Fundraiser Donation Requests from 100+ Companies (with links) 

This is an ongoing, updated constantly, list. So bear with me as I continue to organize and add to it! Lots of these are national businesses, but some are local Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky companies (for the Kentucky Chapter of The Cure Starts Now). I’m also adding some Canton, GA businesses (for the Hubble Foundation).

***last updated: 10/26/2017

 

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A Few Random Friday Thoughts… 

My neighbor Carmen recently got us (and by that I mean me, because really, Allen will never touch the thing…) a bread machine! I love it! I’ve been wanting to get one since we were in Florida this last time. Our neighbors Lyne and Terry had one and it smelled so good. They bring down their own flour every year from Canada because they don’t like the way American bread tastes. Anyway, I’ve been comparing models, and Carmen said she really wanted to get us something for sort of a housewarming gift, so, I’m the proud new owner of an Oster 2LB. Expressbake Breadmaker.

my very first loaf… i was excited and couldnt wait to try it.

I started with the traditional white bread in a 1.5LB loaf and it came out delicious. Then I moved on to the flavors… I’ve mostly used the recipes that came with the breadmaker but I’ve also ventured into Google territory for some yummy ideas.

I made a super scrumptious cheddar/garlic/herb type loaf that we ate one day then the next day sliced and drizzled with EVOO and stuck on the grill for a few minutes – SO good! We had the bread with a bacon-wrapped pork loin…yum!

Cheesy, garlicky, herby goodness… Please excuse the bites off the top, i couldnt help myself…

I tried Honey Wheat because that’s the kind of bread we like on a daily basis, but the recipe was a 2LB loaf, which is just too big for sandwiches. And I had not mastered the art of slicing by then. The next day we took off for Tahoe so it was moldy by the time we got back.

 The latest was a 1LB Italian garlic and herb loaf which came out perfect! It’s the perfect size for sandwiches. (Allen’s taken two to work already.) And I let it cool longer this time before slicing. I also didn’t use my fancy bread knife and bamboo bread slicer that I bought.

 I just used a non-serrated knife I got from the Dollar Tree a LONG time ago, and it worked great… Surprising, but true… So we have decided that the 1LB loaves are the way to go… My goal is to never buy grocery store bread again.

On another note, I felt my very first earthquake ever!!! I went to school (this super expensive one) out here in San Francisco for 4yrs and never felt one (I think I was on a barstool for most of them…) and then last year we were out here for about 5 months and I didn’t feel one then either. This one was crazy! I was laying in bed with Charlie, probably blogging or Pinteresting, and it felt like someone hit the camper. It actually felt like Allen backed up and hitched up to the camper, but I knew he was at work. So I thought A) someone was trying to steal our house with me and the dog inside! or B) one of these tourists driving a rental RV must’ve clipped our nose… Charlie and I both ran outside but nobody was out. All was quiet. I texted Allen and he then informed me it was an earthquake, that they felt it by the tower too. Yikes! But it was a smaller one, nobody was hurt, so that was good.

Begin Rant:

I’ve also been on the phone trying to order parts for the camper from Grand Design. We have a 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH. We just bought it at the end of March. It’s still brand new.  You’d think it would be fairly easy to get simple parts for it. Almost two weeks after sending the first “inquiry form” to Grand Design, we finally have parts on the way! (I honestly thought they would have excellent customer service being that they are still a new and fairly small company…)

While I was back at my mom’s house for my brother’s funeral and Allen and Charlie drove from Texas to San Francisco alone, a yellow pole at a tiny gas station jumped up and grabbed onto the ladder on the side of the camper, yanked it a little and busted the red light that’s back there.  So we need a light, and the bottom brackets that hold the ladder onto the camper.

We wound up having to get the part numbers from Grand Design then call a dealer to order them because Grand Design is not set up to sell directly to actual people.  I find this silly.  Luckily, Shelly at Lazydays RV in Florida was super nice and helped us out.  I probably should’ve called Palm Beach RV since that’s where we bought the camper, but oh well.

Anyway, while I was on the phone with Amanda at Grand Design I had her switch me over to Jerry in warranty (yes, I’m on a first name basis with these people). I spoke with Jerry multiple times when we were in Louisiana trying to take care of the radio/tv situation. Grand Design had the bright idea to put some Furrion products, and some Haier products in here. (To save money I presume..)  But they don’t communicate well with one another.  The radio in the living room is also a DVD player and that wasn’t working so Jerry sent us a new HDMI cord.  It worked then, but in hindsight I don’t think the cord was the issue.  We still have the same problem with having sound and no picture when we play a DVD but now we just unplug the TV then plug it back in.  It’s the cheap Haier TV.  In the garage (toy hauler) there is a car stereo that also plays DVDs.  But it constantly sounds like it is skipping around a CD in there or trying to spit one out.  Jerry also sent us a new radio that we swapped out.  That worked for a while.  I noticed Monday that it started making noise again.  So he is supposedly sending us ANOTHER radio to swap out and says if we have more issues we will have to take it in to have it looked at.  I’m trying to avoid that because we live in here full time and I’d rather not live at a dealership for days. Also, the closest Grand Design dealer is in Sacramento. And Allen will not be commuting to from Sacramento to San Francisco to work! Anyway, last time, Jerry took forever to send anything out, I mean he said he sent it then a week later I called to see where it was and he still hadn’t sent it. So fingers crossed he actually put it in the mail yesterday!

End Rant. 

Before we left for Tahoe, Allen’s buddy was flying home for the weekend and gave us a 10LB bag of potatoes. (He lives alone. Why he would buy a 10LB bag of potatoes eludes me. I’ll have to talk to him about that.) Anyhow, I’ve been looking at this bag all week. Then I decided that instead of letting them go bad, maybe I could freeze them. So I Googled… Then I made some frozen hashbrowns (you just dice them, drop them in boiling water for about 2min, drain and cool them, bag them and freeze them) and some frozen fries (same as above but you also fry them in oil for about 3min after blanching and drying, then cool, bag and freeze). Easy peasy. I still have over 5LBs of potatoes left but at least I got rid of some of them!

skinny fries

potato wedges (I sprinkled them with season salt when I took them out of the oil.

Last night I made 3-ways for dinner. Technically, 4-ways.  If you don’t know what that is, it’s because it’s a Cincinnati thing… We are weird like that. It doesn’t matter where we move to, where our domicile is, Allen will always love 3-ways and goetta. (I on the other hand despise goetta… The taste, texture, cooking it, yuck!)

Every time we go back to Cincy we have to pick up a couple packs of chili mix…

I like 5-ways. Allen likes 4-ways. Everyone likes a good 3-way. 😉

The night before last, I came up with a new concoction that was pretty tasty… Rum and Kool-Aid! My brother loved Kool-Aid so I named this “Ode to Adam”

I promise, Charlie didn’t drink with us!

Oh! And I almost forgot, I started growing my own green onions a couple weeks back. It is super easy. You just stick them in a glass of water after you use most of the green parts, change the water every couple days, and they grow on their own. Love it. This is my second round. After a while they get weaker and can’t stand up on their own, so you do have to start fresh after a couple of uses.

Thursday

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Monday

They grow fast!
And just for fun, here are a couple shots of Charlie hanging out with her buddy Samantha in the old parking lot that is our “yard” here at Candlestick RV Park

  

Stateline, NV/South Lake Tahoe, CA trip!

I’ve never seen views like we saw here. It was literally breathtaking! I’ve never been to a mountain town before and I was impressed. Everywhere you look you just see amazing natural beauty.  
We checked into Harvey’s Casino Resort on Friday afternoon and then hit the casino. We played some video poker and took a free craps lesson. There was a camera crew making a commercial at the video poker bar and then also at the craps lesson so I guess we will be in two commercials we will probably never see!

The craps teacher

The hotel was right on the corner, at the line between California and Nevada. So we technically lived in Nevada for two nights.

After that we headed outside to daylight (very shocking to our casino adjusted eyeballs!). We got some drinks and food at Mc P’s Taphouse Grill. Then walked around a bit to check out the area.   image1-3
We went to a comedy show after dinner. It was pretty good. I’ve seen funnier. It’s the second comedy show we’ve been to together. The first was somewhere in Florida a couple of years ago.

After the show we stopped at this sports bar in the casino. The bartender was from Cincinnati (like us!) so we chatted with him for a bit and had some beers and late night pizza. He suggested we go to Emerald Bay to scatter some of my brother’s ashes. It turned out to be a great tip!

the bartender’s map for us

an actual map

 

Saturday morning we had breakfast at Artemis Lakefront Cafe (crappy, slow service but delicious food-especially Allen’s biscuits and gravy!).  image1-2

 Then we headed over to check out Emerald Bay. It was about a 25 minute drive from the hotel but traffic wasn’t too terrible. Once you get close to the bay, the road gets super steep and winding and I get super nervous and nauseous.

 We finally found a place to pull over and get out. Completely breathtaking! We scattered my brother’s ashes, most of which blew back on us -oops- and took some pictures then headed back down.

  
We hit the pool for some recovery drinks and suntanning then got dressed and went looking for dinner.

Here we are looking all fancy

We checked Friday’s Station on he top floor of Harrah’s (across the street from us). The least expensive steak on the menu was a 6oz filet for $70! What?!?! So then we walked back over to our hotel and checked the menu at the top floor restaurant of Harvey’s, 19 Kitchen and Bar. Same thing, just a wider selection.

We checked a couple other places but weren’t impressed so we headed to Stateline Brewery up the street. It’s a brewery, in a basement, and the average entree is around $25 so it’s more our style for sure! Allen tried the Acclimator IPA which was pretty delish! We ordered the artichoke dip. It was a big loaf of Sourdough bread with half the loaf hollowed out and filled with dip, then the top was brushed with super yummy garlic butter. Yum! So the artichoke dip was the entirety of our dinner! We had a couple more beers and called it a night.

image2-2

Looking up the mountain, at the ski lift… No way could I have handled that! Allen said it’s about 9000ft elevation at the top… Yikes!

This morning we had a couple of breakfast burritos from a cafe up the street, spent our last $20 in chips, cashed in our tickets and checked out.

The obligatory huge chair vacation photo

On the way home I saw my first California grass fire (there was one in the campground in Oklahoma City but this was a lot bigger).

 Overall, our Tahoe trip was really fun, and the best part was sharing the experience with my love. Now I’m just happy to be back home with Charlie! We missed her! And, a special thank you to Carmen for puppy-sitting!

I Didn’t Leave my Heart in San Francisco…

I Didn’t Leave My Heart in San Francisco…
But that’s where it is now.
I’m at the airport, waiting on my flight to take me home, to Allen and Charlie. I have my brother’s ashes with me. Specifically on he seat next to me.  It’ll be his first time flying. We, I, have a short layover in Chicago then I’ll get out there at around 5pm local time.  

 I have a few very good friends at home (mine and Allen’s hometown/my mom’s) and I’m so grateful for them. I’m going to miss my mom like crazy, but we will be ok. I had the pleasure of getting to know her psychotic cat, Jack, over the last three weeks and I’m going to miss that little jerk too. She’s crazy. I’m glad my mom has her.  
   
Allen says I need to get back in my routine because he can’t live on pizza rolls much longer! So that’s what I’m going to try to do… I just made a grocery list, in fact. I have a DIY post that I need to write, and also a couple of campground reviews from Allen, his stops on his way from Dallas to San Francisco. Also, I’m sure Charlie has grown at least a pound, so I’ll have to take some pictures of her! Now I just wish these next 8 hours would go really fast!

Getting to Say a Long Good-Bye

In my last post I talked about losing my brother Adam. Thanks to a lot of very generous, kind people, we’ve raised a lot of money on GoFundMe to help pay for the funeral expenses.
His funeral was Thursday evening. I thought it was beautiful. We didn’t have a reverend or pastor or preacher. (We didn’t want anyone to look at Adam negatively and judge him, especially the fact that he was gay)  Instead my Aunt read a poem from my mom and then we invited anyone up who wanted to share a story or memory about Adam. I think a lot of his friends got up and said something. It’s all still mostly a blur.

 We had pictures of Adam playing the whole time on a slide show and then when everyone was finished speaking, we played some of his favorite songs. He would’ve loved it. Missy Elliott “Work It” was the first one to come on!

Adam playing dress up through the years

We had been planning to bury his ashes next to his dad in a cemetery close to my mom’s house. But the other night my mom and I walked over to see where we would put the marker. We were both thinking, but not saying, that we weren’t sure if this idea fit Adam.

We eventually said, almost simultaneously (we do that a lot even when we don’t see each other for months) that his ashes should be spread, not buried. Adam has always wanted to travel and never really got the chance. The last conversation we had, he told me that Charlie was the luckiest dog ever because she got to go everywhere and see everything.

So I’m going to bring him with me. It’ll be his first time on a plane and the first place I’m taking him is San Francisco. I think he would love this. I’ve started compiling a wish list of places I’d like to scatter some of his ashes. But, as with the rest of my life, I know all of this has to stay a tentative plan. We will just have to see where the wind blows us.

I just read an article that gave me some really useful tips. I’m glad I found it. Thanks to the author.

On another note, Allen and Charlie made it to Candlestick RV Park in San Francisco safely on Friday afternoon. Our super nice neighbor Carmen watched Charlie while her husband Doug helped Allen squeeze into our spot.  

Photos from Carmen to me during the action

Allen said we arent moving the camper until we leave for good. No NHRA at Sonoma this year. 😦


He took notes and pictures for me, well, for the blog. So when I get out there, I’ll post about their super slow trip from Dallas to San Francisco. (He couldn’t check into the campground until Friday so he was doing less than 500miles/day)  Allen also wrote some Google reviews of the campgrounds they stayed in on the way out. I’m so proud of him! My mom joked that he’s going to become known as the angry blogger. I love it.