Monday, August 30, 2010

A New Expense

I can’t believe that we have been full-timing for 5 months already. Time really does go by when you’re having fun!

It finally dried up today. We had our last thunderstorm last night and shouldn’t see another one until Sunday. On our way to sushi Saturday night I took some shots of the clouds. I love Florida because of the wide open skies. There are some pretty impressive cumulonimbus formations up there. Yep, we’re driving right into this one. I can’t wait until we get out west next year. The skies are even bigger!

Some things are just so coincidental. For example, my lawn chair was rusting on the bottom. This is a chair Tristan gave me from his back yard last fall. It is the really popular style most RVers have and they run about $50. But the paint was scratched, and it was constantly wet, so rust lines were marking our rug. I decided to paint the bottom because we had one little can of paint with us that Gary had bought to paint our ‘sign’ that is still a work in progress. As I was sanding the bottom rail, I thought that it would be difficult to conceal the new color. I knew it was green, but not what shade. Can you believe that when I put it on, it was EXACTLY the same color as the chair? I love it when that happens.

Yesterday we were doing some errands, and we heard a knocking under the Jeep. Hmmm.
This morning, Gary took the Mesa to Jeep to have her looked at. We had had her oil fixed before leaving, so they remembered him and he only had to wait an hour. Unfortunately, it was the torque bar that was just about broken through.
Fortunately, it wasn’t broken through or we would have needed a flat bed towtruck to get her there. Unfortunately, it will cost about $700 and we are without four wheels. Fortunately, we don’t need to go anywhere and she will be fixed tomorrow.

I did wash all day hanging it out in the sunshine and breeze. Shades of memories from my childhood (we didn’t have a dryer – just a washline). Those sheets smell sooooo gooood. Can hardly wait to get in them.

What on earth will happen tomorrow???

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Doctors and Sunshine

All this week we were helping Michelle get chores done. Brian is trying to sell his house on Tiera Verde, so Gary and I did some weeding and garden cleanup with a little planting of flowers for the Realtors’ Open House. Oh, I knew I was going to feel that. Yup. Aleve to the rescue.

It rained all week until yesterday. When we came home Thursday, the stream (Frog Creek) had overflowed, flooding the boat ramp and fire ring. Fortunately we are at the other side of the campground. It’s amazing we aren’t turning into solid mold because things are not drying out. Of course, we lose satellite service when it rains or storms, too.

Friday was Gary’s Dr. appointment with Dr. Eakle, and she gave him his blood test results. There is a 3% invasion of T-cells in his bloodstream. She is not worried about that, but ordered the usual CAT scans that we arranged for Wednesday. While he is doing that, I’m getting my haircut. (I’ve been cutting the front myself, but the back is a little more difficult). Then we see his radiologist to see if his spot can be erased.

Today, I finally cleaned the coach from top to bottom. It really does take a couple of hours. I wash every surface, vacuum the sofa and floor, and wash the floor on my hands and knees. It’s the fastest way considering there are so many twists and turns and little tiny corners everywhere. Hey, it’s exercise. Gary worked on the outside of the coach, exchanging the holy sewer hose for a new one, rearranged the bays and moved the picnic table. Yesterday we secured the awning with guy-wires to keep it secure during a sudden gust of wind. Dirk, the CG Manager stopped by and Gary mentioned that we would be interested in WorkCamping if we didn’t get a job at WDW. He explained what the job entailed, which was basically manual labor. Raking the millions of oak tree leaves and running the Honey Wagon. This is a truck that is used for non-sewer sites. One’s black and grey tanks are emptied into the truck, then disposed into an in-ground sewer. I would probably work in the office, but wouldn’t mind doing other things as well. In exchange, you get a free site, free food, free entrance to events and 5 days off a week. Free equals money. Even though this site is costing us now, by renting for a month, it is less expensive than by the day. If we could save hundreds by working two days a week, I’d say that’s a pretty good exchange. That’s what workcamping is.

It’s a nice day, our chores are finished, we’re going to have sushi for dinner and only need to pick up Gary’s prescription at Walmart. I think I’ll read something. Then after sushi, I’m challenging Gary to two out of three at pool. Not the swimming pool, but the pool table in the lodge. Naturally, he needed his pool cue from storage, and we found that. Naturally. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I haven’t blogged in a couple of days. We’re drowning here. It has rained non-stop since Sunday evening. The Myakka River is in danger of flooding being 4 inches below a 1996 flood record. Oh, joy. We are far enough away as to not be affected, but there are plenty of deep puddles we have to drive through. I know, I know. “Don’t drown – turn around!” If there were any THAT deep, even with our big wheels, we would not be stupid.

The sunny day was Sunday morning when we headed to our storage units to put a few things in – believe it or not – and take a few things out. Putting Gary’s long-sleeved shirts in was easy, finding things that we needed to take out, was NOT. We climbed all over stuff to find necessities, and only managed to discover a few. The bikes and carrier were easy. We had planned to take those on our original departure, but I knew that the northeast was not flat, and that we probably wouldn’t use them as much as on flat ground. We stored them at the last minute. So they were easy to extricate. The bike carrier was bought for the Ford Escape, so we had to be creative to attach it to the Jeep securely. We did it, and stopped at the Red Barn Flea Market on the way home. Gary is in there somewhere. Yes, that's the front of the jeep.

We got a tarp and lots of veggies and fruit, Gary got his golf club re-gripped, and a pair of readers for a bargain! Love this place.

It began to sprinkle on the way, so when we pulled into our ‘driveway’, we noticed Tasha’s legs sticking out under the curtain. A dog, she is not. If she wants to greet you, she will. Most of the time she ignores us. Wonderful pet. Really.

Monday we woke up to clouds and rain, so decided to do our Walt Disney World applications . In the middle of Gary’s we received a call from my daughter, Michelle. She was in the hospital because Henry (baby in utero) decided he’d like to arrive early. Much tooooo early. He’s only 30 weeks, so the doctor was planning to try a contraction-stopping drug (I forget the name) and Brian wanted to be there with her. We waiting until we could see out the window for the thunderstorm going by, then jumped in the Jeep and drove to St. Pete. We got a really wonderful greeting from our three grandchildren and Brian, then he left. We had a great evening with the kids, having so much fun that we kept them up way past their bedtime. Oooo, bad grandma. Michelle was released from the hospital arriving home at 9:30. The kids were excited to see her, and all went upstairs to bed. We promised to come back the next day.

Today we had breakfast and headed up to St. Pete. Michelle had a list of chores to accomplish, so Gary and I drove her around enjoying Graham’s (3) antics. Tomorrow we will go up to do some manual labor as she really should be resting. It’s good to have a purpose to get up out of bed again. It seems as though we are totally helping others this year. It feels good.

Gary had his lab work done on Monday, and sees the Dr on Friday. I will keep you all informed. We love our little campsite, but have not had a moment to meet any other campers. Now, if it would just stop raining!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back in the F L A

Last night we crossed into Florida – YAY. Kelly’s RV Park was easy to get to, OK to stay in and we had great thunderstorms all around us, just like in Colleton SP. Some rain, but not torrents. Since we arrived a little later than we thought, we decided to try to get satellite through the front window of the coach being faced SW. We got it for a second, but the swaying trees made it futile. We watched another Alfred Hitchcock and Nat Geo tape.

This morning we had to wait for the slowest train in the world. It crawled at 3 MPH and squealed around the corner until they stopped it, disconnected the rest of the cars, moved it on by and let the 300 cars continue. We had a ringside seat as you can see. My ears are still ringing.

Poor Gary didn’t stop driving for 5 hours. I made lunch on the fly. One can do that with a motorhome, doncha know. No problems with the drive until we made a wrong turn at the ‘blinking light’. Ooops. We knew we had done it almost immediately. Now to find somewhere to turn around. Remember, we can’t back up at all with the toad on. I thought I saw a big parking lot at the Southeastern Guide Dog facility, but we asked someone coming out, and she said probably not and we were on a dead end street. Well, don’t panic. We unhitched the toad, backed Bella into the driveway and pulled her out facing the right direction. Meanwhile, I did a recon for the RV Park while Gary sat with the flashers on. It was five minutes away, and I was back in a jiffy. I asked him how many people stopped to ask if they could help. ‘None’. Alrighty then. If we ever DO need help, I’ll be sure to lie across the road. Or is it lay? Whatever…

Joe was waiting in the golf cart to show us to our site – 67A –which is PERFECT! He has his buddy, Sparkles, on his shoulder wherever he goes. Sparkles decided to come sit on my shoulder, too. Then he decided to taste my earring! Fortunately, he didn’t eat it.

We have a lovely breeze, leveled in 20 seconds – remember, Florida is FLAT – tire covers on, mat out, fixed the corner of our patio, grill out, chairs up, tablecloth on and was having a drink within 1 hour. Ahh, YEESSSS, Life is GOOD.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Almost Home

Since I last wrote, we have made it all the way to South Carolina to one of our favorite state parks in Canadys, SC. Larry was in the office when we pulled in after a great drive – even seeing a cousin on Route 95. But I am jumping ahead.

Back in North Carolina, we had fun with family all three days ending with a BBQ at the campsite Monday evening. We said our goodbyes planning to see them this winter in Florida. Tuesday morning was bright and sunny and HOT. We had to make a pit stop at the dump station, hitch up Mesa and say our goodbyes to our other favorite state park. We checked the eagle’s nest on the way out, but it was kind of torn up, so I’m sure the babies have fledged. The rangers said they had seen them flying around a few times. No problems getting to 95 South and before we knew it we were at our next stop in Lumberton, NC. This was Sleepy Bear’s RV Park just off 95 and it was easy in and out. We had a double site that we shared with Alfred Hitchcock’s birds, and another puppy followed us on our walk around after dinner. We attract animals, I guess.

Wednesday we woke to dark gray skies, but it didn’t say rain. Back onto 95 South where there were lots of construction stamps on my TripTik to watch out for. There was no construction whatsoever, and the road was great. Suddenly Gary said “I think there’s a Dutch Star behind us”. And sure enough we gave each other a Cousin honk as they passed. I assume they were heading back to Florida, but we saw them pulled off to the side of an exit ramp later. I hope they were OK. We were happy to get to Colleton State Park early so we could play, but man, is it hot. Tasha jumped out and went for a short walk, but came back in after a minute because she was probably melting in her fur coat. She still is recuperating.

We figured out how to put on one AC at a time so we don’t trip the breakers on 30 Amp. Duh. You turn one off by switching a breaker. If you remember we are new to Direct TV Satellite having it installed in New Jersey and have not had a chance to get it working easily. Fortunately, Ranger Larry was one of the first installers ever – in Florida, no less. He used to go to Sarasota from the middle of the state to pick up supplies. Small world. He gave us a few pointers, so we may try it after dinner. Our camp host (the person, couple or family) that decides to camp long term and be a helper to other campers (thus staying for free) is a couple from Holland. He has a very unusual accent that we detected right away, even though he has been in the US for 59 years. He is probably only 65, so he must have learned that accent thoroughly in utero to be hanging on to it for so many years. Cool.

The Rangers, Larry and James stopped by just as we were trying to get a signal on our satellite between all the trees. Larry helped and now we have satellite. I know that’s not so exciting, but it’s tantamount to having a martini at 5 o’clock every day. Gotta have it.

Gary grilled our salmon in the rain (not very hard and under the awning), and now we rest. Ahhh. I love this life.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Family Time

Leaving around 9:30 was good timing. We found our way out to Route 64, a major highway and were pleasantly surprised to see hardly any traffic! It was smooth sailing until we neared Richmond, then took 288 south around the west side of the city. That was easy (and not too crowded either). We hooked onto 95 South for a little ways until the split south west onto 85. The road was pitiful and I swear Gary will have to tighten every screw in this coach to keep it together. We turned off just inside North Carolina onto Route 1 then west on 98 to our Falls Lake SP turnoff. We love going back to CGs that we know, and this one was where we saw the baby eagles when we spent 2 weeks here back in April.

We arrived around 2 pm, drove right to our site, leveled in 2 minutes, and had the awning and chairs out within 15 minutes. We drove back 20 minutes to Mandy and Joe’s house where they were planning a big BBQ – not for us, but because Joe is a duck hunter and he wanted some help from his friends stringing decoys, whatever that means. All I know was that there were ducks and geese all over the place all tied together in big baskets. The boys were doing drunk chickens on the barbie, and we had a bunch of sides. It was great seeing the kids and inlaws and Granny again, but the gates are locked at 8, so we said our goodbyes. Unfortunately, there were a lot of goodbyes to be said, and before we knew it we had 20 minutes to get inside that gate. Whew, Mesa flew. We made it on the stroke of 8, waved to the Ranger as he locked the gate behind us, and saw a few deer on the way home.

Tasha is recuperating. She stayed outside all day Saturday and today, is eating again, and is up to her old tricks. Let’s see, I think there are only a couple of lives left. It’s not busy in the park at all as school is about to start next week. We’ll be leaving on Tuesday to get to the border of NC, then two more stops and we’ll be at our month-long CG – Frog Creek. Gary has his Dr. appointments lined up and we are looking forward to staying put again and seeing more family and all our friends in Florida!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away

Yesterday we left Pine Hill CG around 1:30 because we didn’t want to get to our next stop too early. We were going to try BOONDOCKING. That means you park with no hookups, use your house batteries or generator for electrical power, use your water tank for water and use your TV for DVDs. You can use your propane to cook, but who wanted to do that? So we left late to get there around 4 pm. We were very lucky to find it, because the directions from the web were misleading. We would have had to go down a one way street the wrong way. But we saw it, and pulled in, found a cozy corner to park in, and immediately went into Walmart. Nothing exciting in Walmart, so we were near the checkout and we heard a lady say that there was a tornado warning until 5 pm. It was 4:50, and heading across the parking lot the sky was a very ugly black color. Five minutes after we shut the door, the heavens opened and the wind howled around us. I kept praying ‘no hail, no hail, please, no hail’. It rained like there was no tomorrow and I tried to get a couple of shots, but they didn’t do that storm any justice. Ten minutes later, it was raining gently, and then stopped.

Time to go to dinner! There was a choice of an unknown Mexican joint, Ruby Tuesdays or Burger King. Well, we’ll probably do Burger King for breakfast, so we checked out the Mexican place. Ummm, nope. Nobody in there. Ruby’s it is. I had the salad bar, and Gary took home 4 of his wings from the sampler for lunch tomorrow. Around 6:45, we heard a diesel engine pass us, and guess what, it was another rig. They pulled in front of us. I bet they were exhausted driving in that kind of storm. We never saw them. Still cloudy with more threat of rain, we popped in an Alfred Hitchcock DVD. It was a set of three for $6 we picked up at – where else – Walmart. We were on the third disc, and the next in line was a silent film called Virtue. A couple of times I found myself asleep, but we hung it out and hit the sack at 11 expecting all kinds of noise being next to the main road. It was silent. We could only open the window as we didn’t want to run the generator all night for AC, but after the rain, it had really cooled off. We slept great – maybe because, Gary would say, he had his gun next to his head.

Burger King this morning in a really cute décor of the 50’s – formica boomerang tables, a turquoise chevy table, records hanging from the ceiling and a Wurlitzer!
I thought it would be easy getting back on our route south, but we somehow ended up going north through town. Not a good thing. But Gary did a great job driving and I did a great job navigating, and we made it out and headed in the right direction. Whew. Route 15 is a small road with NO SHOULDER – even though it is a RED ROAD. Grrrrr. I only managed to say ‘left, left’ a couple of times. In Flemington there are three circles that are nerve wracking because no one uses their signals, so you have to wait until you THINK it is your turn to go. Well, we ran into a couple of circles on this route, too, but there was no traffic. Much better.

The turn to Small Country CG was easily marked, and we found a great Truck Stop just before that to fuel up (only $125 – heh). Vanessa Moore welcomed us back, put us in a great spot, and we finally had lunch at 2pm. Gary tried in vain to get our satellite dish up and working and finally succeeded at 6 pm. It shouldn’t be this difficult, but I think he will have better luck next time.

Tasha, poor thing, is fading fast. She is very, very underweight, is lethargic and not eating very much. I just hope she makes it back down to Florida where I can take her to her own doctor. We knew this was coming, and I’m glad she had so much fun on our trip so far. I’m, needless to say, not looking forward to the end, but it shall come. I don’t know if we’ll get another pet for the road, or not. Certainly not right away. Maybe a pet rock?

Tomorrow we’re headed to one of our favorite spots – Falls Lake SP, right back in our old spot. We can’t wait to see family again! More birthdays – my daughter, Michelle’s is today (yep, Friday the thirteenth) and Ainsley will be three years old on Sep.6. Granny will soon be 86! Go Granny, go!

So much to look forward to. Life is good. Oh, yeah.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Babies Everywhere

Tuesday we spent some quality time at Detroit Diesel to have them check out what exactly was leaking behind our rear wheel. We got there at 9:30 am and parked her in the middle of the parking lot. While we were waiting we met Mike who was waiting for the transmission to be fixed on his Endeavor motorhome. He was a teacher and had two little boys (11 and 9) and a wife who loved to camp and they started when the boys were babies. We were explaining that we didn’t have a clue what our problem was, and he was so nice, that he offered his house in case we had to leave Bella overnight. Fortunately, the problem was only a leak around the fan housing which used power steering fluid for lubrication. The seal needed to be replaced, so when we get to Florida, we’ll have to look into that. We left a little lighter in the pocketbook, but not as bad as we feared. Whew. Dodged a bullet on this one.

I was planning to make a stop in Lancaster to visit the Amish country on the way to our next stop in Maryland, but Gary decided to visit there today. Our timing was perfect; we parked, walked in to buy a ticket and walked in to the next tour. The house we toured was built in 1817, the farm in 1820. In the early 18th century, many Amish and Mennonites emigrated to Pennsylvania for a variety of reasons. It was extremely interesting to hear how they live their lives so differently from us, and yet among us. The self-guided farm tour was revealing. We met two baby goats, two baby sheep and two baby donkeys. Gary worked on a tobacco farm when he was small, and just the smell of the tobacco barn brought back many memories of his childhood. It’s cool that smells can do that.

We had a plain and fancy lunch at the Good and Plenty Amish Restaurant, and I remarked that I would like one of their tablecloths. It was heavy, shiny plastic and we had been looking for a quality picnic tablecloth. The waitress checked and yep, they sell them downstairs in the gift shop. Yay. I asked where they were, but they weren’t packaged, it was sold by the yard. Even better! I found the material we wanted and pulled out the end, but it was only about a yard long. Do you have more? After a rummage in the back room, they came out with a different roll. But this one only had a yard and a half on it. More searching and out came another roll. This was almost two yards long – great. At 3.99 a yard, it was a bargain. Strange Pennsylvania Dutch souvenir, but hey, it works for us.

Tomorrow we leave for Maryland which is not more than 3 hours away, so we can take our time in the morning. It will be an adventure, because for the first time, we will be BOONDOCKING – at Walmart! No hookups. We will fill our water tank here, use our generator for power and be fine. Gary wants to sleep with his gun under his pillow – macho, macho man. He says he’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Cute. It would be cool to meet another Rver - we’ll let you know!

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Couple of Tears

Sunday blossomed into a sunny, warm, humid day and we had a few more details to finish before we left our little spot in the NJ countryside. I wanted to take a look at the Jeep’s window washer tank to determine what was making it leak out all the fluid. I fixed it.
Gary Rain-X’d the windshield and side windows, I washed the birdfeeders and put them away. Fortunately we didn’t acquire too many things in NJ, so packing wasn’t a monumental task. There were lots of things we would have liked to keep as souvenirs, but we had a budget to keep in mind, and of course, there was the weight and space issue. We like to buy things we can eat. Of course, that means space and weight issues, too.

Bob, Rosie and her grand-daughter Aryn were headed to the Rock-A-Billy concert on Jugtown Mountain in NW New Jersey and needed to leave around 11 am. But before that, Aryn wanted a Manual Transmission Lesson. She has her permit at 17 and is in line to get her license, but really wants to learn how to shift. Here is Bob giving her (and Molly) a lesson in the 1929 Ford pickup. How many teens can say they learned on one of those? Molly had to ride IN the truck, so Bob rode on the running board. Then Rosie hopped on. A Kodak moment.
They had to leave, so we gave hugs and kisses (only a couple of tears) and off they went. Gary and I finished packing, and checking our departure lists. Soon we were ready, but there was no one to take our photo (and of course, in all the excitement to miss the hanging wires in the driveway and anticipating a fallen tree in the road up ahead, we forgot to do it ourselves). But it was OK, we made it onto Highway 78 without incident. About an hour later, we turned off at our exit, drove into the campground and got our spot – the same one as last time! Ugh oh, there was someone already in it. A quick call and we parked a couple spots down. It was 94 degrees and humid as a jungle, but we got out to level. No luck. We loved everyone looking at us while we attempted over and over to get the jacks to stay down. Another call to the office, and we moved spots again a few more down. She leveled in 5 minutes. Whew. Oh, no! When Gary backed into the spot, I forgot about the space for the slides to open. We made it within 6 inches. Immediately, we marked a piece of string the width of the slide to measure if in another tight spot. Tasha was very agitated standing at the steps meowing. It turns out that she had needed to go to the bathroom – really badly. Since her potty travels in the shower, and I hadn’t gotten around to opening that yet, she had to go somewhere – and that somewhere was, unfortunately, on our bed. Poor thing. So I cleaned up the messy part, ripped off the duvet cover, the duvet (down – of course and unwashable), sheets, mattress cover and headed over to the laundry. In between meeting our neighbors – from Florida – I ran up to the laundry four times. The duvet would have to be cleaned, and we would need a facility with onsite cleaning, or it wouldn’t be ready by our departure date. Sheeesh. Gary grilled some salmon and we were asleep when our heads touched the pillow.
Today, our plan was to recon the location of the Alison transmission place we were headed to tomorrow with Bella, find a cleaners, fix a drawer lock, find a post office, and get groceries. We did it all and had lunch in the small Leesport Diner – delicious and a good bargain to boot! I love diners – the shinier, the better. Such a nostalgic experience for us over-50 people. I hope the younger crowd can learn to love these pieces of history, too.
Gary griddled our pancakes and bacon outside this morning, and had on the little TV in the bay. As he was sipping his coffee, a mouse came out to watch TV with him. Hmmm. We don’t mind little mice, but they really don’t belong anywhere in our motorhome. Sorry, little guy. A little peanut butter and 10 minutes later, he was in mouse heaven.
After dinner, I took a walk over to see what four legged animals are across the field from us. There were show horses, a llama, a Shetland pony and a very funny looking burro. He was white and either fat or muscled. But he really loved the grass I fed him. And his ears were so soft.
This two legged animal was sitting outside our coach. He’s so cute, I think I’ll keep him.
We’re packing tonight to head out to Alison to probably shell out lots of greenbacks. Oh, joy. But, hey, it’s only money, right?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Going Away Party and Another Encounter

I haven’t written in a few days because nothing too exciting has been happening. We finished washing and waxing Bella and she looks gorgeous. We washed and waxed Mesa and she looks gorgeous. Did loads of laundry, and just getting organized for our departure tomorrow. Yep, my stomach is starting some flip-flops, but there’s nothing I can do but trust Gary to drive carefully. It may be a control thing, but I really don’t want to be in control, either. I’ll just keep my eyes on the map or maybe closed most of the way. We only have a short distance to go tomorrow, but we will have to go up and down a mountain on a crazy-fast highway with three thousand semis per foot, and fit through our first toll booth. I’m thinking I should get out and guide Gary through, but he said absolutely not. It’ll be OK.

Last night was our going-away party at Dave and Marion Lounsbury’s. What a gorgeous home! They built a den onto the house with a huge stone fireplace that reaches to a peaked ceiling. Beautiful antiques are everywhere along with lots of lovely photos of their family. Some friends from the HCCA (Horseless Carriage Club of America) we were pleased to see again and my littlest brother and his wife came, too. Great food and cakes for dessert, and one especially made for us. Thanks, so much Dave and Marion.

It was a 45 minute drive home, and we didn’t leave until 10:15. We had such a good time; it was hard to say goodbye to all the new friends we had made during our three month stay in NJ. Good times and good people.

On the way home, we made one more acquaintance. Bob didn’t quite come to a full stop at one of those red signs that say S-T-O-P, and unfortunately, a policeman noticed. Yep, our second encounter with one of NJ’s finest… Bob knew what he had done wrong, and having a little bit of a temper, I wasn’t sure if he was going to put up a fight, or not. We waited while he wrote the ticket, and then Bob decided to argue. Fortunately he didn’t argue too vehemently because we had wine in the back and we had been drinking most of the evening. Light beer, but nevertheless, it could have gotten worse. Well, it will give Bob something to look forward to doing next week – municipal court. Bummer.

We always like to have something new to look forward to. And we are really looking forward to our new home-for-a-month in Palmetto, Florida. I know Gary is really looking forward to getting his face fixed up brand new. So, here we are, getting ready to hit the road tomorrow for some new and ever-exciting adventures! Stay with us!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bella's Bath

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, but I didn’t see much of it. I spent all day on the internet planning when and where we were going to be for the rest of the month. And I DID it. We have a place to lay our heads until September 20! We’re very excited about our place in Florida called Frog Creek RV Park. We are planning to be there for a month starting Aug. 20. If the weather cooperates, we shall! Check out the website and come visit if you’re around!

I needed to get out, so I tended the tree stump fire for a little bit. There are no more stumps to burn, just a few limbs. I got it going nice and hot, but it was all gone in about 30 minutes. Oh, well. I don’t know if I’ll ever have to tend a fire that big again, so what do you think? Should it go on my resume???

Today (Wednesday) we needed to wash Bella. The sun was in and out, but it sure was humid. Here we are with the long tools we needed. We carry them around with us. Tomorrow morning we will WAX her. Oh, boy. She already looks beautiful, but with her chrome polish and tire shiner, she will look brand new!

We tried our new magnets with the tire covers and they work simply and beautifully, if I do say so myself. I wonder if other RVers do this? It’s so easy. Maybe it won’t work down the road. Of course, we take them off when we drive. We’ll see.

We got cleaned up and headed out to Walmart and lunch. We worked up an appetite, and the last time we visited the Shaker Café, it was jammed. This is the cutest café in the middle of Flemington. It’s called the Shaker Café because all the walls inside are lined with salt and pepper shakers. Even the tables are cool. Our table had Truck Trading cards. Yep. Semi tractor trailers. Others were covered with bottle caps or labels from bottles. And the food is GOOD.

We puttered around a little, making lists of things that we wanted to get done before Sunday departure day. Friday will be fun – we are being thrown a going-away party by the Lounsburys in Liberty Corner (where I went to grade school). I graduated High School with Dave Lounsbury’s sister, Linda, and I hope she is there. The rest of the guest list is a surprise.

Well, we’re going to collapse now. Tomorrow we get to do it all over again. But we are looking forward to hitting the road again!

Monday, August 2, 2010

We Like Birthdays!

Yesterday I was under the weather with a stomach ache, so I didn’t work on the blog. All I did was work on finding a place to stay in Sarasota and campgrounds in between to get there. Gary’s eye is getting worse and it’s now affecting his vision – YIKES! We gotta get there as fast as possible, so I’ve planned overnighters all the way down (except in North Carolina where we’ll stay for a few days to visit family and friends). But then it’s lickety-split back on the road. I think I’ve got it covered, but I don’t know any availability yet, because we don’t know what days we will be in which state. It all depends on how quickly they can get Bella fixed. Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday was littlest brother birthday party time. It’s so cool that I was able to celebrate both my brothers’ birthdays with them this year! They, as a habit, don’t celebrate birthdays, so it was extra sweet to recognize those very special days. I can remember when my littlest brother was born (I was 5), but not my little brother (I was 2). Kirk was almost two at Easter (one of my favorite holidays – chocolate, donchaknow) when he got into his Easter basket and found a cellophane-wrapped chocolate bunny. I think he was fascinated by the noise of the cellophane at first, and of course, he needed to put it in his mouth like all babies. He had some teeth by then and must have chewed a tiny hole in the wrapper, because all of a sudden he got a taste of that melted bunny and he went to town trying to get at that chocolate. My cousin’s family was over, too, and I can remember all of us watching and laughing as he sucked and gummed half that bunny out of a tiny hole.
It’s interesting what one remembers. My mother passed away 5 years ago from Alzheimer’s, so, just in case, I have been writing down things that I think I will want to remember in a little journal. I write anything at all – it could be a poignant memory, an exciting one, sad or just something really unusual. From time to time I read it and it gives me a gentle insight to what is important to me. If anyone else read it, they might get a sense of who I was and what life meant to me. Of course, no one is allowed to read it until I’m long gone – so don’t get any ideas out there…

But, back to Saturday! After the boys quit working on the dog fence, we cleaned up and packed the cooler with macaroni salad, hummus, and potato salad. We put a folding table and cooler in the Buick and headed east to Middlesex where Kirk and Patty live. Kirk was in the kitchen cutting up some black bass he caught on one of his many fishing trips. These small pieces he was going to dip into some homemade batter and cook in his little deep fryer. I can’t tell you what he put in his batter because it’s his secret recipe – and after we tasted these fish we decided he should sell them – they were THAT good. We had broccoli slaw, hot dogs, ribs and pepperoni bread compliments of neighbors. Ooooh, it was all yummy. We sang happy birthday and had a delicious ice-cream cake made by Patty as Kirk opened his present. He loved it, and even put it on. Yes, he actually was voted cutest baby in 1959 by a newspaper competition. I wish we could have found the certificate (it’s somewhere…) but this is the photo that won. So my question (and probably yours, too) is ‘what happened’? Typical response.

Happy birthday, littlest brother…