Monday, May 31, 2010

Buffalo and Fireflies, Stockton, NJ

Happy Memorial Day

Another beautiful morning and I was up first at 7 to make coffee. As I was waiting for it to brew, a hummer came up to the feeder on the windshield. I grabbed my camera and waited. I wish there had been sun on that side, but you can just see his ruby throat as he hovers.
Today we knew we were going to work on removing the ‘Diamondshield’ from Bella’s front. Diamondshield is a coating like clear contact paper that protects the paint from debris, rocks, dirt, etc. Unfortunately, it’s beautiful when it’s first applied, but over time, cracks, mildews and separates. It needed to come off. The guys in Texas told us that it would take a lot of coin to have it taken off by someone else. When I asked if I could do it, they said yes, but it would take a lot of time as I wouldn’t have the tools. Hard work doesn’t scare me, so I said I was game. I emailed Diamondshield inquiring what tools I needed. They replied, and I made a note of them. I knew when we got to my brother’s house, Bob would know what they were talking about. Well, we tried the power washer, and that took off the paint. Yikes! Soooo, now we need to have a paint job done. We will be here until the 13th or 14th doing that. Anyway, I scrubbed the rest off with GooGone and a plastic scraper. It was 90 degrees here today, so I didn’t do more than an hour. I figure I have about 4 hours more. We’re going to try oven cleaner tomorrow.
Around 12 we got cleaned up and drove over to my other brother, Kirk’s house for some fish tacos. They were fabulous, as was the two pasta salads, bratwurst, chicken, hotdogs, pepperoni bread, lemon pound cake with blackberries, and raspberry marshmallow brownies. I probably shouldn’t eat for a week. Oh, did I mention the watermelon, crumbcake and chocolate chip muffins? OK, enough of that. It was wonderful catching up with family and new friends who are amazed that we live this lifestyle. I have not met anyone that wishes they couldn’t do the same thing. I assure them that it’s perfectly feasible – and we’re living proof.
I love that it’s light so late, and that the fireflies have returned for the summer! I remember the mayo jars full of them blinking at me next to my bed until I fell asleep. Only the females use bioluminescence to attract mates or prey. I can remember catching hundreds of them. Oh, the memories…
On the way home, Bob took the route through Readington, and there was a field full of buffalo. No kidding. I made him turn around so I could get pictures of them. They weren’t afraid except when I tossed some clover over the electric fence. They started running away, but came right back because they were so curious. Don’t you see their curious expressions? I wish I could have gotten closer, but that electric fence was right at the bottom of a steep bank from the road, and I didn’t want to slip into it. There was a Buffalo Run scheduled for this past Saturday, but there was no one to ask what that was about.
Anyhow, we got back around 8:30, called for Tasha to come in from playing. She did, as she was hungry and thirsty (even though I leave out a pan of water) and is now curled up on the bed. That's where I'm heading now. Hope your holiday weekend was as great as ours. 'Nite. :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Perfect Sunday

The chirping of the birds woke me before the sunshine. What a spectacular day! We started with bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers and chopped onion with our coffee. Then we wandered over to the house to start on our planned BBQ for our kids, Michelle, Brian (her betrothed) and Tristan. They were staying in NY for the weekend, but planned to rent a car and come out for lunch. The ribs, corn, potato salad, baked beans and Texas Toast were prepared and ready to cook, but they were still in NY, so Gary and I ran out to take some shots of the Last Covered Bridge in New Jersey. It was about 7 minutes down the road. Of course it was one lane, and of course, you know we won’t be going THAT way in the coach, so it was fun to take the jeep over it.
Two o’clock came and went, so we cooked and ate. They finally arrived at 3 pm famished, so they had a bite to eat, then we went outside to a perfect day to show Brian and Michelle the antique car collection and Tristan the coach. We spent a couple of hours talking and having a good time until it was time for them to head back to NY for a surprise birthday party. We weren’t very hungry so nibbled on M&Ms and Doritos while pouring over maps and tour books trying to decide where and when to go next. By the time we finished the Doritos, we had a plan! We will stay here until June 14 going on day trips to Pennsylvania, Atlantic City, and other fun places, and then head out to Acadia National Park in Maine, heading north over the border to Montreal, southwest to Toronto and then down to Raleigh by August first to meet our granddaughter, Lauren, who will travel with us down to her home in Tampa, Florida.
Gary and I will then be in a position to apply to Disney for jobs for the winter. That’s the big plan, of course, subject to change at any time. We are full-time vagabonds, after all!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Up A Tree

Today dawned beautiful and warm, but there was a threat of severe thunderstorms later. Gary and I got going around 10 am after having breakfast outside on our ‘patio’. We knew that Bob’s step-daughter, Joanne, was coming for dinner, so I wanted to prepare something fun. In my e-mail this morning I found a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens for shrimp with mango/coconut rice. Sounded yummy, so our mission today was to find some good shrimp and ripe mangoes. Before we left, we watched a deer come this close to our back door for a nibble. Tasha was just below this picture totally blasĂ©. I guess she has seen so many of them, they don’t thrill her anymore. I’m just amazed how brazen they are as they come so close to humans. All of a sudden, Molly (the dog) showed up and Tasha was caught unawares, so bolted for a TREE! She doesn’t have any front claws, but managed to get up about 8 feet. I grabbed my camera, while Gary grabbed Molly. She was looking pretty pitiful as I went to rescue her. We popped her in the coach where she promptly hid under the couch. Poor little thing; she was shivering with fright. We talked soothingly and after a couple cat treats felt we could leave and she’d be fine. I caught this little thing singing his heart out, and got a shot of him before he flew off. I think it's a juvenile Eastern Wood Pewee. It was getting cloudy and breezy, so we headed out. We found our shrimp and mangoes and a few other things then headed for home. I got busy with the rice, meanwhile marinating the shrimp in a little soy sauce and lots of spices. As thunder boomed all around us, we skewered and grilled them. Joanne loved it, but Bob was not fond of cilantro, and ate most of the shrimp. Right after dinner it started hailing, the storm went right over us, the satellite acted up, and then the power went off. About 5 minutes later it came back on. Bob is not sleeping very well, understandably, so we cut out about 9 pm and Joanne left shortly after that for home. He did need to be at work at 6 am and has an hour drive, so he needed his rest. It got really chilly after the storm, so Gary and I had to cuddle up to keep warm (it’s more fun that turning on the furnace!) Have a safe and great Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Road Trip

What a gorgeous morning. Gary’s eye has been red and irritated for about 3 weeks now, and we don’t want it to get worse, so he called his Dr. in Sarasota to tell them what was going on. They suggested he make an appointment with 21st Century Radiology in Willingboro. He did, and today was the day. We needed to get up early (never my favorite thing – but the sun in my eyes helps), grab some breakfast at our cute bagel place, Bakery Treats, and follow the voice on the TomTom that my brother let us use. Gary had asked for directions from the nurse and they were different from Ms. TomTom’s. Quick decision: should we follow hers or the nurses?? Let’s trust Ms. TT’s. Tiny little roads and an hour later we arrived two minutes before his appointment time. Amazing technology! The doctor assured him that it was not another ‘spot’, but a possible reaction to the antibiotic we were taking combined with the sun. Wear sunscreen and glasses and a hat, and if it doesn’t go away, come back next week. Whew. Dodged another bullet. We don’t know where we’ll be next week, but I made sure the appointment wasn’t at 9:30 in the morning. So, let’s go exploring. Washington Crossing State Park was on the way home, so we set Ms. TT to find a POI (point of interest), and off we go. She suggested we go past the entrance, so we thought there might be more than one, but, we did turn around and enter the Visitor Center. We watched the video, which really sets the mood, and then we walked about ½ mile to the Delaware. The large trees on the left were planted by descendents of the men who fought in the battle. There’s a lookout over the river at this point, and a replica of a flat-bottomed boat that they used for the men, cannon and horses to ferry across. The Johnson Ferry house was built in 1740!, and Washington and his men made the ultimate decision to change the course of history right from this parlor. The house changed hands during the last couple of centuries until it was sold to the state – even the Moore family owned it! We’ll have to research that! We took a couple of pictures of the local residents, then headed out for a restaurant for lunch. A few miles down the road we found a cute town and this restaurant serving Middle Eastern food. I had the babakanush sandwhich and Gary had spicy Egyptian sausage and sweet peppers sandwhich both on the freshest pitas I ever had. By the way, that’s how sandwich was spelled on the menu. We meandered home (it was a hot 92 degrees) to find Bob backing up the skidsteer to cut up the tree that Tasha loved. Here’s Bob explaining how to operate it to Gary. He did really well! Job accomplished in about an hour. We all took showers again, and Bob took us out for dinner to Marinelli’s, an Italian place that served great food and lots of it. We headed home, and said our goodnights, as Bob had to get up at 5:30 for work tomorrow. Gary and I watched the American Idol finale. Lee Dewyze won, and I think everyone knew it, although I thought Crystal had the better voice. Congratulations to them both!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yesterday and Today

Monday was gray and cold, but we had a mission. Bob needed a couple of batteries for his drill in Doylestown, PA. That’s the only place he could replace them as they were under warranty. But the best part was that the Mercer Museum right there and Bob suggested we see it. Henry C. Mercer was a lawyer, but never practiced law because he believed that the story of human progress and accomplishments should be told by the tools and objects they used, so started a museum. The collection was fabulous, but the real treasure was the museum itself. I wish I had my camera to be able to take some photos of the outside and inside. Hanging in the center of the great hall were boats, huge machines, carriages, conestoga wagons, cradles, a well draw made from two great tree trunks stretching 30 feet high and 25 feet long and all kinds of old stuff. There were six floors, with cubbyholes, tiny dormers and balconies, curved steps up to the very top turret. The whole museum is made of 6500 tons of cement, yet by 1916 at completion, it cost $38,944.99. Awesome!
We stopped in Stockton for lunch at Meil’s, the place I mentioned we ate with my other brother, Kirk and my niece, Jennifer, crossing into NJ over the Center Bridge. We won’t be driving Bella over this bridge. Here are some shots from the city triangle. I made my delicious Mexican Chocolate Chile for dinner. It’s, believe it or not, a Weight Watchers recipe, and dark chocolate smooths the heat. I have three of their ‘magazine’ cookbooks, and love every recipe in them. And two books are 15 minutes cooking time and five ingredients; not fancy ingredients, either. Go ahead, save a calorie or two. They’re in drug stores as well as Borders. We are still recuperating from last week so we hit the hay around 10 pm after watching Addams Family TV series DVDs. You understand, I’m sure.
Today it dawned bright and warm planning to be in the 80’s. Yahoo! Bob will start work again on Thursday, so today was road trip day to Trenton. We wanted to grease the coach underneath and see if we could attach an air hose to the airtank under the chassis. That meant that Bella had to be raised up high enough for Bob to fit. I was in charge of the hydraulic jacks on Bella, and Bob and Gary managed the stable jacks under her chassis. As you can see, I was not a happy camper with her in this position. The greasing took 10 minutes, and then Bob opened the hood and found an outlet for an airhose right there. Whew. We let her down, stabilized her, leveled her and put her slides back out. Happy camper once again. We drove to Trenton making a couple stops along the way to get decal remover, fuel additive, tire valve covers and another antenna that hopefully will fit. We also need to carry around a fuel filter and wrench just in case. In case of what, I can’t remember. In my opinion, it’s extra weight and a space user, but hey, it’s a guy thing. Bob got what he needed and we headed home. I grabbed my camera and headed down the road to the mill stream for which his road is named A few deer were grazing in the field, and this dead snake must have just been hit. This yellow house overlooks the stream and there is a single lane bridge over it. We won't be going over this bridge either. . Wild strawberries grow along the road, and this ‘quaint little cottage’ is for sale. Anyone? Anyone? Here’s to another gorgeous day in the life.

Friday, May 21, 2010


A brilliant blue sky and 87 degrees! This is how I remember my summers in New Jersey growing up. It is so incredibly special to be here at this stressful time. We do a lot of waiting around, and today it was really tough. So I wanted to get Bob’s mind off things and so asked him to see his antique cars. Restoring old cars is his hobby and he owns seven real antiques. A few years ago, we were up visiting and there is a traditional antique car parade on the 4th of July in a little town ‘nearby’. Bob asked us if we would like to drive his Model T in the parade and he would drive the Logan. What fun -how could we say no? Then we found out where it was. The Logan needed to ride on a trailer, but the Model T could supposedly drive there. It was a 30 mile trip and a nerve-wracking 10 miles of it was on a six lane highway. We could only do about 45 miles an hour and the worst moment was when a tractor trailer honked using his airhorn. We just about wrecked. Most people beeped and waved and I have to give Gary credit; he kept that thing going all the way there. The parade was wonderful – all the houses were decorated, the children dressed up and everyone waving flags. The parade was just down one street to a huge house that hosted a BBQ for all and it was a beautiful day. That is until we were headed back to the trailer. Our Model T pooped out. Everyone came to help, and it turned out she just needed this and that to get it going again. We were a little hesitant to drive it back, so we drove the trailer and Bob drove the Model T in front of us. We all made it just as it began to get near dusk but it surely was a memorable day. Well, the offer was made again for this year, and although I don’t know what we’ll be driving yet, I hope we can be here. It’s this great lifestyle that allows us to do fun things when the opportunity arises. Yep, we like it like that. Here’s Bob and Molly in Molly’s pickup. Molly’s, you ask? Yes, apparently Bob had to use this pickup to pickup Molly from the Dog Rescue facility, and Molly just jumped right in the front seat, and she won’t let the pickup out of the driveway without her in it. She won’t chase any other car, but she will run after the pickup. Such a cute face, no? Sshhh, I’m going to get this framed and give it to Bob for his birthday in a few weeks. He also gave us a ride in the Cadillac. I love the looks people give us. Some are annoyed and in a hurry and pass us, but most people smile and wave. If the world went back to driving antique cars, people couldn’t be in a hurry at all. It would slow down everything, and life would be more pleasant. That’s what we’re trying to do. We don’t go fast, and we don’t go far (in one day). We’re enjoying l-i-f-e one day at a time. Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal visited our bird feeder this morning and I waited until he walked into the spotlite to snap this shot. I also picked some more flowers of this shrub that smell divine. I brought some to the house and put a few in the coach. I have no idea what they are, but they abound all over the countryside and the air is perfumed all day and night. We had no missions today, so sat around, talked and ate. We do a LOT of eating (I’m afraid to get on that scale) and a lot of talking. Gary enjoys listening to our old stories and things we did as kids. We play “Can you top this??” and some pretty wild stories come out of the dark. It’s fun, even under the circumstances. Well, it’s late and we shall see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully, peace.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday, it was cloudy, but Bob and Gary worked on getting our 50 amp service up and running. Gary and I headed to Cooper Electric in Flemington and they had exactly what we needed. Many thanks to the great guys on the RV Dreams forum, as they led us to a great website that explained exactly how to hook up the wires and we are now fully electric! Yay, hot water! Yay,heat! I started to scrape off the Diamondshield , a protective coating, on the front of Bella where it is cracked and peeling. It takes some elbow grease, but I’m getting it, although it will probably take me all summer.
Hummers have been flitting all around, and Bob came to get me because there was a hummer trapped in his garage. I grabbed my camera and put it on ‘sport’ setting to take multiple fast frame shots as this little bird madly flew around the lights. Here is a picture just before she flew out the door. Later, the male visited my feeder and I got a shot. Then we put together a top for the DirectTV dish with an old tripod Bob found in a dumpster and a piece of aluminum that he bored a hole in. Here’s the finished product.

Molly was stinky. She needed a trip to the spa. She had an appointment 30 miles away at 9 am this morning and it was pouring. Our mission today was to get Molly cleaned up and beautiful. We drove Bob’s car that he uses for work, and, sorry, Bob, but I don’t think it has EVER been cleaned on the inside. But we got her there for her appointment, asked where we could get breakfast and were delighted to hear there was a Panera right down the road. Gary was thrilled with his bagel, and then we stopped at Walmart to get her a new bed and collar. We got the call that she was ready, and when we arrived, she truly sparkled. They said she was such a good girl, they gave her a new toy to take home. Well, we were sad to have to put her back into that car, but there was no choice. Prancing around the living room she showed off her clean teeth and shiny coat.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Wierd Sight

I didn't get to blog last night. A nasty thunderstorm ran over us and we were in the house until it ended much too late to blog. Today was beautiful and on one of our 'missions' we came across this wierd sight. Outside Best Billiards in Pittstown, NJ, owner Chuck Jacobi enjoys the stares he gets from passersby who wonder what a stuffed gorilla is doing shooting pool just off the road. My brother tells me that it also has a Santa suit for the holidays. Okaaaayyy... Also on our mission, we found a bagel store right next to the photo store we needed. Yummy. Gary misses his bagels so much. We did pass a Panera and plan to get there one day, but in the mean time he settles for Lenders frozen bagels and Philly. I set up my tripod hoping to get a shot of our lone hummingbird, but only got a shot of this cute upside-down nuthatch. We've had chicadees, jays, cardinals and a red-bellied woodpecker. There's some others I have yet to identify. This is a poor photo of a young deer in the late afternoon. She put her head down for a bite just as I snapped. I'll try again. It's a sad waiting game here, and we are just doing 'missions' and preparing food, and meeting visitors and being there when wanted.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Frustration Day

Our ‘clock’ was right. The bright sun woke us up at 6 am again. I managed another ½ hour of sleep, then the smell of coffee woke me again. As much as I love morning coffee outside under our awning, at 52 degrees, it takes a lot of persuasion. Not today, honey…
Today, Priscilla was coming home from the hospital, so Gary and I got our chores done as quickly as possible. We wanted a little local flavor for breakfast, so we tried the beautiful Bakery Treat (or something – I am taking a camera everywhere we go- from now on it will be glued to my hand) for a delicious strawberry cream streusel muffin and Gary’s favorite: an everything bagel with cream cheese. Great coffee at a great price. We were then on our mission. We visited a truck/rv repair shop, and even though the guys were nice, they couldn’t figure out how to make a four-prong coach plug work in a three-prong range plug. We have the right plugs and have wired them together, but still only 15 amps. He called an electrician, who also RV’d his whole life, and was very sympathetic offering to come and look for free. We may take him up on that offer. I am going to the RV-Dreams Forum to ask our very knowledgeable, wonderful fellow RVers. We went to Verizon to get a booster cable for our aircard. ‘ Don’t carry them. Try Radio Shack’. Finally found Radio Shack, and they didn’t have them either. Oh, well. We went to BJ’s for gas. Ugh oh. New Jersey requires people to pump your gas for you – full service – do you remember that? So, no gas at BJ’s. We needed to get back. Shortly after we got back, Priscilla and Bob came home and she was settled into bed. I know I’ve been making this sound like she is getting better, but now that her children know, I will mention that Hospice was called on Monday, and it, sadly, is a matter of a week or two. Her sister arrived and her daughter and son. It is the most horrible situation. Bob will have lost his mother, father and wife within a five year span. Once again, we are here for a reason.
It looks like we have adopted a dog. This is Molly and Gary on our rug, and Molly and Tasha facing off. Molly just wants to play, Tasha. Ha, she says.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Visit from more Family

May 12, 2010
Priscilla’s surgery didn’t happen until today, because someone let her have a drink just before taking her down, so they postponed it until early this morning. It went well, and she will be coming home tomorrow. This morning was a happy camper day for my hubby. Direct TV came and installed our satellite service! His surfing days are back again.
Right after they left, my other brother, Kirk, and his daughter, Jennifer came for a visit from Middlesex. We haven’t seen them for five years. We had a long visit, and hung out in the coach as it was a miserable, cold, rainy day. Kirk suggested we get out for some lunch. We found a cute little restaurant in Stockton. 'Meils' is located in an old gas station in the center of town. The restaurant is filled with artwork from local artists and especially dozens of ShadFest posters. ShadFest is a festival honoring a type of fish called Shad. Each spring the annual Shad Fest coincides with the heart of the American shad run up the Delaware River. Stockton borders Delaware Township in New Jersey. The Centre Bridge-Stockton Bridge, a free bridge over the Delaware River, connects Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The original covered bridge was opened to traffic in the spring of 1814, but destroyed in a flood on January 8, 1841, striking the Lambertville Bridge on its way down the Delaware. The tiny town remains today as it was in the eighteenth century. For all its small size and charm, (there are only about 600 residents), the town is presided over by an huge stone inn. The Stockton Inn, established in 1710, is the inn that was immortalized by Richard Rodgers in the song "There's a small hotel with a wishing well", sung in the Broadway play On Your Toes. The inn was first built as a private residence and is believed to have been converted in 1832. It was charming even in a gray drizzle, and Gary and I decided to come back another day to explore the Farmer’s Market, art galleries and maybe have tea at the Inn.
We said our see-ya-laters, to Kirk and Jennifer and then we went in for something warm to drink. Tasha had not been out all day, and was at the door ready to go, but on my way out, a movement caught my eye near the woods. Now, it could be anything wild that lives in these woods, and I didn’t want a catastrophe (get it?), so I waited until I could see clearly. Fortunately it was a pair of young deer with fluffy white tails out for their evening dinner. Tasha caught sight of them too, and her pupils got huge. I let her out and she crept ever so slowly over to her tree. I stood there very still to watch them, and finally they scampered into the deep woods. I didn’t see Tasha anymore, so she must have tried to get closer to figure out these two new creatures. They are so graceful, I love seeing them.
According to our 'clock' tomorrow is supposed to be a little warmer and beautiful again. That’s good, because I am having a tough time keeping a signal to keep our computer on line, thus a day skipped here and there. We need to figure out our power problem and how to get a steady signal, then we will be REALLY happy campers.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For A Reason

Both of us keep waking up around 6 am and we think it’s because of the sunshine. Another brilliant blue sky, but VERY chilly at 47 degrees. There was a freeze warning for the county just north of here. What to do? Layer. I had on a long sleeve top, my sweater, sweatshirt and fleece parka. Gary wore a t-shirt. Now you know why I needed to move to Florida. Tasha always has on her fur coat, and wanted out before we had our coffee. This is her favorite tree. Remember my adage that all things happen for a reason? Well, my brother’s wife is very, very ill and had cancer surgery recently. Just before we arrived, Bob said she had been taken back to the hospital from the Dr.’s office. Things are not looking very good, and I’m so glad we are here for them. She is scheduled for more surgery tomorrow, and we will get another prognosis. Bob is gone at 6 am to get to the hospital by 8 so today Gary and I cleaned the entire house and did laundry. Tomorrow we will do some yard work and other chores. We could have been anywhere in the country, but we were here at just the right time. Coincidence? Maybe. But I believe in going with the flow. Less and less do I get grouchy about little things out of my control. I used to get all bent out of shape for silly things like making a wrong turn or forgetting to make a phone call. But now I try to stop and say ‘this happened for a reason’ and usually I come to a conclusion for what happened. OK, you can call it reasoning. Anyhow, off to Lowe’s again to exchange the plug we bought to get us 50 amp service from Bob’s garage. Bought the right one this time. [Maybe I’ll never figure out a reason for the hours we are spending at Lowe’s and HD.] We hope we can use our heat pump instead of the propane furnace we’ve been using since Sunday. Propane isn’t cheap either, but it’s not the money as much as having to pack up and move Bella to get it because she has a built in 40 gallon tank. Or we'd have to order a delivery.
For our anniversary last month we also got a clock/indoor-outdoor thermometer/day/date/weather forecasting wall thing and here’s a picture. It’s radio controlled from Ft. Collins, CO and transmits the exact time continuously throughout the US at 60 kHz. That apparently means the signal can be received up to 2000 miles away. A team of atomic physicists continually measures every second of every day to an accuracy of ten billionths of a second a day. Hmmm. Anyhow, I love the weather part. It will tell me if the weather is improving, fair or deteriorating due to air pressure. We can’t put holes in the wall, so we used sticky Velcro. Worked like a charm for right now, but we’ll see if it holds on the road. Yesterday Gary made an appointment for tomorrow with DirectTV for satellite service. According to my new weather forecasting center, it is not supposed to be fair, but deteriorating. Yup, the weather radio says rain tonight and tomorrow. I like the sound of the rain above us -even though our heads are only about two feet from the roof. I’m not sure what hail would sound like – and I hope I never find out – but rain is soothing. I’m up for some soothing…

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mothers out there. At Pine Hill CG in Kutztown, PA, they honored mothers by serving them breakfast for free (and only the ‘others’ had to pay $6.00). Pretty good deal for three pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, fruitcup, OJ and coffee, and we were served at a pretty table with flowers and pink napkins. It is always informative to talk to other RVers, even if they live ½ hour away. We have been going over some large hills (you can tell by the view) and Gary wanted to know if we can downshift on the fly. A fellow RVer said yes, you can downshift just like in your car, but we just have to push a button, not move a gearshift. Of course, once you start talking, it’s hard to break away, and again, we got a late start. But my brother, Bob’s, place was just an hour away. First we had to go over Jugtown Mountain. There is actually a campground on top of this mountain, and the views must be fantastic, because we had to downshift to 4th gear from 6th. And it was easy. We kept up with all the transfer trucks – yay, Bella! (that’s our coach’s name). Well, it took us a little more than an hour, because we made a wrong turn which put us into the middle of Frenchtown, but Gary, the great one, got us through a 90 degree turn without any problem, down GRAY roads and my brother’s road I don’t even think is on the map in any color. Thank you to the cars behind us as we c-r-e-p-t along looking for his road, because we could not have turned around, probably ever. Here’s a picture of us, proudly waiting in his driveway for him to return home and show us to our ‘site’. It actually WAS a site that he built last weekend with his bulldozer and steam shovel that he has in the back. He is a large equipment driver and leaves for work at 5:30 am. Poor guy. He also lives 30 miles from the nearest Walmart. Gasp. Gas is not cheap here at 2.79 for GAS and 3.29 for diesel. Thank goodness we don’t have to drive Bella around! We leveled in a minute, and Tasha was ready to explore. Unfortunately for Tasha, Bob has a dog, Molly, who loves to chase. Well, it was not a happy meeting as Molly jumped around and barked wanting to play as Tasha stood in her ferocious pose, taking a declawed swipe at Molly’s nose when she got too close. Since we are in charge during the day while Bob works, we keep Molly in the house for a little while so that Tasha can explore. Here she is in a tree, and escaping her ‘jail’ cell. The second thing we needed to do was ‘hookup’. Bob said he had 50 amp service, but RVs have a different plug than 50 amp range outlets. About an hour later, we decided we needed to hit Home Depot and pick up a male range plug. Sadly they didn’t have exactly that, and we purchased three other things hoping one would work, but they didn’t. We ended up using the previous owner’s home-made double 110 volt plugs taped together. We had 15 amps and Bella performed perfectly. Mind you, we didn’t use the microwave only the lights, water heater, toaster, and TV. Today, we returned all the items to HD and headed over to Lowe’s to see if they had one. They did and we picked up that and some other things, had a yummy breakfast at the Flemington CafĂ©, stopped at AAA to get their camp books, and headed home to work. We had to get everything out of the bays and reorganize, something we’ve needed to do since we left Florida. I wish Gary had taken a picture of me vacuuming the bays. Well, come to think of it, it wouldn't have been very flattering. We have a better feel of what we use often and things like golf clubs that hardly need to see the light of day. Gary made a very important call to Direct TV to get our satellite set up and they will be here on Wednesday. I get to watch the Weather Channel again! Well, time to cook dinner for our ‘host’, so, again, hope your Mother’s Day was special.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Kutztown, PA

Finding our overnight CG was easy, and getting into our site was easy, but getting out in the morning was not. All night Gary worried about it, and he was up at 6 am worrying about it. I maintain a policy of, don’t worry, it will work out OK. I know my kids have heard me say more than once that ‘things happen for a reason’. So we were wedged into our site for a reason - you'll see what that reason is in a second. Finally around 9 we went up to the office and checked out. Guess who said ‘well we are a little worried about getting out.’ They said they’d send down the maintenance man in 15 minutes to help. We got the jacks up, and went across the way to meet Fred planning to ask him to move his car a little bit. We explained we were fulltimers for just a month, and he said he was planning to do that soon, too. We met his wife, Ginger (yup) and son and chatted awhile and even he helped guide us through some low trees. How many times do you meet a Fred and Ginger? That must have been the reason! Gary is such a good driver, he managed that turn in one smooth motion. What a guy! It had just finished raining, but now there was a wind advisory – 15-25 mph with gusts up to 40! Yikes. The CG office mentioned that sometimes they will pull trucks and high-profile vehicles off the highway if the winds get too high. The winds were to start around 11:30 and already they were kicking up. We took a lovely red road all the way around Harrisburg, gripping the edge of the road when the tractor trailers went by. There were some close calls, but I had my eyes shut most of the way. We passed a brand-new Cabela’s a couple of exits before ours and thought we might make a trip back. Cabela’s is a hunting/fishing/camping store and we are looking for a clock/weather/date thingy to hang on the one space we have on a wall. I want it to be framed in wood, not polished nickel. Cabela’s had the usual, so I will look on line, I guess. Our new CG, Pine Hill RV Park in Kutztown, has the most fantastic view – I can’t wait till Gary ties me to a tree so I can take a photo tomorrow without blowing off the mountain!