Monday, September 1, 2014

Living in a vacation spot

I was so excited to move to my favorite vacation spot.  Mountains, fishing, hiking, rock climbing (amateur level only) -- we were right there.  Then this summer came along.  My oldest son graduated from high school in May and my in-laws visited from Ohio.  We took them up to the top of the snowy range -- and that's the last time we went.  It's Labor day, and we didn't go into the mountains one time for the activities I mentioned.  There are lots of reasons.  My wife and I both had surgeries, we had so much snow this past winter that the water wasn't fish-able until after my dad returned home in late July, there wasn't any vacation time left over after our trips to South Padre Island, Texas and to Yellowstone, and since we've moved here we've had record levels of rain and snow -- but it all boils down to we didn't make the time.  I don't believe I'm taking living here for granted -- not a day goes by that I don't marvel at the beauty of the Colorado Rockies which I can see over 90 miles from here, or the local small mountains (our high peaks are hidden behind a smaller mountain because we are so close to it) -- but my wife and I will definitely make an effort next summer to get up in the mountains more often.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Not quite caught up yet

I finally have posted the rest of the blogs about our past summer vacation and our moving here in December.  I may have a few more posts to put in the past, but if I do then I will try to post about current events and happenings as well.

My one thought is how interesting it has been trying to live where we used to vacation.  With lots of work to get done, it has been frustrating to not be able to enjoy the Wyoming summer's like I usually do!  I am not complaining at all -- just observing that it has been my most difficult adjustment to living here (besides missing my Cincinnati friends).

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Simple? Life

Unfortunately I have fallen fall short of my goal for one new blog post a day to recap our Southwest trip of June 2012.  So I am posting now to break my OC behavior of having to post the vacation days in order  Well, I just discovered that I can now set the date and time of my old posts.  That feels much better :)

Anyway, one of the reasons we wanted to move to Wyoming was to live a more simple life.  I find it ironic that I seem to be busier than ever, and haven't had time to devote to some of the things I wanted to do more of (like blogging).  Hopefully that's a sign of successfully spending more time with family and reaching out to friends, but I have a feeling I've been working more.  At least my commute is much shorter!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Living in Centennial, WY

In late December, 2012 we moved to my Dad's house in Centennial, Wyoming. Why? 

My wife wanted too. I have loved Wyoming since I was little, and my wife and I have been thinking about moving out of Cincinnati for years. We like the city and love many of the people, but we were in a rut and needed a kick start to break out of it. So we had been debating back and forth - beach or mountains? We have had a number of fun vacations to the beach, and we love the ocean. Also, we vacation every other year in Wyoming and have good times. But, for family peace with my parents retiring here we decided we couldn't live here since Liz's parents weren't here too. So we decided to move to the beach. Hmm. Not many beaches in Wyoming. What happened?

The death of my mom. It was not my Dad's dream to retire here. When she passed away the house was mostly unused -- except when we vacationed here. Still, what's better about Wyoming than Cincinnati?

A better financial situation. Our home in Cincinnati was big and frankly I worked too much to take care of it. In addition, rising medical costs and living costs made the house more difficult to afford. College costs (if my son chooses to go to a local college) are much lower in Wyoming, and there are more rapidly approaching college age. However ...

It isn't easy. I miss my friends in Cincinnati and we miss our family in Cincinnati and Ashtabula. We were attending a wonderful church that we also miss. We have met great people here in Laramie and Centennial and have found a biblical church here that we are very grateful for and already feel very close too -- but we still miss our Cincinnati friends..

Finally, a shout out to my company for letting me work remotely and to my Dad for helping us move, allowing us to live here, and supporting us until our house sells. We couldn't do it without you! I'm still pretty busy and may not blog much, but I will try to blog more. You can also see a lot of what is happening at my wife's blog -- six shootin' mama.

Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 Southwest Vacation Day 21

On our second day heading home we had our one and only camper mishap.  We came back onto the interstate after getting gas with the temperature between 95 and 100.  Our kids had just gotten huge slushy's, and our truck air conditioning was oh so cold.  Suddenly there was a loud bang and our truck jolted around the road.  Liz could see our camper literally bouncing on the road and things flying out the back.

I slowly eased off the road, and sure enough -- we had had a blowout.  Unfortunately, it took part of the bottom of our camper out as well and we lost a bunch of our supplies and cut wiring within the camper.  Fortunately we had a hydraulic jack and a spare, so I set to work.  The next 90 minutes was a huge comedy of errors.  Take notes folks, and learn from my mistakes.  Remember the kids were all sitting in the air conditioned car with huge slushies-- watching the movie we put on for them.

1.  It took a while to get the jack to work.  I finally read the directions and bled off the excess hydraulic fluid.  Jack worked great after that.
2.  I jacked the camper up, and went to loosen the lug nuts.  Loosen before jacking up.
3.  I let the tire down, loosened the lug nuts, jacked the camper back off and pulled off the tire.  I went to put on the spare -- but it wouldn't fit.  I needed to get the camper up higher
4.  I let the camper back down.  Huge mistake because I couldn't get the jack underneath to jack it back up again.
5.  I got the tire jack and slowly started cranking up.  After a while, I realized the camper had it's own leveling jacks and  could use those . I finally got the jack in place and got the jack to it's maximum height -- the tire still wouldn't fit.
6.  A policeman finally pulled up and offered to help.  He was really great, and I was grateful.  I finally used the leveling jacks again to get the camper up higher, and the policeman slid the tire on.  We tightened the lug nuts, and he told us to drive slowly and get more air in the spare.
7.  We drove about 5 miles to the next filling station -- when I went to put air in the tire I couldn't find the valve stem.  It took me about 60 seconds to realize the patrolman hat put the tire on backwards!
8.  :This time it only took about 10 minutes to get the tire off and back on properly.

So we spent the night on the eastern border of Iowa in a motel and got a new tire the next morning.  I drank about 8 sixteen ounce glasses of pop for dinner that night!  I was seriously dehydrated.

We made it home without incident, although the repairs cost a few hundred with most of the costs covered by the warranty we had purchased.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2012 Southwest Vacation Day 19

On July 4th we went over the mountain to Saratoga Wyoming to look at their hot springs.  We got in the river which had some of the hot water mixed in -- very comfortable.

We then went to Laramie's annual Freedom has a Birthday celebration.  There was fair food, bounce houses, lots of businesses and churches with booths, and bands.  This bluegrass band was from Dayton, OH!  Small world.

On the way home we talked about us moving to Centennial -- population of 108!
100 and 8 more
A few shots of the fire during the daytime -- on the other side of the mountain but plenty of smoke.

Tomorrow we head home.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

2012 Southwest Vacation Day 18

Today we went fishing at a great spot with my dad.  Got some good pictures of the little ones pulling in fish on my pole.

Small falls -- pool at the bottom is full of fish

Occasionally see trout jumping up the falls

Trinity would squeeze the fish tight

Even Mom got in on the act

Girls lining up and waiting

Charity's turn

Got her fish

Selah is next

Jacob and Elijah fishing the pond

Dad and Bethany fly fishing

Get the fish!

Jacob had better luck at our pool

There is a jumping fish in there somewhere

My family has fished from that rock for generations

Not many fish, but so beautiful

 We stayed at my mom and dad's cabin.  Remember how Liz couldn't imagine living in Wyoming?  She told me she wanted to move there.  I got in trouble for not taking her seriously enough.
Our car at the garage.  Shed in backgroud

Remodeled house

New hottub

Lots of deer

That night we watched a nearby forest fire burn to the top of the mountain.  Very spooky -- we were packed and ready but a backfire stopped the fire's advancement.
From our porch looking over neighbor's at the fire

Telephoto lens.  Probably about 20 miles away

On the right the backfire is heading towards the main fire