Monday, April 27, 2015

Great Monday

How many times have you ever heard anyone say "This was a Great Monday?"

Answer:  Not Many.  In fact, maybe not ever.

But for us today it was a hugely Great Monday.  Everything clicked.  Everything worked.  We Love It When A Monday Works!

We accomplished so much stuff today that it's hard to know where to begin. So, let's begin at the beginning and work our way through this Awesome Day.

(Disclaimer: We arrived back around noon last Thursday.  All the normal re-entry chores were done by "close of business" Friday.)

Okie, we go...

We beat feet outta our house shortly after 7:30 AM.  We delivered "Seren" our 1995 Suzuki Sidekick Garage Queen to Sears for her annual checkup.  It's kinda like getting your HDL/LDL's checked, only different.

Then we waited at home until CableOne came and connected us back up to the internet.  They said they would be here "sometime between 8 AM and NOON."  Well, they pushed their envelope and showed up in the 11-ish range.

Meanwhile, we both occupied ourselves with productive tasks while waiting.  You don't need to know the details of our tasks,  Suffice to say they were very productive.  We were actually thankful The Cable Guy was late in his window.

After The Cable Guy verified we were Feng Shui, we headed back to Sears to pick up Seren.  The Sears Guy Mike told us the Bad News: "There's NOTHING WRONG with your vehicle!"

WHAT?  We were fully prepared to pay your typical $500 to fix whatever would be wrong with Clair's Garage Queen.  You simply have to assume a re-entry cost of $500 per vehicle.  It goes with the turf.  But today we copped a break.  No way, no how could we pay Sears any money.  They refused it.  They said Seren was in perfect condition through and through.

How good is is that?  VERY GOOD!

After our Sears visit, Clair and I each went our own ways in our own vehicles.  I drove the 1984 vintage Nissan.  Clair drove the 1995 Garage Queen.

Clair went out and did her thing today and I did as well.  We both gave each other glowing reviews of our Happy Monday.  Trust us, it's not every Monday that was Good as This Monday!

I haven't yet heard of all the details of Clair's Happy Monday but I am going to list my own Monday Successes.  Here they are:

Gave Seren her annual checkup.  Passed with flying colors.

Got connected to 50 MBPS internet

Checked all financial accounts.  All A-OK

Removed Snappy from State Farm Insurance.

Joined WORLD GYM for six months & paid-in-full via check.

Bought my annual Idaho Geezer Hunting & Fishing License for $11.75.

Bought a new hot rod $425 laptop from Sam's Club.

Worked out 30 minutes on the treadmill at World Gym during the  work day rush hour. Been off the treadmill since last year.  Picked right back up. Did 30 minutes with a 116 heart rate covering 1.5 miles on a Five degree incline.

Began reconnecting with our River City Friends.

Took a bunch of tree pictures.

Trip North Report - 2015

Pulling up alongside our little 1939 bungalow at 11:15 AM Thursday.
Home, Sweet Idahome once again.

Every migration is unique and comes with its own baggage, so to speak.

Our 2015 Trip North was no exception.  What started out as a mellow meander morphed into an all-day marathon before finishing at a pleasant pace on The Home Stretch.

Our first day's travel from Rimrock to The South Rim was a low speed, easy going, delightful 140 mile drive through Oak Creek Canyon, Flagstaff and the forest vistas of Highway 180.  We enjoyed a wonderful, long-overdue visit to Grand Canyon.

Our second day's travel kept on going and going and going until the odometer stopped spinning after 560 miles took us from The South Rim all the way through the Salt Lake City I-15 Gauntlet.  We normally never stay behind the wheel for 11 hours but one thing led to another.
The Wednesday weather gave us ample reminders (and incentive) to keep driving north. Mt. Nebo on horizon.
Finally, our third day was yet another leisure cruise of only 160 miles through the sweet farm fields of Eastern Idaho.  We pulled up to our little bungalow at 11:15 AM Thursday.  It was a perfect day for doing all the chores to begin settling back into our Idaho Season.

We changed our travel schedule Tuesday after realizing the weather would be "iffy" for Plan A.  Sure enough, on Sunday April 26 we awoke to a cold rain trying to turn into snow. It would have been a terrible day to travel home and then try to get everything here up and running again.

As it worked out, our 2015 Trip North was all about Perfect Timing.  In hindsight we couldn't have planned it better than it turned out by "winging it" with serendipity.

The total travel tally turned out to be less than we expected.

Fuel cost $170 and camp expenses were $37. Sharlot averaged 13.4 miles per gallon and easily held her own on I-15 when it really mattered.

Time was really running out on fixing Susun's phone Tuesday.
We beat the clock with 7 minutes to spare before closing
time at The Grand Canyon Library on The South Rim.
The only hiccup on the trip was the screen shattering experience of Sweetie Susun's cell phone.  As many readers remember, we bought her new smartphone on Thanksgiving Day 2014 during Wal-Mart's runup to the Black Friday Frenzy.  The phone was normally priced at $130 and we bought it for $30.  Since it was "such a deal" we bought two, figuring it would be cheaper than buying the extended warranty coverage.  We also reasoned that having a spare would put Susun back in action immediately rather than having to wait for a warranty phone to arrive.  Well, bingo! We sure gave thanks this week for our Thanksgiving Day decision.  Even though it took 3 hours Tuesday to get the spare phone functional, at least we had it on hand.

As of Sunday April 26, we are totally resettled into our Idahome.  The tasks that lie ahead are all the normal chores of homeowners everywhere.

This is our 7th time arriving north after a Snow Bird Season. Getting the house function again was the easiest it's ever been.  Some minor plumbing modifications made last summer made ALL the difference in restoring running water quickly without any "issues."  Both dormant vehicles started right up.  All systems were feng shui within four hours after our Thursday arrival.

The only hiccup has been internet.  It's a Bad News, Good News thing. The Bad  News is that we've been without internet for days.  The Good News is that we've been without internet for days.

Since we thought we'd be arriving April 26th, we scheduled CableOne internet installation for April 27th.  Well, the cable people flatly refused to change that set-in-stone installation date.  We quickly realized Thursday that the lack of internet would be a Good Thing.  We've been able to get all sorts of tasks and chores done and are way, way ahead of the re-entry game as a result.
We pulled into Utah's Willard Bay State Park as the Wednesday evening darkness descended on The Great Salt Lake.

No Internet, No Problem

Internet free since Tuesday,  April 21!

Well, it certainly hasn't been by choice...just circumstance.

What do we miss the most when we don't have internet?  Surprise:It's not Facebook or email.  Nope, not even close.

What we miss most is watching weather.  Being without internet really brought home how much we depend on watching upcoming weather patterns.  It's not just in our DNA..we actually plan our activities based on whatever weather may be in store.  (More on that later.)

The Next Big Thing we miss is research.  We truly reply on being able to ask a question and get an answer online.  Being internet free helped us realize just how dependent we have become on the research capabilities of cyberspace.   (More on that later.)

Third on the list of what we miss most is The World Of E-Commerce, including Craigs List, Banking, online shopping, etc.  Craigs List is truly a mainstay of our lives and we are quite literally lost without it.

Finally, we miss the news.  We enjoy being a voracious news reader.  Contrary to what someof our Facebook Friends may thing, the bulk of our time online is spent reading news and feature articles.  Luckily, we have home newspaper delivery here in Idaho Falls so that helped soften the total lack of online news.

Now about Facebook and email.  Both of those internet stalwarts are at the bottom of the list for what we miss most about being internet free.  Both are informative and entertaining, to be sure.  However, neither is essential to our daily "quality of life."

As you well know, Facebook can be (and often is) the quintessential "time waster."  Frankly, being Facebook-free the past few days has helped me get a lot of Real World Stuff done here at our Idahome.

Over the past couple of years, we've come to realize that very, VERY few of our inbox messages are truly important. In other words, they can wait.  It matters not that I check my email every day...or even every week for that matter.  In the social media whirled, email is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

So, why would be miss watching weather so much, especially right now?  Simple.  We're hoping to squeeze in a bicycle trip to The Grand Tetons and we have had no clue what the weather will be like there between now and April 30---the last day the Jenny Lake Road is open to bicycles only.  Also, we're already planning a Road Trip in early May.  We truly have an actual NEED to understanding Big Picture weather patterns for the next couple of weeks.

And let's take up that high-sounding word "research."  What on earth would we need to research?  Well, right now it's a very mundane but important-to-us topic:  a top rack for Marvie.

We left Annie and her awesome ladder rack in Arizona.  As you know, the ladder rack helped us carry our canoe hither and yon.  Marvie's not capable of carrying the canoe without a top rack. The Magic of The Internet would have long since helped me understand our options for such a rack.  Without the internet, all we can do is stand around the truck scratching our head and pondering the possibilities.

And so there you have it.