From The Home Office

No Snow…Yet

Well, Percy came down with the illness Mittens has so we now know it's "Kennel Cough." They're both doing much better. I just hope the other three cats don't catch it, too. Ali's really good at giving the animals their medicine. They fight me, but adore Ali so much that they'd let her pour anything down their throats... …

It’s Time to SHOP!

Halloween is over and it was a truly wonderful and magical day. Max was almost able to keep up with the big kids this year and actually covered two entire blocks before he started dragging his feet and asked us to carry him back home. We're now gearing up for Christmas shopping. …

What? Another Hurricane?!

We had a wonderful time visiting Richard's family in Corpus Christi, Texas and the heat wasn't as oppressive as we'd feared. We stayed at a nice campground on the beach there and we had lots of family time and even a day of shopping, which the children particularly enjoyed. Ali even got her very first set of silk wrap nails while we were there. I can't type with long fingernails, so I just had a manicure. …

Heat, Humidity…And A Break!

We're at a a campground in South Texas this week. Since Richard's dad and step-mom have to work during the day...we get to, too! So, our official "vacation" period is over. It's terribly hot and humid here. What's worse, there are storm clouds teasing us, but not a drop of rain in sight. The nice thing is it's so windy here that the clothes I set out to dry this morning are already ready for folding. …

Vacation? When?!

We're relaxing (sort of) at my mom's ranch this week and visiting old friends and relatives. We're in town for my 20th high school reunion. That'll be fun. Since it's really hard for business owners to take any time off, I do the bulk of my work at night when we're visiting family and friends. It's quiet then and I can get a lot more done in a shorter period of time. Plus, I don't have relatives whining that I'm working instead of chatting... …

We Think We Can, We Think We Can…

We got pretty nervous when Hurricane Rita was taking aim at the Texas coast last week. We'd already turned around and driven back to Maine when Hurricane Katrina hit and threatened the gas supply. We finally got up the nerve to venture out again... …

Things Break…in Threes

In the past two weeks, my laptop's hard drive had a meltdown, our main drive here at the home office died and our refrigerator broke. …

About to Head Out Again!

We'll be hitting the road again next weekend, right after Zach's birthday. We feel the oil companies may have hyped the gas shortage and I really don't think it's fair that I miss my reunion when there seems to be plenty of gas... …

Unexpected Trip Cancellation

We were pretty dismayed and spurred into action when we learned last week that there was an impending gas shortage. Let's face it - nobody with any conscience drives a 6-miles-to-the-gallon, gas guzzling RV across the country for leisure when other people need that gas to get to their jobs. …

Frank’s Oops And Our First UFO…Or UFL?

Since last week, Frank has been injured, we've seen a UFO (or maybe it was UFL?), we were unsuccessful at touring a winery, stayed at a really bad and very crowded campground, watched two rabbits fight, and visited the Henry Ford Museum! …

Where Are We Today?

Since last week, we've traveled through four states, toured a quarry, stuffed ourselves as an ice cream factory and visited the boyhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder's husband. …

Staying in Summer!

The evenings are getting a bit chilly here in Bangor, Maine...and that's our cue to head south and west in an attempt to extend our summer by a couple of months! The RV is packed and we're leaving early tomorrow morning. Yeehaw!! …

Awe…. First Carnival!

We took Max to his first carnival / fair last night. He could NOT stop talking about the "rowrrrr coaster!" …

Getting Ready To Head Out Again!

We've finalized our itinerary for our next big RV trip. We're once again taking our family and business on the road. We'll be running our business from campgrounds that offer wireless Internet access and have plans to visit most of our relatives and many old friends along the way on this trip. We're leaving Maine on August 19th. It usually starts cooling off in Maine in late August so we'll be heading west and south in just the niche of time! …

Our Little Comedian

Frank, age 12, who has always been the class clown (before we started homeschooling him anyway) has a very quick, very bright sense of humor. He can really keep us rolling most days. …

Party! Party!!

We've having a big party this weekend and are really excited! Since Ali's birthday is three days after Christmas, she has a birthday party at the end of June each year, instead of December. We call this her half-birthday. This year, we were on the road in June, so her party is this weekend. It'll be a 70's theme and we've invited (gulp) 40 of our closest friends and neighbors. We even had to rent a big tent for additional shade in the yard. …

Mommy? Mommy?! MOMMY!!!

I've been having a hard time keeping on task lately so we had a family meeting to try to get back on track with our work schedule. I am the children's primary caregiver in the mornings and Richard takes over in the afternoons. One problem we've always had is that, even when Richard's on kid-duty, the children still come in and ask me for things - i.e. "Mom, can you take us to the pool?"; "Mom, have you seen my robot?"; "Mom, do you think my favorite jeans are in the washing machine?" "Mom! Frank flushed my eye shadow down the toilet!" and "Mom, Max is giving Percy a haircut!" …

Chilly Fireworks

Our Independence Day holiday was very relaxing. We took the day off, attended the parade and spent time with the children. Ali treated us all to homemade macaroni salad, homemade apple pie and homemade cake (God bless her) and she and Richard cooked hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill. …

Vacation Was Too Short

We had a wonderful (albeit short) vacation that, sadly, ended on Monday. We stayed at four campgrounds in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. I didn't find much time to post to wirelesstrips.com on this trip. I did most of the driving and was really trying to focus on relaxation, not work. Driving a 32' RV is quite challenging on the back roads, and that's where most of the driving took place. I don't like to drive on freeways, so Richard took over when we did find ourselves on a big highway. …

What The Bloody…

On Thursday, when Frank was about to leave with Zach for the dentist, I told him, "Tell the doctor to pull that last baby tooth. It's been hanging on for two years and you can't get braces until it comes out. It's time for those braces so let's just get it taken care of..." Frank's eyes got as big as pancakes and, before I could even finish my sentence, he said, "I'll pull it out myself!" and he ran from the bedroom. …

Seems Like Just Yesterday…

Max (age 3 1/2) sprained his knee on Saturday. We think it happened when he was playing Toy Story (jumping while yelling "To infinity and beyond!). He was limping a bit on Friday night but woke up on Saturday unable to walk. It will probably be the most expensive emergency room visit in the family's history. …

Hot, Hot, Cold

On Saturday it was in the 90's here. Ug! We've been in Maine long enough to become de-acclimated to hot weather. So, while cleaning out the garage that day, I was positively melting and had a heat headache for hours afterward. When Sunday rolled around and it hit the 90's again, Richard and Zach, resigned to their fate after listening to me whine for 24 hours, went into the attic and started the annual, laborious job of dragging down all the horribly heavy window unit air conditioners. It took another hour or so to get them installed (I was outside, dying once again while working in the yard). By the time it was all done, a big cloud came over the horizon. It was a fast-moving cold front and, on Monday morning, we actually had to turn the heater on! …

Oh, the MUD!

We're having our yard re-landscaped right now and they're tearing up large chunks of grass for new flowerbeds. The digging and the rains (that are still coming every single day!) have created tons of MUD that has seemingly found its way into every room of our house, both on the wood floors and embedded in the carpet. Each time I get one spot off the carpet, another one appears. There are big people footprints, little people footprints, and even doggy and kitty footprints. I give up. The mud wins (sigh). …

Rain Breeds Wanderlust…

I think it's rained every single day for the past two weeks here (sigh). Our seedlings are bursting out of their little starter pots but we still can't plant them. The garden is flooded. Max is dying to play in the green grass...but it's not only wet, it's windy and cold, too. I'm begging Richard for a short reprieve...just a tiny RV trip before the official summer vacation begins. …

The Berenstain Bears

When our three oldest children were little, I used to read to them at bedtime. Their favorite series was The Berenstain Bears. I think we owned the entire set at that time. Somehow, over the years, all but two of the books... …

Gettin’ My Dreams

We bought Max a brand new bed of his very own (not a hand-me-down) last week. We went ahead and bought him a queen, thinking he'll be able to take it with him someday when he moves out. And, I wasn't too keen on having a bed that looks like a car or a spaceship (ug!) in our house. …

What’s That Sound?

We had a very exciting Friday night here! Just before bed, I heard water running through the pipes upstairs and thought one of the children was showering. (My brain didn't register that I'd never heard that water running upstairs before.) A few minutes later, Ali screamed, "Mom! There's something wrong with the basement!" …

Chicken Rodeo?

Growing up, my brother, Darin, had the worst allergies of anyone I knew. He was allergic to everything, from the annual Christmas tree (we had to stop buying real ones), to our pet pony (we had to sell him). Thankfully, I never had allergies as a kid. However, it's getting impossible to blame my annual spring sneezing and wheezing on colds these days...since there are no other symptoms. Richard, too, gets all stuffy around this time of year, though he didn't as a child. Unfortunately, it looks like Max has inherited our allergies, though quite early, at the age of three. …

Two Breakdowns in Two Days…

Late last week, we were starting to wonder if we'd ever get home. Between the heater leaking gobs of coolant all over the passenger side carpet, steam filling up the cab, being stranded on a highway median, getting towed, getting repaired, and then having the RV break down again the very next day, it was quite an adventure! You can read about last week's adventures in detail and see photos at: http://www.wirelesstrips.com Hugs to all! Angela ~Do You Remember... Doo Bee Doo...~ My next class, How to Remember, Write and Publish Your Life Story, starts on May 2nd! Classes are a LOT of fun and we have a ball sharing our childhood memories while using the course memory triggers to record our memories in chronological order. The class is easy and FUN, only costs $40, and runs for six weeks. To read more or to sign up today, see: http://writersweekly.com/wwu/courses/memories.html

Six States in Five Days

Except for a severe storm that rocked the RV for hours, Navarre Florida was perhaps the most relaxing stop we've had while RVing. …

Ali Saves A Toddler’s Life

On Monday, a toddler, tall for his age, was walking down the road toward the bay here (we're on Navarre Beach in Florida). A van drove right past him, steering around him, but didn't bother to stop. He kept walking and was obviously alone. Ali hollered to me and then went to the toddler, who was almost to the water by then. He walked right past several people on the beach and nobody noticed. He was almost to the water...and still, nobody noticed. …

The Big Blue Egg

We are in Texas and were able to participate, for the first time, in my family's annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt (AEEH). There is one huge blue egg that lands the lucky hunter a very nice prize. The smaller plastic eggs are filled with candy, gifts, lottery tickets and even cash. There are prizes for finding the most eggs and the least eggs as well. …

Burnt Biscuit Ranch

Well, we arrived at my family's ranch (named for my mother's cooking!) on Sunday evening and while the children have been hard at work caring for the horses, mucking the stalls, and hauling sticks and manure, Richard and I have been sipping lemonade on the porch and enjoying our "vacation." …

No Longer A Dizzy Blonde

My one trip to the physical therapist did the trick and the vertigo I reported last week hasn't returned. Yea! Richard is happy about that because he wasn't looking forward to doing all the driving on our Spring Seeking trip. Yes, we've once again taken the business and family on the road! …

I Look Like A Hypochondriac…

I've been having terrible episodes of vertigo. Some of them were so bad that I started avoiding driving. At first, I thought I had a brain tumor. I really, truly thought I did, until I remembered having the same thing a couple of years ago, but for a much shorter period of time. When I looked up my symptoms on WebMD.com last week, I found what I was certain the diagnosis would be. All my symptoms matched perfectly... …

Dissecting Owl Pellets

We are SO proud of our our son, Frank (age 12)! He received a $25 gift certificate to Amazon for Christmas and he's been hanging onto it until now. He brought it to me today and asked me to order him a bag of Owl Pellets. …

Spring Fever

Ali's basketball team made it all the way to the finals on Saturday...but they didn't win. It was a real nail biter and Ali was very happy to win 2nd place in the league. Zach's team made it to the semi-finals. Needless to say...we spent the entire weekend at the YMCA! …

My Failed Romantic Gesture

Last week, I purchased bathtub finger paint, window paint, red spray paint and glow-in-the-dark plastic stars. On Monday morning, while Richard had his head buried in his email, I wrote drew an A, a heart, and an R (A Loves R) in the bathtubs, on the bathroom mirrors, and on the windows in the house. When Richard was later on the phone, I wrote the same thing on the ceiling of our bedroom, right over his pillow, with the glow-in-the-dark stars. My last mission was to paint A Loves R in the snow out front and back with the red spray paint. Problem is...it was so cold that each time I tried to use the spray can, it would freeze up. I tried shaking it vigorously, but that just caused drops of red to splatter in the snow... …

Max’s Imaginary Friends

Warning: Don't read today's column if runny noses gross you out. …

Mini-Vacation!

This week, I'm getting one of my Christmas presents - a trip to a small inn that has a fireplace in every room and great shopping nearby. Yea! There are lots of winter activities, too, so the children are very excited. We've already pulled out all the snowpants, waterproof gloves and extra socks. I'll be officially "on vacation" from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday. During that time, I'll only be online checking for emergencies. Hugs to all! Angela P.S. Want to read real query letters that landed these contracts? Woman's Day - $2,800; Redbook - $3,500; Ladies Home Journal - $3,000; DiscoveryHealth.com - $2,000; Lifetime Magazine - $3,000; Life Extension Magazine - $6,480; Natural Remedies - $11,300; and many more! See: http://www.writersweekly.com/books/1409.html

Humdinger of a Snowstorm

We had a humdinger of a snowstorm last Wednesday night! We were still trying to find the car in the drifts (okay, that's a slight exaggeration) when we heard about the "Blizzard of 2005" that was heading our way. However, that little weekend blizzard wasn't anywhere near the intensity of the Nor'Easter last week (for us, anyway). …

Cows And Sheep And Goats And…

We joined the local homeschooling 4H club last week and were pleasantly surprised to learn that not everybody in 4H is required to grow and auction off livestock! All humor aside, 4H is a great group and we made lots of new friends. The children loved it and can't wait to get started on some projects to enter in the state fair this summer. …

Grandma’s Gone

Richard's grandmother has returned to Texas after staying with us for a month. We were very sad to see her go. She loved visiting...but she's in her 80's and "always cold" and wasn't too keen about our temps dipping below zero on most nights. On the two occasions when we did take her out in the snow (once out to lunch and to get her hair done and once to greet troops who were passing through the Bangor airport), she was terrified she'd slip on the ice and she shivered during the entire trip. But, she really wanted her hair done (you know how we women are!) and, being a WWII veteran herself, she was very excited about greeting troops who were returning from the Middle East. …

Breathe In, Breathe Out…

The holiday mayhem has ended and we're breathing a big sigh of relaxation. While I do enjoy the holidays, taking down the decorations and preparing for a new year is very cleansing for my soul. We did absolutely nothing all weekend and it was heaven! I did cook a nice dinner on Sunday. I hated cooking years ago but now I find it very relaxing and, when I'm making something fun, it's a great outlet for my creative side. …