Sunday through Saturday, March 23-29—Settling In, Sort Of

Sunday was no exception to the “busy day” scenario.  Awaking early, HVAC filters were changed and batteries replaced in the house smoke alarms.  And then, it was off to church, Sunday School, and church—we did a twofer, attending two services.  After the latter service, our Sunday School class had a potluck honoring Stan and Ruby, who last year moved to Minnesota to be closer to children and grandchildren.  Back home for a nap, and then back into Mountain Home where Kay and I hit golf balls.  Finally, we were back home for the evening and enjoyed a long FaceTime visit with Jenny, Brian, and Harper.  Harper has grown so much and is now talking up a storm (though we need an interpreter).  

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It was 25° when we awoke Monday morning, too cold for these old bones; we left the Rio Grande Valley a couple of weeks too early!  Despite the early hour and below freezing temperatures, we evacuated the chlorine solution from the RV waterlines, hoping it killed the algae we picked up this winter.  This has proved to be a time consuming task as we had to connect to the house water line.  Any drips froze where they landed.  After flushing the lines, we drained the gray water tank, moved the printer from the motor home back into the house, thawed and rolled the various RV water hoses for storage, cleaned up the mess in reading room and shop—things from the motor home, had coffee/chocolate with Wayne, added water to the RV batteries, downloaded map updates to the Garmin GPS, and downloaded songs from Baxter County Library,  and took a respite from all the work to go for a ride with Wayne where we noticed this snowbank across the river from where we live.  Back at home, we had an early dinner and watched television.  We still have some chores to do, such as replacing the RV water pump, installing an RV water pump accumulator tank, and a thorough cleaning inside. Kay went into Mountain Home to practice with the Crossroads Band while I remained at home.

We continued working around Dunhill on Tuesday, raking leaves, picking up downed limbs, etc.  Actually, Dunnhill was in great shape after a winter of some 17 snow events.  Kay left late morning for a complete hair treatment (color, cut, etc.), and I followed shortly afterwards for just a haircut (with very little hair, it didn’t take long).  Afterwards, I hit golfballs in 44° temps with 20-25 mph winds blowing right into my face—not any fun!  Back at home, it was more putting away stuff from the RV—like moving from one house to another, but not near the volume of stuff to move.  We watched television for a couple of hours in the evening.

We can’t seem to get a break with weather as it’s been cold and windy here this week; this Wednesday morning it was in the low 20s Farenheit, or -6° Celsius.  Butterflies have been quite scarce, but I have seen a couple Mourning Cloaks and though VERY unsure, thought I saw a white colored swallowtail today. With 15-20 mph winds, it was impossible to get the binocs on it, and it was gone in a flash.  A warm day or two should produce lots of butterflies!  Birds are trying really hard to migrate, and we have lots and lots of American Goldfinches, all trying to put on their spectacular brilliant yellow color.  We also saw the first hawk today, but could not identify it as it too was flying fast.  We have been extending the bird habitat (limbs, bushes, and other yard debris) in the back of the property so that it is now about 30 feet long, and the birds are really coming to it.  Kay spotted a reddish colored bird this afternoon, and we thought it might be a rare one, and it was using the bird habitat.140326 E 002  A photograph proved it to be a Carolina Wren—even I embarrass myself as to how much a novice I am!  I also thought I had sighted a Pine Siskin, but couldn’t get a photo, so have no clue what it was.  We continued putting things away, had delicious potato soup for dinner, visited Wayne and Loretta, and read the rest of the evening.

Thursday was moderately cool, with winds reportedly gusting up to 50 miles per hour.   After a winter in the Rio Grande Valley, the wind doesn’t seem as bad.  Kay drove into town to run errands, and I remained at home continuing to sort through the myriad of piles of stuff, putting away things we want to keep, boxing and sacking the things we want to give away, and trashing the remainder—neither of us is good at trashing, but we’re not hoarders, either.  Not many birds were flying today, but the American Goldfinches hung around the feeders all day, practically emptying them.  We saw our first Pileated Woodpecker of the year, on the ground foraging for food; it was quickly out of sight.  Just as I write of all our “junk”, I just ordered and received a cable to allow use of a wireless shutter remote on the cameras.  Now, when weather permits and the birds are more plentiful, we’ll put the camera on the tripod near a feeding station, and snap photos from inside!  Also, we received a new RV water pump and accumulator tank via UPS to replace the current water pump and install the accumulator tank, respectively, in the motorhome.  That will just about conclude all the maintenance and repair for a while—hopefully!  Staying inside all day is proving a bit annoying, and taking some getting use to.  Good weather is forecast for this weekend.

We are beginning to settle into a routine at home, despite iffy weather the majority of time since we arrived back from the Rio Grande Valley.  On Friday Kay made a picnic lunch for our visit tomorrow with Jenny, Brian, and Harper to the Memphis Zoo and Aquarium.  It was a pretty low key day, otherwise, as we continued spring cleaning.  After lunch, I hit golf balls at the Big Creek Country Club driving range, and hit okay, but not great.  (The Big Creek Country Club driving range is the best I’ve ever seen.)

After a 3-month absence from seeing Jenny and her family, we traveled to Memphis on Saturday to visit Jenny, Brian, and Harper, meeting them at the Memphis Zoo and Aquarium.  Along the way, the temp was 47° and it was very windy.  We called to offer a modification of plans, but Jenny said they were dressed warmly, and would bring an extra jacket for Kay.  We met them at the zoo, after driving around Overton Park—we thought the signage was poor.  The Memphis Zoo and Aquarium is world-class, and awesome.  Even with cool temperatures and winds, it was crowded.  The only negatives was poor service at the coffee shop and $5 for parking in addition to the entrance admission.  After several hours at the zoo, we had a great picnic lunch on the Overton Park grounds near a field of jonquils.  Kay outdid herself with a wide variety of food to suit everyone’s tastes.  Harper did great, and was pleasant the whole time.  Jenny texted that she fell asleep just after they departed the zoo.  It was wonderful visiting with our daughter and her family!  Other photos are in album on my Facebook page.

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