Friday, August 24, 2012

Last Year's Chickens

Well, the work weekend is over and it was fun to play with my punchneedle chickens that I made last year.  Here's a reminder photo:

This is what I did with them this week:

They are now in our kitchen greeting us every morning.  They are not, fortunately, up at the crack of dawn.  I bought our pool noodle (you know, those long floating tubes for pool play), cut it in half lengthwise and will use that for part of our headboard.  That's the project for next week as it is time to go to work again for three days. 

We will be leaving Pigeon Forge the end of September and heading to Raleigh, so I must get going on my decorating.  By the way, if anyone wants more detailed directions on window treatments, please let me know. I might be able to help you.  Might not, but I'd be happy to try...

Anxiously watching the approach of Issac as our home is in Sarasota.  Keeping our fingers crossed...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Time to Redecorate

Friday was a work day for me although it promised to rain most of the day, so I wasn't expecting to work very hard.  I had to 'close' the sausage stand, which meant cleaning everything and getting the cash ready for the next day.  Well, it rained a lot in the evening, which shooed most everyone out of the park, and I got out of there around 11:30.

Saturday was low humidity, so after some groceries, I scraped off the rest of the wallpaper then asked Ron if we could take a look at the Jeep A/C switch.  We popped off the vent cover, then unscrewed the front panel surrounding the radio and A/C stuff.  We tested the switch power with his test light  and each contact had power.   

So it might be the resistor under the dash on the passenger side.  We crawled under and hung out the door trying to reach the very back of three screws. The resistor had some dirt we blew off, but the wires were all OK.  So we tested the fan speeds.  The third position didn't work when we bought Mesa six years ago, but it worked with the test light.  So we are pretty sure we need a new fan switch, which we need to get from a dealer.  Fortunately there is one right up the road as are plenty of Jeeps around here.
Sunday I worked from 10 to 3:30 really hard as it was the last day of Dollywood Nights and the weather was perfect.  Whew, came home, showered and had lunch.  It seems we are eating later and later.  Last night we ate dinner at 9 pm.  Oh, well, when you work for someone else, your time is not your own. 

The boys put in the fan switch and voila!  We had all speeds.  We were in need of more freon, and after this, we had nice cold air and a choice of four speeds.  Yippee skippee!

In between working, I began on the window treatments.  We had to take them down and strip them of the old fabric, leaving the padding in place.  Some of them needed replacement padding, so I used quilt batting thus:

I just stapled it where it needed padding.  Then I placed the fabric pattern where it looked most attractive and equal, and started stapling.  I used the original cording as it matched.

The end product:

The next step is to take off the backboard from the mirrored headboard.  I called Newmar (they are so wonderful) and the guys were scratching their heads looking at the specs.  When they said double-backed tape, I just started pulling.  One guy said "Oh, wait a minute - it's screwed on" - but it was too late, I had pulled the screws out of the wall.  Ooops.  "Will I hit anything important when I screw it back on?"  I asked.   "No, there are wires, but not in that area," they answered.  Whew. 

Wait till you see what I use on that...

Anyhow, off to work again today, and then I have four days off, so I may be able to get a lot done.  It's so much fun to redecorate!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Most Fun!

The alarm went off (you know I hate those things) and we slowly got moving for another long drive over the mountains to Hartford, NC.  We stopped along the way for Lance to get his first look at the Smokies at 2000 elevation.

Yeah, he's awed.

 What's in Hartford?  Our adventure for today: a White Water River Rafting trip down the Pigeon River.  I called first to see if we were booked (my daughter had done this) on the Wild ride or the Mild ride.  Due to time constrictions, we were booked on the Wild Ride.  O kayyy...

We were outfitted with our helmets, PFDs and paddles.  We were on a raft with another family with an 11 year old and 7 year old from - get this - Florida.  Ha.  They were first timers too, and when our guide JP began explaining that it was 'risky' and could be 'dangerous', we moms looked at eachother with big eyes.  Anyhow, forty of us were loaded into a modified school bus and on the way up to the put-in point were given even more safety rules.  Like - "NEVER try to stand up in the river, as you will get trapped" and "Try to kill the snake if one drops in the boat from an overhanging tree"  We looked at eachother again... 

Soon the bus arrived with twenty other outfits and their boats, but it was very orderly as they unloaded the six rafts from the top of the bus.  MORE instructions...  "Do not sit on the 'seat' in the middle of the raft - it is NOT a seat.  You need to sit on the SIDE of the raft"  Uh huh.  We looked at each other again and then at our kids.  Really??? They'll stay on???

Finally it was our turn.  Soon after we were cruising down the river, we were told to look at the camera as our photo was being taken.  You know that it was in the beginning of the trip because my shirt is barely splashed.  Let me tell you, I was DRENCHED by the end of the trip.  But I digress...

That's us on the left, and JP on the back end.  VERY funny guy.  We went over Class one, two, three and four rapids.  It was really wet, fun, exciting, funny and scary (a couple of times only).  One scary time was when our guide decided to do something he'd never done before.  And that resulted in another raft getting their front end over our front end when they went up on the wave and we went down in the trough.  Well, that was not supposed to happen, and fortunately the men in the front (Gary and George) were not hurt.  We were stuck, and JP had to get to the front of the raft to push them off.  DARN, I WISH I HAD GOTTEN A SHOT OF THAT!! 

Splashing and 'attitude checks' (raising our paddles together and yelling) were a regular part of our ride. 

And when you spotted a "horizon" - that meant big rapids ahead.  We saw lots of "horizons". 

We finally reached the "Swimming Pool" where we could jump in the water for a bit before hitting the next rapid.  Big George, little George and Lance decided to take a swim.  However, getting back into the boat was the real challenge.  You need to be hauled up by your life jacket.  Lance was OK, and so was little George.  But big George was a bit bigger than JP so he ended up on top of JP on top of Gary.  Missed that shot, too.  Well, whatever happens on the river, stays on the river...

It started sprinkling as we reached the take out, and since we were so drenched, we didn't even care. We just grabbed our towels and dry clothes from the Jeep and warmed up in the dry bath houses.  Lance's mom and dad arrived to pick him up and by then it was raining steady.  Lots of hugs and kisses and promises of a safe drive back.  We drove back over the mountain in green, yellow and red radar with thunder and lightning just to keep up the excitement of the day.

Soon the traffic of Pigeon Forge greeted us, and we stopped in Cracker Barrel for a cozy lunch.  We had no umbrella and it was pouring, so Gary dropped me off at the door, and, as every RVer knows to have multi uses for everything on their rig, used the windshield sunshade as an umbrella instead.  It worked just fine.  After some warm food and a rest, we puddled home, and hung up our soaked clothes.

I couldn't wait anymore to see the pictures of the last three days, and I'm glad I had some to show you finally.  Thanks for coming along on our adventures!

More Fun and Games

Wednesday was beautiful, but very hot and humid.  We need water!  Let's go to Splash Country!  Gary went in every attraction with Lance, who once again, was fearless (unlike Poppy, who was very fearful when Lance decided to disappear under water for awhile).

He found him this time...

Lance had a ball, doing the 100 foot waterfall (the video is too long for here) and Poppy's favorite, the Lazy River.  We left a little early to get cleaned up for a trip to Cherokee, NC.  Donna, Ron and we had visited here before, remember?  But we had tickets for the village tour and the play, "Unto These Hills" for the evening when we would all be together again.  On our way, there was a small herd of elk on the side of the road.  Rangers were standing by to make sure no one bothered them.  A few of them had collars, which we assumed were a tagging system.  They were oblivious of the onlookers:

 By the time we arrived, the place was closing, but the manager remembered us and let us wander around.  We met a few Cherokees and Lance asked some interesting questions.  Here he is in front of a cabin with a black bear skin (from a two year old bear).

We watched how canoes were made, the council house, the Sweat House (alias: hospital and cold weather house - it's underground) and talked with a trader and two soldiers. 

On to dinner with the Monroes, et al, and then parked at the museum for the bus ride up to the outdoor theatre.  Unto These Hills ( is the sad story of the Cherokee of the Eastern region up to their removal in 1838 via the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory, now Oklahoma.  But as one Cherokee replied when I mentioned how wrong that was, "That is in the past.  We now live in the present".

There is an Eternal Flame placed at the entrance in a glass box.  It was kindled from a flame at a Cherokee Council fire in Oklahoma that has been burning since 1838.  The original flame was carried on the Trail of Tears as the Cherokee Nations were moved west.

Unfortunately, the play has been changed over the fifty years since its inception, and we were all too tired to make it to the end.  Since we came by bus, and the buses didn't run until the end of the play, we all decided to walk down to our parking spots.  We look at it as an adventurous bonding time - walking together in the dark on the road.  It wasn't far, and we jumped into our vehicles for our ride home over the mountains [again].  We spotted not one, but two gray foxes peering curiously at us, then turning tail and slinking away.  Got home around 10:30 pm and fell into bed after checking the medal status.  Early up tomorrow for a REAL adventure!  Stay tuned!

Our Little Visitor

Monday night, my daughter, Michelle, called and told us that her son, Lance, was so bored because they were in North Carolina and his sisters and brothers were all in camp.  Could he come visit with us?  Well, since we weren't working until Friday, they brought him all the way over on Tuesday morning.  We all went over to Dollywood, had lunch and visited the Country Fair section.  Little Henry (almost 2) does not like rides at all and screamed so loud on one, that they stopped the ride so he could get off.  [hasn't grown out of that stage yet].  However, Lance was having a ball on the Dizzy Disk:

and the scrambler with MomPom:

while Henry did his favorite thing:  splashing in the puddles:

They had to leave to pick up the boys at the end of day camp, but we stayed to see Lance fly on the Wild Eagle - TWICE  - ALONE!  Poppy was brave on the Mystery Mine and MomPom did the Thunderhead - the wooden rollercoaster.  Let me tell you - that ride is INTENSE!  According to Lance, I "screamed like a girl" the whole way.  He was right.

We waited and hour and half for Lance to complete all four courses in Adventure Mountain.  He is fearless for sure.  Be sure to click on this one to see how high he is!  He is upper middle in picture.

Thank goodness they all are harnessed in.

We finally got out of there around 6:30, and then met Donna and Ron, their daughter and two grandchildren at Smokey Mountain Brewery for half-price pizza night.  They got their pizzas, but we didn't.  Finally the manager came to see us and apologized for having our pizza delivered to another table - and they ate it!  So when we finally got our pizza, it ended up free.  Well, that's a good thing.  We needed to get home, get cleaned up and to bed, for tomorrow would be another fun-filled day.  We watched a little of the Olympic coverage and continued to cheer for the US.  [I am continuously amazed at what these people do with their bodies.] 

So this ends Tuesday.  On to Wednesday....

Working Weekend

Friday I didn't go in to work until 3 pm, and Gary needed his port flushed.  His old Doctor had moved to a new office, so we wanted to show him how well Gary was doing.  Their new offices are nice, and it was great catching up with Sonya and her little guy (pictures). 

I worked until 11 pm, and although it wasn't too busy because of some rain, cleaning the giant grill is strenuous. 

Saturday was my day off, so I scraped wall paper, and cleaned up watching the hummers all the time.  They are very territorial, and the girls go at each other zooming past the windows and hanging out at the feeder ready for a confrontation.  Funny little things.

Sunday was another work day for me, and some big storms rolled in which scared all the guests down from the top of the hill.  They close the rides for an additional 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard, and as they came down to the Market Place, it started to pour.  That's good for us, because the smell of those sausages is so tempting that lots of guests end up purchasing food during the wait.  I pay attention to the weather, and was prepared with my raincoat and umbrella for my 4 pm departure.  My sweetie picked me up and we listened to the raindrops on the roof most of the evening.

Monday there was a 60% chance of rain, but not a drop on us, just all around us.  Gary worked in the CG office all day, and I opened the sausauge stand but it was slow (yeah, tell my body that) so I got to go home 30 minutes early. 

That's it for right now, because tomorrow something happened that needs its own couple of blogspots. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friends and Some Family

I had a short work day on Sunday, 11-4:30 and Monday it was Dolly's song "Nine to Five". 

Tuesday Donna and Ron's daughter, Lorisa and son, Paul were on their way to Raleigh and planned to stop in Knoxville overnight.  So after a breakfast at Cracker Barrel, we mosied on over to Camping World for a couple of supplies.  My dishdrainer sits on the counter and CW had a collapsible one that might have fit in my smaller sink, so I tossed that in the cart to see if it would fit.  If not, Donna would try it in her sink.

We had a really late lunch at Panera, and found the local Hobby Lobby to browse while the boys hit Super Target next door.  Stores are selling fall and Halloween things already and I am ready for the cooler days and crisp fragrance of falling leaves.  Not wishing our lives away, mind you, but the humidity and nasty little gnats keeping us indoors instead of outside around campfires is getting old.

Finally it was time to head over to Buffalo Wild Wings to meet the family, and have some wings.  Paul is a swim coach and was looking forward to watching the Olympics on the many TVs.  And although he didn't play the trivia game, he is really good at memorizing stats, and answered every question right.  During the broadcast, a weather warning for severe storms were announced for our home area.  So after our dinner, we drove over to the hotel and helped put extra tarps on the furniture in the trailer that Lorisa was hauling.  Amid lots of lightning we said our goodbyes and started our trip home.  Fortunately the storms were east and ahead of us, so while Pigeon Forge was getting creamed, we had one sprinkle all the way home.

Thursday we were looking forward to seeing Don and Lois and their three grandchildren who were spending a couple days at Dollywood.  The kids were very excited to ride the Wild Eagle (except Clifford, who was a little too young) and the water rides.  We swatted away the gnats as we talked, and finally the kids were ready to go.  Hugs all around, with promises to stay in touch.

We were going over to Brenda and Larry's new home and bringing dinner with us, so we needed to get on that.  But just for fun, I wanted to see how difficult it would be to take off the wallpaper border.



Not too hard at all. 
So all of that is coming off, too.

This is what most of our window treatments look like now:

So, as I work, I'll show you what I'm doing.

But it was time to get dinner started and drive the three miles over to Brenda and Larry's hideaway in Little Cove Mountain.  Gary navigated, until we made a wrong turn, and then I took over.  Kudos to Ron who drove his dually up those narrow, steep, hairpin turning roads.  As I was, they were in awe of their new home.  We had a very enjoyable time, even sitting out on the deck watching the sun set before dessert.  It was so peaceful, we didn't want to leave.

However, we Donna and I both had to work long hours on Friday, so we sadly said our goodbyes.  I was hoping there would be a storm rolling in, but no luck.  Brenda said if ever one was forcasted, just come on up.  Oooooh, that's a great invitation!  I might need to take her up on that!