Saturday, May 3, 2014

For those who have been waiting (like us) to get on with the next chapter of our lives, please go to:

Our Sunny Side Up Farm 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy Holidays

Finally, a post.  I have been waiting for something to happen that is so close now, that it will be maybe one more week until I can tell you all (that have not given up on us) what it is.  A little more patience.

Meanwhile we have been in High Springs, Florida meeting more nice people which you ALWAYS find in a campground, and exploring the beautiful springs all around us.  We wish we had our diving stuff with us as there are some fabulous caves down there.  Alas, we are not cave certified, so are not allowed to explore caves, but we could go just into the very entrances.

This part of Florida is not as warm as southern Florida.  We just finished our fall, and there are beautiful hardwoods all around that lose their leaves mixed in with the various oaks, which continuously replace their leaves with a 'molt' in February.

We are about 40 min. from Gainesville with UF students as its main occupants.  They have almost everything we need, but not much character.  The small towns around us have much more culture, and the land is not flat, but gently rolling hills and lakes.  Not your typical 'Florida' mental image.

I will let you know what's happening as soon as it happens. Promise!

Hoping you are all well and happy!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bumpy Ride to Florida

Wow, I haven't written since forever because of so many activities.

Our new location in Spring Hill Park is beautiful.  We've never been in a Pull-In before, and having our front window face the woods was new for us.  We usually have to back in to a scenic spot, and therefore can't enjoy the view as our picture window is in the front.  I highly suggest finding one of these spots if you can find one (if you have a motorhome).

A family of deer came to visit almost daily nibbling on the tender shoots and leaves closest to our coach.  They also wandered all around the park as it was so quiet and peaceful.  We loved this park except for two things that only applied to us: no cell service and so far from our daughter's home.  However all obstacles can be overcome, and we just flowed with the flow.  The owners, Tom and Lynanne, were very accommodating. 

One Friday we drove to Ramseur because Gary had stopped at a stall at the Fairgrounds Flea Market to inquire where the vendor had purchased his leather tools.  Because of our MotionX GPS iPad app, we found it tucked away off the highway.  Oooo, Gary started salivating.  This store was for the leather professional.  You could buy everything!  If you liked the leather fragrance, this is the place for you.  There were tons of hides and leather belts, saddles, and pieces just asking to be decorated.  We had to set a spending limit, but he got some good tools to work on his projects.

Labor Day weekend was a no-family weekend as they were filling the lake house with Joe's side of the family, so we had some time for ourselves.  First we started at the Carrboro Farmer's Market.  Just lovely.  Fresh goat cheese, all kinds of produce, soaps, artisan breads, flowers and home made sewing projects.  Very friendly vendors and lots of people.  Spent a couple dollars there.

Sunday we hit the Fairgrounds Flea Market again, and then met Gail and Rick at their rig at the fairgrounds campground later before a night of storms.  Their friends, Cynthia and Ronnie were parked next door and came over for some appetizers, which turned into dinner because it was much too stormy outside to attempt to drive anywhere for dinner.  Gail pulled out anything she had from cucumbers to brownies and we had a ball, chatting until it seemed the storms had finally let up a bit.  We had an hour's drive, so we left around 9 pm and arrived safely home to Bella.  It is wonderful meeting new people which we think is the best reason to RV.  Enjoy your adventure, Ronnie and Cynthia!  We wish you all kinds of luck.

My daughter, Michelle, called and begged me to come and help her in Tampa.  She was in a furnished rental home while their new home is being renovated.  This will probably take them into next year.  But, as usual, the builder promised them a move in date around the end of October.  Because their rental house was re-rented after that date, they needed to move - to an unfurnished house down the street from their renovated house.  The furniture they had moved into the renovated home onto the third floor needed to be moved out so the builders could work there.  So she needed some ORGANIZATION!  Who do you call?  MOMPOM!  So I flew down on Tuesday morning and proceeded to help organize what went where, by whom and when.  In between 6 children, 2 bull mastiffs and her husband flying out of town for 5 days, we did it.  A few more gray hairs, to be sure, but it was 'fun' all the same.

Everything went smoothly, including my flights (amazement there), except I had to miss our grand daughter's birthday party.  Sorry, Ainsley, but I'm glad Poppy got to enjoy your party!

Six years old!
Her new desk - done by Mommy
  The Friday before Granny's 90th Birthday Bash, my son, Tristan and his girlfriend, Tracy arrived in Raleigh for the weekend at the same time I arrived back in Raleigh from Tampa.  So we all piled in the car and drove home from the airport.  Huge BBQ on Saturday with all his old high school buddies that are still around, 30 pounds of wings grilled, and good food everywhere!  Beautiful weather again, and on Sunday it was time to go to Dunn for church and the big birthday bash.  We had our Norris Family photo taken on the steps of the church.

Happy 90th Granny!
All the church ladies and gentlemen had prepared a virtual FEAST, and we couldn't eat it all.  These ladies are southern belles and they can COOK.  We left stuffed.  Later, at home, we looked at all her gifts and cards.  A lot of people love this lady.  She is really the sweetest person I know.  We're hoping she goes on for another twenty years or so...

Monday came too soon, and Tristan and Tracy had to say goodbye to each other and to all their friends and family.  They only get to see each other once a month, but Tracy's grant was officially accepted. This means she will receive funding while she completes her dissertation next year. AND she can complete it in New York, 'near' Tristan.  Guess they're a little happy about that. Could I possibly hear the distant ringing of bells??

Wednesday we left Raleigh after two months of visiting and having fun.  We only had to drive two days to reach High Springs, Florida.  Did we? 


About three hours after liftoff, the battery light came on.  Here we go..  We stopped at a TA Travel Center for a diagnosis.  Gary thought it was either the 9 year old starter batteries, or the alternator.  Guess which one we HOPED it would be.  Well, the batteries were indeed dead.  Let's replace those and see what happens.  Bella started right up, but, you guessed it, the light was still on.  (have I EVER mentioned how much I had yellow dash board lights???  They are the bane of my existence)

So they checked the alternator, and, of course, that was bad.  Nearest Freightliner place?  Savannah.  Sheesh.  Put tape over the light and drove praying all the way to Walterboro, SC where we stayed at a Walmart for a number of reasons:  if we needed to be towed the next morning, there would be lots of room; need a part? maybe Walmart has it; lots of other RVers usually around (and there were - SIX of them). Plus right off the interstate.  So we opened the BR slide and left the big slide in, which was unfortunate, because I ended up spraining BOTH my little piggy toes.  Seriously.  This is not a fun trip.  I can hear you smiling...

The next morning, we whispered a little prayer for Bella to start, and she did, graciously.  We ignored the yellow light under the tape all the way to Savannah, where sweet Danielle said 'park it over there.  Someone will be over to look at it in a little while.'  Sure enough, Jason came over to take a look, and within a minute, said 'yep, it's the alternator.  We will have to overnight one.' 

It took about 30 seconds for me to say yes to Gary's suggestion that we stay at the Hampton Inn across the road.  Oooo, long, hot shower, free cooked breakfast, HD tv and king bed.  We slept well, knowing that it wouldn't be long before we were back on the road.  They finished up around 12:30 and we headed out arriving in High Springs, FL around 5:30.  They showed us into our spot, and we dropped anchor.

There's a really nice guy next to us who gave our Jeep a jump after we unhitched.  Yep, it's always something

And THAT IS WHY WE HAVE DECIDED TO HANG UP THE KEYS.  Yes, it's true.  For all you fans out there that thought we'd never give up, you were right.  We aren't giving up, but we never intended to do this forever.  We did it, we loved it, and we are excited about the next chapter in our lives.  Which is...

[you need to read the next blog]

High Springs CG, Florida