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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mominlaw, Mason, Mileage and Miscellaneous

This blog today has a myriad of subjects..
something for everyone!  

There is technical cell phone and data antenna booster stuff, 
family stuff, 
house prep stuff, 
and a fun camping recipe!  
... so scroll on through to the parts that interest you! 

We have great concern tonight for my wonderful Mom-in-Law, Mary Ann Pfundtner...  she was having heart troubles last night and went into the hospital, and was now transferred to a larger hospital today for more procedures.  She is one tough cookie and a cancer survivor to boot.  We are waiting by the phone for more news, hopefully hear some good stuff soon!!!

We brought little granddaughter Allegra back down to Green Bay today to meet up at home with her Mommy, Daddy and little Mason!   She was singing all the way there in the car, excited to see her new baby brother finally at home!   After big hugs and kisses, she had to examine her baby brother from head to toe.  What a good big sister she will be, and such a helper girl too.

Look at all that lovely strawberry blonde hair, like his big sister! 
And... look at the length of those fingers!!!! His toes are just as long too.....

Speaking of hair, you might recall in the pics yesterday of our son, Dan.  He had grown a thick bushy beard and a mop of red hair.  He grew it during the whole pregnancy and said he would cut it off when the baby was born.  I have NO IDEA why.... Steve did the same thing when each of his sons were born too.  He has no explanation for it either.  Like father - like son. 

This was Dan yesterday    -----       and today! 

I think I like the clean cut look much better..... 

This next section is for MY mom.  She is a crazy lady who takes pics of the mileage of her vehicles when they reach historic levels.  So mom... our Saturn was close to turning over!  Steve said I HAD to come out in the car with my camera and he drove it down the road so I could snap these pics.   

Just for YOU, Mom! 

Now for this Saturn to last till next April when we retire. 
Then we can pass it on to our daughter, 
however long it lasts for her is her problem, not ours. 

Next up is S'mores... how many of us LOVE them when we are camping?  But sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate so we can't have a campfire to make them.

I saw this little recipe on http://family-rving.blogspot.com   

We had accumulated a large pile of fallen branches from the woods, and also some fence posts and other junk that needed to be burned up.  The last few weeks have been sooo dry in Wisconsin, we had burn restrictions on.  Yesterday we got snow cover on the ground, which added a layer of moisture as it melted today.  So Steve lit up the pile---- and let er rip!   There.. gone now and one more thing cleared up before listing the house on the market.  

We had originally targeted for April 1 to put the house on the market, but with all the new baby stuff, Steve's mom, and one more grandson coming, we are going to delay the target date by a few weeks.  We have the Pfundtner Easter Gathering next weekend to host, so that is another thing to manage before putting the house on the market.  Most everything is done and ready now, but a few weeks won't harm us any.

Any of you blog readers who have been to our house, know we are in a real "dead zone" when it comes to cell service and data service.  Our internet data signal is slow (about 90db or worse)  and our cell phones drop calls all of the time.  Often we have to call people back three and four times during a phone call!  ARGGHHHH    How embarassing.  It's impossible to get back in touch to people in a big business such as an insurance company or tech support when you get dropped.  Then you have to start all over again with a new person each time.   How frustrating.

It's been even worse since we changed over to Verizon last July, but they are the only company that will let you be on roaming with no consequences.  We had been Nextel, then Sprint and AT&T in the past, and those companies got rid of us after finding out we are roaming most of the time off the only tower in the area which is Comcast.  (we don't want to be Comcast customers because they do not have a nationwide plan)

So Verizon at least lets us slowly peck away our 5gb data by using that tower, and we just get our data internet slowly running like a tortoise.   During the daytime hours M-F it's not too bad, but in the evenings and weekends when more Comcast customers are back at their homes using the local tower, we get ratcheted down in signal quality.

I read about this device on an RVer blog.  They have it for those far away boondocking spots with spotty coverage and it really helped them.  Of course if there is NO signal, it won't do any good.  But for low signals like we have, it just might be the ticket?

I bit the bullet and ordered it....  along with a handsfree bluetooth device for our cell phone (more on that later)  Knowing if we order it from Amazon, it can be returned without any issues if it doesn't work for us.

It came and I scanned over the directions, I plugged the booster base in and had a ready green light in a matter of seconds, meaning it found the signal.  The antenna is stuck to an inside patio door and the booster base unit is spaced about 8 feet away on a table.   You set it near your data source (either an air card, mifi hotspot, or Galaxy tablet like we have serving as a router)  set nearby the booster base unit and voila..  INSTANT INCREASE!!!    

Note: most aircards, mifi hotspots or tablets do not have any antenna port--- so an antenna can not be hooked up to it.  That is why this new technology of just setting the device NEAR a device to make it work is amazing!

Our -97db changed to -66db  ... wowzer!!!!   It was one bar and went to 5 bars!!!   Our EVDO or 1X signal went up to 3G !!!!!  
It came with three ways to power it up, and is also made to be used in a car or while on the road (like in our motorhome)    It has 120cAC cord, a 12vDC cord and even a USB power cord to run it off a laptop!

Next thing to try it out on was the cell phone.  They suggested in the user reviews to get a blue tooth hands free unit to use with a cell phone when using this device.  The phone gets set within a few inches of the booster base and you use the ear bud hands free thingie to make and receive calls.   Our phone went from 1 bar to 4 bars... unheard of here in our no man's land of cell signals!   We have never had 4 bars on anything.  LOL

We tried it out on Mel and Paula's call from Mississippi... It never dropped our call!   But I think we hit the button twice when hanging up and it redialed them when we didn't know it.  At least we weren't doing something verboten when they were listening to us!!! LOL LOL

Well, life will be hectic again in a day or two.  Erin will be going into labor any day and we will have another grandson to join the brood.  Plus we will take Chelsea for the time while they are in the hospital.

Haven't heard yet any updates about Steve's mom...  hoping all is going good and we can get more details as the telephone grapevine keeps us in touch.  His dad calls the oldest brother, Mark, who in turn calls the rest of us to keep down the pestering phone calls while his dad is there trying to get answers from the docs.

And so it goes from our little cabin in the woods...


  1. Praying for the mom in law. Sounds like you have a lot on your platter

  2. I hope you get good news soon of Steve's mom. At one time I had an AT&T aircard and bought an antenna that attached to the aircard. The whole thing was so delicate and it might have been ok if I didn't ever move it, but when you are living in a 5th wheel and using a laptop on your dining room table, it doesn't last long. I ended up breaking the little prong off the antenna and ruined the phone to boot. I replaced the phone and that's when I went to a Verizon MiFi. I'm satisfied with it, but I still think the best service I ever had was broadband cable. Doesn't work if you travel though.

    1. Yup.. same thing happened to me, Gypsy! A month or so into our contract, the prong broke off the AT&T aircard. I had to buy a NEW one at the FULL PRICE because I was under contract for a full 2 years! No sense paying for a service without the device to get on. I think it was $285 for it? OUCH!!!! On that one, I taped the antenna lead right into the aircard to keep it from ever breaking off again. Then last July AT&T told me to go to another company because I was roaming too much, so they let me out of the contract. It was either that or any thing over 28mb a month I would be billed a HUGE penalty. ... no thanks!

  3. Hoping and praying that we hear good news about Steve's Mom. Love that red hair. I married a red head (well, at least he used to be). And I kind of liked Dan's hair and beard. I want an update in a couple of weeks about that Wilson thingie and what you think of it after using it for awhile. I get so frustrated with the slow internet service around here.

    1. So far so good. I just uploaded 15 photos to attach to an email for my mom, normally that takes better part of an hour to do it in the past. Now it was done in less than 4 minutes. WHEEEEEEE

  4. hoping and praying you receive good news soon on your mom in law...and hoping that new grandson arrives safe and sound..you sure are busy....congrats on the great coverage!!! Mason is beautiful....as is Allegra :)

  5. Whew you guys are busy! Hope you get some good news about Mom soon!

  6. Congratulations on Mason's birth, glad to hear that everything went well. Our thoughts are with you and the family, hoping you will get good news on Steve's Mom. I think Dan looks much better with the clean cut look as well!

    Kevin and Ruth

  7. Congratulations on Mason's birth, glad to hear that everything went well. Our thoughts are with you and the family, hoping you will get good news on Steve's Mom. I think Dan looks much better with the clean cut look as well!

    Kevin and Ruth

  8. We'll be remembering Steve's mom in our thoughts and prayers that all will turn out well.

    Thanks for the info on the signal booster, we need to get something and it appears this is just the ticket!

  9. We have had Cellcom for over 10 years and we have always been happy with it. We usually have signal when no one else does. Just sayin.


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