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Friday, August 5, 2016

Last Minute Camper Update

By the time you read this, we (hopefully) will be on our way to another camping adventure.  In preparation for this trip, and future camping in general, a little maintenance was necessary for the camper.   Unfortunately, we developed a significant leak in the last month or so and had to repair it before camping again.  Ron worked on sealing the roof with sealant tape while I worked on a project inside.

When we bought the camper last year, it had been well-loved and well-taken care of.  However, for some reason that completely escapes my comprehension, the manufacturer installed green carpeting around the toilet in the tiny bathroom.  Not on the floor, but surrounding the toilet.  

I've been wanting to rip that stuff out, and this was the perfect opportunity.  It's a small space, and it was attached VERY securely!
I cut and ripped and pried and finally got it all up (except around the edges (I guess they wrapped that wooden box before installing it in the bathroom).
I bought some peel and stick flooring for $.99 each (it took 4 strips) and used mastic as adhesive, just to be sure that I didn't have to worry about the edges peeling up.
I placed some heavy objects on it while it dried overnight.
Around the edges, I used peel and stick caulking that is made to go around a tub.
The front edge needed to be covered, so I bought a piece of unfinished mounding and used some of my acrylic paint TS to try and match the tiles the best I could.  Once the toilet was back in place, I glued the strip in place.   It is nothing fancy, but sure is an improvement over Olive green carpeting!


Monday, August 1, 2016

A Few More Balloons

Indulge me while I post a few more balloon photos.  Sunday morning, Callie and I got up very early, loaded the boys in the car and drove out to LSU-S while our hubs were still sleeping.  We set up lawn chairs and waited for balloons to arrive to compete at three different targets and for an instant cash prize.
There were a few other families that came out that morning, some even bringing picnic breakfasts. This time, I brought my "big girl" camera.  Because the stakes were so high for the pilots, we knew there would be many balloons to see and we were not disappointed.
You hear the balloons before you actually see them, as they light their fires to fill the fabric with hot air.
The object for this competition was to drop "bean bags" in several different locations.  In addition, there was a tall post that they could try to drop a ring onto.  If their ring made it onto the stake, there was an automatic $5000 prize.
As each balloon appeared over the trees, Baby D exclaimed "hot fire" and we watched to see how they did in the competition.
There were 31 balloons in all---29 piloted by men and 2 by women.
We didn't see anyone get their ring on the stake, but many were able to drop their bean bags onto the designated target areas.
It was so much fun to watch and really quite beautiful in the early morning light.
My favorite was a turquoise balloon with geometric shapes, while Baby D's favorite was one with cats all over it.  All of this before 8:00 a.m.!!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Instagram vs. Facebook + a Challenge

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.   Well, actually, it is more of a like/hate relationship. I find myself constantly on the verge of completing deleting my account, especially lately.  I enjoy re-connecting with old friends, keeping up with friends and family,  and the easy access to information about scheduled events in which I participate.  But, I despise the bombardment of advertising, the plethora of erroneous information that is presented as good and true and the political posts of friends, regardless of which way they lean.  I sometimes hide the posts of FB friends who are particularly offensive, but more often than not, I just scroll past many posts, looking for someone's vacation pictures or news about my next workout or high school reunion.   I am a bit "old-school" in thinking that political opinions and such are private matters and a dissenting post by a friend on Facebook is not going to change anybody's mind about an issue---in fact, it generally does just the opposite by making them even more set on their own opinion.  (And it certainly makes me less likely to read anything they post at all).

Therefore, I find myself enjoying Instagram more and more as my primary social media platform.   Because it is visually based, there is not a lot of room for ugly political posts or arguments between people.  I know some exist, but they are generally limited to comments of strangers that are hidden from my day-to-day view.

On Instagram, I can view family vacation photos of friends, keep up with what's going on--from the ordinary to the adventure, and even find inspiring photos and quotes.  I can choose who to follow and who follows me, and I find myself inspired to see the beauty rather than the ugliness in this world.  There are no advertisements on Instagram (at least not yet), yet if I feel inclined to purchase something pictured, most websites are easily accessible through comments and hashtags.  I do try to protect the privacy of my young grandchildren, and rarely post their faces without the express permission of their parents.  I also try to never post a location when a child's face is showing because you just never know.  Recently, I have had a couple of spam comments or "likes" on one of my photos, but as soon as I notice them, I block them from my account to try to keep things safe.

And speaking of Instagram, toomorrow is the first day of August (how is that even possible??) and it is time for a new photo Challenge.  August is hot in this part of the country, and in many cases, school begins in just a few short days.  For me, August brings the first day of my official retirement and I hope there will be a few fun adventures in store for me, and you as well.  If you'd like to give this a try, simply post a photo each day and label it with the hashtag listed below.  (I generally click on the photo below and choose to save it to my phone so that I have it readily available when I forget that day's prompt)   Some days, the prompts are easy and I immediately see a way to capture it, but other days are more difficult and I have to play catch-up a few days later once inspiration strikes.  That's the nice thing about this challenge---it really doesn't matter.  :-)

If you are new here and you'd like to play along, leave me a comment below with your Instagram name so that I can follow you.  Your photos might just be the inspiration that I need to complete that day's challenge!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Red River Balloon Festival

A couple of weeks ago, the National Finals for Ballooning were held here in Shreveport.  I had a friend that had volunteered to help with the scoring one day and met her out at her location early on a Friday morning.  I had just come from working out, so I looked a sight, but the weather was beautiful and I didn't want to miss the chance to see the balloons.  When I arrived, I was quickly recruited to help with the scoring as well and we scurried around to set the targets up and measure the boundaries.
After that, we waited.
It wasn't long before spots of color began appearing over the trees.

It was so beautiful and peaceful to see them float closer and closer.
We could tell early on that most of the balloons were not headed for our target, but one loomed overhead briefly before the wind sent him on a different path.
It would have been fun to watch them drop at our target, but the weather dictates so much of how a balloon travels and it was not in the cards for us this time.  We could watch some drop at another location a couple of miles away.

That evening, we went to the Rally, hoping to hear the headline bands of Phil Wickham and Rend Collective and seeing a wonderful balloon glow.  However, as soon as we arrived, the fields were evacuated for a pending storm.  We were all directed to the nearby gym with the assurance that they would re-open as soon as the storm passed.
I went out to check at one point and the storm clouds seemed to be getting heavier and heavier.  The entire crowd eventually came outside as well, but we decided to leave and get some dinner.  Thankfully, just as we left, the bottom fell out and it stormed for several hours.
The next morning brought sunny skies and high humidity, but Ron and I ran the First Balloon Rally 5K.  It was a flat course and a smallish crowd, so it was fun.
That evening, we braved the heat once again to go back out to the Rally.  This time, Callie, Jordan and the boys joined us.
It was HOT and there was little shade except around the perimeter, so we set up in that area.
Baby D kept cool with some "green ice"and by misting himself (or should I say drenching himself) with the little fan I brought.

Baby D2 played with mama and rested.
When the balloons finally arrived, we watched them set up and give people rides.
Callie and Jordan opted to leave in time for a regular bedtime for the boys, but Ron and I stayed and enjoyed watching the rest of the balloons arrive and set up.
The balloon glow was really nice
as were the fireworks that followed.
I'll leave you with a bit of a twinkle that I caught on my phone.

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