Saturday, December 29, 2012

For those looking to live off the grid

One of the things at some point that we would like to be able to do, in short bursts at least is to live off the grid. We aren't the types of folks to do it for long periods of time, but we do like the idea of being able to do it on occasion. For instance we plan on going to Quartzsite this January for 4 or 5 days. Well, one of the problems with being off the grid like that for a few days is no power. Now, we do have a generator, but runnig the generator is a little noisy.

One of the things we would like to do is maybe get solar for the Motorhome at some point. Solar panels are a little spendy, but we found a website about a guy living off the grid. On his website he talks about making his own solar panels. If this sounds like something you might like to do and potentially save your self a lot of money, check out his website!

How To Make A Solar Panel

Happy camping! Eric and Carol

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas 2012

Our 2012 Christmas was another wonderful one. As was indicated in the previous post, we started our Christmas weekend with a gathering at Calvin and Joyce's for Joyce's 65th birthday on Saturday the 22nd of December. Sunday was fairly uneventful, which was nice since we had to go to work for at least part of the day on Monday, Christmas eve.

On Christmas eve, we traveled up to Pioneer in Amador county to Sandy and Bill Ealy's home. Some number of years ago, we decided that we would limit our family Christmas gifts to basically a 'White elephant' sort of affair. We were also lucky in that we got to have a special addition to our family gathering. Whitney Connor is in town for a while visiting us. She is thinking of relocating from southern California  In the picture below, she is the young lady on the right hand side of the picture.

Here is Whitney with her Grand parents, Sandy and Bill! Such a wonderful family!

Everyone had a great time at Sandy and Bills. Even though the gift exchange was for white elephant gifts, there were some great gifts. One of the funnier gifts in this was that someone in the family who had bought the game shown in the picture below with Brandon, was originally bought from Billy, Loretta and Brandon at their family yard sale!

We are always so happy when we get the young adults of the family to join the older family members for these gatherings. As you know, we are always glad to have our dogs to join us for everything we do. So, in the picture below, we have Russ, Katie, Brandon and Whitney as well as Russ and Katie's dog Mac and our dog Charlie! We love the holidays!

After we got done opening the white elephant gifts at Sandy and Bills, we headed home to Rancho Cordova, 'cause Christmas morning, was just around the corner. After a little migration of gifts from the bedroom to the front of the motorhome, we were ready for Christmas morning and opening gifts with Katie and Russ. As you can see, we had a lot of gifts to be opened. We also did pretty well on the Christmas cards that we exchanged with friends and family this year.

We had a great get together with the kids and they loved all of the gifts we got them. Though we don't have a picture of it, the best gift of all was a coffee mug that Katie and Russ made for Carol.

The dogs as I indicated are always part of our family events. Sometimes, we subject them however to things that maybe they don't appreciate so much!


Happy camping! Eric and Carol

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Joyce Waite's birthday

This is where we start to hit a fevered pitch during the holiday season. First we have Joyce Waite's birthday followed by Christmas Eve and then Christmas day.

In order to celebrate Joyce's Birthday, we all congregated at Calvin and Joyce's home in Sutter creek, about an hour and a half from Sacramento, in the Amador county foot hills. This year there was a wonderful turn out for Joyce's birthday. Joyce's daughter La Tisha, as well as La Tisha's two daughters Haily and Tori came up for the celebration from their home in Manteca.

Sandy Ealy and her husband Bill came down from high up in Amador county to visit with the family. They also brought along their Grand daughter Whitney, who is in the Sacramento area for a while for a visit. Bill, Loretta and Brandon came down from their home in Pioneer too also join in on the celebration.

Last, but not least, Calvin's son Kevin and Kevin's wife Raina, and their two sons Devon and Shane also made the trek up from the bay area for the visit which un-doubtedly will include the opening of some Christmas presents.

Joyce loves to cook and bake, and as a twist, Joyce prepared the vast majority of the food which was all wonderful. We love this time of year 'cause there is so much good food. The only problem is, all those calories go to our waist lines. Oh well, as you know, that's what New Years is for, all of those 'I'll eat better' starting with new years resolutions.

Stay tuned, 'cause tomorrow is Christmas eve, where we will travel up to Bill and Sandy's for Christmas eve and then Christmas day, we will head to Bill and Loretta's.

Happy Camping! - Eric and Carol -

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Getting ready for Christmas

Hi there everyone,

Well, as usual, we are keeping very busy with various stuff around Rancho Cordova these days. The last couple of weekends, I've been struggling to replace the brakes on the front of the Accord, but without much luck. The big problem has been breaking loose the nuts on the the brake shoes. If I had a proper service bay so I could get the right angle on things, I could torque on the wrench and break them free. But, no such luck here in a Mobile home park. So, Carol spotted a Living social deal for front brakes of $49. That is a whole lot better than the $168, I was quoted by another shop in the area. Even if they completely foul it up, at least they will be loosening the nuts on the breaks so that I can change them out again in the future! Stay tuned, we will see what happens!

On December 8th, we celebrated Katie's birthday with her and Russell at our local Olive Garden restaurant. As always, the food was yummy and the service was great! We are so very proud of both Katie and Russ, we just wish we had the money to do everything for the kids that we want too. But, then they wouldn't be learning to take care of them selves as well as they are! After dinner together, Katie and Russ went to Black Hawk casino to play some of Katie's free birthday play. They were 'WINNERS'! They won over $1,000 on one machine. This winning allowed them to do some much needed shopping for clothes and camping equipment! Yea kids!

We've decorated our little site at the RV park and we're not the only ones! A number of our neighbors have decorated in preparation for the holiday. With the exception of our Christmas cards, which we place high in the living room, the rest of our Christmas decorations, mostly the tree, reside in the bedroom so that the dogs can't 'remodel' it while we are off to work each day. :-)

Speaking of remodeling, check out the video we have of Charlie remodeling the motorhome while we were gone to work one day. Obviously, he still has a little separation anxiety when we go off to work.

One time when Katie was by one afternoon, she helped us out by taking our 'Family photo' that we used on this years Christmas card!

On Friday the 14th, we went out with some friends to check out some nicely decorated homes in the Rocklin area, which is north east of Sacramento. There are probably 20 homes in that neighborhood that were decorated so nicely. About the only homes that were not decorated, were the ones that are for sale and empty.

Our Christmas Holiday is shaping up to be a busy one, so we're not sure when we'll get the blog updated again. But we hope that your holiday season is a wonderful one!

Happy Holidays! Eric and Carol