell phone and minutes- $28) and one at Walmart,( sweater and groceries- $127 but had a pre-paid $100 Visa gift card), that cut into our driving day. Plus a lunch stop at Dairy Queen ($8). Not to mention Jakey's pit stops. 

Yesterday's gas fills-$205. US.

Will be hitting road soon- but unsure how far we'll get for sure. One thing is for sure Montana has been so drab- sorry Montana! But nothing but cows and fields and fields and fields. Got a bit more rolling hills the last few hours of yesterday, but just like seeing a bit more out the window than fields.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Today Has Not Been a Good Day

I'm not sure where to start but today has not been a good day- plain and simple. We had to go and have the toilet looked at - or thought at least I thought we could get a new toilet since we only bought it a few months ago. Well, no, since the toilet was only covered for manufacturer defects at the time and not the fact that the valve had a hairline crack in it causing it to leak bad! Why did it have a crack? Well probably because the roads have been so bloody rough. And the cost of the new valve- about half the cost almost of the toilet new- $77. But what else happened today? Well the wallpaper we put on most of the cupboard doors in the bedroom and bathroom peeled off. Then when we were on some stupid selected GPS road, the cupboard in the bathroom kept opening and closing, with things coming out- so I finally got my roll of packing tape out and taped it shut! Frustrating! But wait there's more- rough roads broke off tabs on a few of the blinds too.


Gerry drove 342 miles today and we're in Glasgow, Montana for the evening.
Cottonwood Inn and Suites- RV Park- hardly anyone here- and off season rate . 
Cost of site $30 with Good Sam discount
Did stop in Chamberlain, Sask. for a photo opp.( below)



We arrived in Glasgow late so never got laundry done like I wanted or a shower today. With staying in campgrounds as well, it sucks to have to be out on their time. Would be nice to just stay and relax but unfortunately it costs for sites like these- electrical too we are getting too to run our heat-and it's still cool enough in the evenings that we need it. Gerry said if we didn't need the heat for the night then we could do the non electrical and get cheaper camping. We're also on a time crunch to get to Tucson as we are flying out on Nov 2nd to Florida and will need to get some things done there and settled into some camping spot, before we head out from there. I do hate being rushed and I do miss my routine already I have at home- including having my washer/dryer when I need it, my long pressurized showers, my tub, my internet when I need it....but I also want to get away from our cold.. so how do I have my cake and eat it too?



I do have free WiFi here tonight so that's nice because I will have to find a Walmart tomorrow along the way to get a pre-paid cell phone and a Verizon pay as you go internet card. I know Verizon cards also need to be activated by phone so need the phone to do that as well. Hope the cell phones wont be too much or that I have any troubles to find one.

On a happier note Jakey loved seeing the cows and horses we passed along the way- well I think he did- he was barking at them. Am thinking it was an excited bark and not I'm going to get you bark!

I also hope tomorrow will be a better day...




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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Made It Through The First Day


Been a long day. From getting everything all packed up this morning and everything shut off at home to errands in the city and getting our camp spot for the night. At Campland RV Resort about 10 miles out of the city. Not alot of people here and very open. I prefer more privacy but only here till tomorrow morning.  We needed an electrical site which was $41.58 with our Good Sam discount but we also used our recycling money that we got  $33 for today off that.. so costed us out of pocket- $8.58. PLUS bonus- free Wi-Fi! Nice.


Have had some issues today with the RV with electrical plug ins, and as well the new toilet is leaking.. grrr. So we have to shut it off at the line now to use it, until Gerry can get a chance to look at it.

Ran into the city this evening since we arrived, for a bit of food stuff $25, and a black ink cartridge at Staples: $20 ( Yes, I brought my printer- we're going to need it for printing some plane tickets, passes, for our trip into Orlando).

We missed lunch this afternoon cause we were trying to make it to the recycling depot before they closed for the day, but think that's what contributed to my terrible headache I  got that lasted about 5 hours+ . Feeling better now. Took a bath in our mini tub. Blahh. This is one of the times that I REALLY miss my full sized tub at home.


Anyhow, off to bed soon. We'll have to figure where we're heading tomorrow but Gerry said we'll will be crossing the border into the US  for sure.





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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Leaving Tomorrow!

After all the hassles with the rad with the RV, and getting parts and spending way too much money, it's all set to go and so are we! We're getting the RV all packed up today. All the home services have been suspended and the water will be getting turned off this afternoon, then we're out of here tomorrow morning. Today will be a busy day. I will say that we did save money on the rad by Gerry doing all the work himself. And we are saving money by suspending services like our phone, cable, internet, water /garbage. Some services though have costed money to put on a vacation hold. My cell phone is costing me $4 a month to put on a hold, cutting off water and garbage saves us $55 a month, the phone/ internet was $59 and the cable was $49. We are leaving on the power of course as we have a neighbour and family checking our home while gone, and the furnace will stay running at a minimal temperature which the neighbour will check on while the temperature drops.




We'll be heading to Tucson first as we are flying out the first week of November to meet our daughter Ria in Orlando. She is there for a trade show on diving. Yeah, we'll be broke soon with all this money we're throwing around for sure! Jakey will be staying at a kennel I've researched in Tucson. We'll fly out and stay for a week in Orlando... so yes, I'm busy! Lots of planning. Booked our stay in Orlando at the Vacation Village at Parkway. Have stayed there before.  I got a  1 week condo through our RCI on a deal for $390- which includes the taxes. Flights for 2=$960.Tucson- Orlando. Weather isnt too bad today for packing up today. No rain and no snow! 


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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

TIS’ THE SEASON FOR HOLIDAY FLAVORS AT DENNY’S

Pumpkin, pancakes and pies, oh my! Denny’s is unwrapping delicious festive flavors this month with its new limited time “Tastes of the Holidays” menu. With three new dishes and a few returning favorites,  guests of all ages  are sure to feel the holiday spirit at breakfast, lunch, dinner or any time in between.

Denny’s fall flavors and festive delights are perfect anytime, whether guests are fueling up for holiday shopping or taking a well-earned break from the kitchen:


  • New! Rudolph™ Pancake Breakfast –Inspired by the lovable character featured in the classic TV special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The dish includes two fluffy pancakes topped with turkey bacon antlers, whipped cream, chocolate eyes and nose, served with two eggs and crispy hash browns.
  • New! Pumpkin Pecan Pie Pancake Breakfast - Fluffy pumpkin pancakes, made with glazed pecans and drizzled with pecan pie sauce, offer fall flavors with every bite. Served with two eggs, hash browns and a choice of two bacon strips or sausage links.
  • New! Holiday Harvest Skillet – Ready to add some sizzle to the season? Hearty gouda-apple chicken sausage is served on a bed of seasoned red-skinned potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, grape tomatoes, fire-roasted bell peppers and onions, topped with an Italian cheese blend and two eggs cooked to order.
  • Build Your Own Holiday Slam® - Denny’s signature dish has been given a seasonal twist with two tasty new additions – premiumGouda-Apple Chicken Sausage and deliciously fluffy Pumpkin PancakesDiners can pick any four of their favorite items to make their own unique Holiday Slam® starting at just $5.99.
  • Holiday Turkey & Dressing Dinner - This traditional favorite features the finest tender sliced turkey breast, savory stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce, served with a choice of two sides and dinner bread.
But the holiday cheer doesn’t stop there; the new Santa’s Milk & Cookies Shake is a special treat made with creamy, vanilla ice cream milk shake, blended with tasty sugar cookies and topped with whipped cream and more cookie crumbles. Denny’s Pumpkin or Pecan pies, available for $2 a slice or whole for just $8.99, offer festive flavors to-go at any time of day.

Launched nationwide, Denny’s “Tastes of the Holidays” menu is available through Jan. 6, 2015.  For more information please visitwww.dennys.com.

Our 2015 Sweet and Crunchy Halloween Treat Guide


This Halloween we wanted to share with you some great sites that offering all sorts of goodies and sweets for Halloween.

Please be sure to check out:


Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups-



The Justin’s Peanut Butter cups are a great treat to hand out this Halloween. All of the peanut butter cups are organic, and come in a package of two cups, and are available in dark, milk, and white chocolate.  They are the perfect healthier alternative to other chocolates for example, Reese’s, made with better-for-you ingredients such as pure dark chocolate and no high fructose corn syrup.  And they taste great!



Cheetos Bag of Bones Snacks-




The Cheetos Trick-or-Treat Packs are back this year, along with the Cheetos Bag of Bones snacks which encourages Halloween revelers to play with their food! The Cheetos Trick-or-Treat Pack is available in a 26-count of 0.65 oz. size bags of Cheetos Crunchy snacks, making it the perfect option to have on hand for when that doorbell rings on Halloween night. It’s a great alternative treat that is perfect for a Halloween party or if you’re looking to stand out as the go-to trick-or-treat house on the block.

Additionally, Chester the Cheetah has a few tricks up his sleeve, including “Treats and Tricks,” a new video series that shows what happened when a few “lucky” families received an extra delivery with their free Cheetos Trick or Treat Packs ordered through the Cheetos brand’s partnership with restaurant delivery service, Caviar.   Chester also launched Chester’s Pumpkinator, which invites families to design their own digital jack-o-lantern for a weekly chance to win $1,000 at www.Cheetos.com.

Perfect for this season, Cheetos makes snack time fun for the whole family and has everything you need for an un-boolievable Halloween!




The Madelaine Chocolate Company-





For over 60 years The Madelaine Chocolate Company has been producing the finest quality foiled novelty chocolates. 

As a family owned and NY based company they pride themselves on providing the best for their customers.

Halloween is the perfect time to enjoy what they have to offer – whether it is trick or treating, party hosting, or fun with the kids, Madelaine has something for everyone.

Their Haunted Hunt Chocolate Game( pictured above) is the perfect way to end the evening of trick or treating.  Sit around the game with friends and kids and play together!




Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory -




Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has been entertaining chocolate consumers in Canada since opening its very first location in Whistler Village in 1988. Twenty Eight years later we now host over 60 locations coast-to-coast. Step into a Rocky Mountain and you’ll get that ‘kid in a candy store’ feeling again.  Our stores are bursting with Halloween goodies with a wide selection of treats for every budget. 


From Chocolate Mummies, Pumpkin Packs or Turkey Bombs we have something for everyone. Come in for a dip, we look forward to seeing you.
-online store shopping




Z Chocolat-





Celebrate Halloween with a wickedly delicious Orangette assortment and a spooky orange-flavored Fruit-jellies selection. A black and orange themed package-sealed with a carved mahogany pumpkin accessory - that will haunt your recipients with delight.








Pumpkin, spice and everything nice – the fall flavor craze that people around the world can hardly wait for each year. As the season is rapidly approaching, the iconic marshmallow candy brand, PEEPS®, is spicing up the product lineup with the debut of the new PEEPS® Pumpkin Spice Flavored Chicks Dipped in White Fudge!



As you may know, Halloween is the number one candy holiday and PEEPS® has gone above and beyond to provide every fan with a marshmallow Chick they will love:

·         PEEPS® Pumpkin Spice Flavored Chicks Dipped in White Fudge
·         PEEPS® Caramel Apple Flavored Chicks Dipped in Caramel Fudge
·         PEEPS® Candy Corn Flavored Chicks Dipped in White Fudge
All these flavors, a part of the delights line, are a perfect treat for trick-or-treaters. However, with 78 percent of parents admitting that they take candy from their child’s bag, we don’t blame you if you want to indulge in these Chicks yourself


Just Born Quality Confections, the candy manufacturer of iconic brands like PEEPS®, MIKE AND IKE®, HOT TAMALES®, GOLDENBERG’S® PEANUT CHEWS® and TEENEE BEANEE®, hopes to break this statistic with their unique options of delectable treats perfect for every sweet tooth. Some of these new products include:

·         PEEPS® Marshmallow Tombstones
·         MIKE AND IKE® Halloween Variety Snack Pack
·         MIKE AND IKE® ZOURS® Zombies Theater Box
·         PEEPS AND COMPANY® Halloween Plush
·         MIKE AND IKE® and HOT TAMALES® Candy Tub



***Watch this spot for more Halloween confections- coming soon!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Skip the Stress of the Holidays- With the Help of Mrs Smith's Fruit Pies and Some Hostess Tips

Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas, are usually both overwhelming occasions with an invite list filled with parents and relatives to impress. But this year, you can choose to skip the stress of the holidays with these three host tips for a no-stress celebration.




Plan ahead: 
Have at least two weeks to plan a menu and communicate it with guests. Then focus on the smaller details, like cleaning, environment and decorations. Two days before prep your room and set the table. You don’t want to leave those things for day-of.

Accept help: 
The best Thanksgiving or Christmas plan of attack is a potluck-style party where guests bring a side dish, dessert or drink and the host makes the turkey and whatever is left on the menu. 

Homemade shortcuts: 
We’ve all seen those Pinterest fails. Don’t get overwhelmed by buying a bunch of ingredients and trying a new, made from scratch recipe for the first time. Instead make something delicious without the hassle, like Mrs. Smith’s fruit pies. Always a hit with everyone.

And last but not least- enjoy this time of the year when we get to spend more time with our family and friends.