Friday, October 31, 2014

South Carolina


Will this journey never end?  I was up at 0640 this morning and Jim was up before 0800.  I think we're anxious to get this I-95 trek over and done with!  We don't like traveling on the interstates and only do so when necessary.

We were packed up and on the road by 0940.

Not much in the way of Autumn color this last day of October but I did take these two pictures of the trees at Lazy Acres before we left.  The sky was a beautiful blue


Our trip to Camp Lake Jasper was almost 240 miles.  Probably a wee bit longer because we stopped several times to have lunch and stretch our legs.  We'll stay two nights and on Sunday we'll be on the last leg of this trip and arrive in Lake City Florida


Pine cones in the south are big!  Three or four of these bad boys makes for a quick, aromatic fire

Lavender Fabric Softener Spray

Heading to South Carolina today.  Lake Jasper for two nights.  On Sunday we'll be in Lake City, Florida and we can sit still for awhile.  This constant traveling reminds me of when we first started full timing.  It wears a body  out!

Do you  use liquid fabric softeners?  Dryer sheets?  Have to admit I use dryer sheets but unscented ones.  I came across this DIY recipe and when my dryer sheets run out I think I'll give it a try.

This is so simple!  You'll never have to buy another bottle of liquid softener again

Lavender Fabric Spray

3 tsp Lavender essential oil
2 cups white vinegar

Combine oil and vinegar in a spray bottle and shake well.

To use, spray 5-10 times on wet clothes before drying

And no, your clothes won't smell like vinegar!

If you try this let me know what you think of it.  Of course you could use another essential oil for fragrance if you think Lavender is to feminine.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fayetteville, North Carolina

We were on the road at 0945 Thursday Morning!  Not much to do when you stay one night and there's no sewer to mess with.  Once again we were on I-95 and the drive was about 215 miles....miles and miles and miles.  I think we made three stops to break it up


More and more the trees became pines.  With splashes of color interspersed between them.


One thing we noticed after crossing into North Carolina is the trash.  Everywhere we looked there were dead animals, litter and pieces of tires.  Even the mowed areas were trashy because the mowers just mowed over the trash.  Not very pretty.  

I did notice wildflowers and plantings at several interchanges and that was nice.  Some could use a little TLC.


One 12 mile stretch of the highway warned of 14 foot overpasses and apparently the guy driving the 'half' house wasn't aware of how tall the house was.  We saw him pulled over, leaning heavily towards the side of the road and traffic was backed up about a mile and a half on the north bound side of I-95

We arrived at Lazy Acres Campground around 1400 and while Jim was checking us in I took these pictures.  It's a very nice place with a lot of trees


to my left some open sites


directly ahead, not the most ideal spot unless you like to watch the comings and goings of everyone.  Perhaps the view out back is nice.


To the right is a catch and release pond

Full hook ups, a lovely cement patio with a fire ring, lots and lots of trees (pine and oak) and sand.  A bit pricey at $36 a night but I'm sure monthly rates are better.  The site we're in has an electric meter.


We're also on the end and this patio has a treed area to block the road.

We needed fuel so we headed out for some dinner at Cracker Barrel.  Found a station selling diesel for $3.49, not as cheap as Virginia but still better than $3.89 +

Today Jim has been doing small chores outside.  Water filters and connections needed changing.  Had to make a hardware run for bits and pieces.  You know, there's always maintenance to be done.  Because of the trees he didn't even try with the satellite dish but I reminded him the Saints were playing tonight so he managed to get a signal and hopefully we'll see the game tonight. If the wind picks up we could lose the signal.

I've been doing laundry and we're both just resting up so we can drive about 240 miles tomorrow!

Of course driving all the time on interstate we see a lot of folks heading south.  Quebec plates mostly, but a couple from Ontario too.  Not to mention Maine and New York.  All sizes of rigs too

From reading other blogs I know our friends are heading south also.  Stay safe! Anne and Scotty should arrive in Mission Texas today

Richmond Virginia

Tuesday we headed for Richmond.  So far our weather has been very good for traveling.  The further south we traveled the less Autumn color we saw.  More pine trees kept popping up which made a nice contrast


As you can see there is some beautiful foliage 


Keep in mind these pictures were taken through a windshield


We stopped over night at this itty, bitty 6 site campground on a military installation outside of of Richmond.


water and electric only but we only stayed one night.  There was another rig there, former Navy seal and seemed grateful to have company.  He stopped to chat and kept talking and talking!  Two friendly dogs were with him an Italian Greyhound and a chi-Jack Russell mix.

We were able to get diesel fuel for $3.39...the cheapest we've seen this trip.  We had dinner at Chili's.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Time to move on

I think we've both enjoyed our stay here in Aberdeen.  Not that we've done anything exciting.  But sitting still for a few days and getting chores done and being 'normal' has been restful.

After our stay in the quiet, Vermont country side with Anne and Scotty we both noticed 'noise' here.  The far off train, the shush of traffic, the random siren the base sets off (?) and the sound of our neighbors.  I guess we're back in civilization.  Right now I'll take it

Last night we went out for dinner last and it was good!  The Bayou serves a varied menu but I was there for the crab cake.  I had one and it was huge and I'm glad I only had one.  My sides were mashed potatoes and stewed tomatoes.  Jim ordered Stuffed Shrimp with a salad and fries.  You know how restaurants bring out bread, crackers, maybe boiled potatoes for starters?  Well this place brought out veggies and dip!  We both enjoyed this treat along with crackers with our beer.  Also two small French bread dinner rolls. No dessert!

Needless to say we left stuffed!  On the way home we stopped for fuel paying $3.39 for diesel.  One more stop at Dollar Tree for a new broom.  Love paying only a buck for a broom. 


Jim washed several layers of mud off our truck today. It looks a lot better but he says it isn't clean.

Tomorrow we're off to Richmond Virginia

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Relaxing, sort of

We both lingered over coffee and breakfast. It was so nice not having to hurry and get on the road. But we eventually did get dressed and busy.

Laundry was started, dishes were done.  Then we headed to the Exchange and Commissary.  Made our purchases came home and I put them away.

Time for lunch!  I fixed us a plate of potatoes with onions and bell peppers with a side of Lima beans and after lunch we got busy.  After I pulled the hose and heavy duty extension cord out of the bed of the truck I did the dishes while Jim cleaned the cord and washed mud off of a lot of little things.

Then we had to put the cord back in the bag in the truck bed....boy that was fun!  I manged to get my shirt and jeans dirty. I decided to sit outside while Jim putzed and we discovered a puddle under a tire on the rig...a shock was broken and just hanging there.  he removed it and we'll need to replace it along with one on the other side too.  I'm thinking that crappy, rutty road in Philadelphia took it's toll on our shocks!

We sat outside for a little while.  The temperature was in the upper 60's and would have been perfect except for the cool breeze.  Doing nothing but reading and relaxing was nice. Jim did some small jobs.  He cleaned the dish and put it out further behind our site and viola!  we have TV.  

Jim may have overdone it today...he took a nap before dinner.  I think it's hard for him to remember the nothing over 10 pounds rule...

We've had dinner and the boob tube is entertaining us.  Not sure what's on tap for tomorrow but I think some Maryland crab cakes are in my future.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Oh My! Where do I begin?

Let's see, Wednesday we drove to Burlington and Jim was released to travel.  We left around 1000, had lunch then went to his appointments.  Chest ex-ray done we got into see the doctor early.  Matter of fact we were out of there before his 1400 appointment. Yay, Jim can drive!  

On the way out of town he spots a Ford dealer and pulls in to see if they could fix a valve on an inner tire.  Why yes they can!  As we're sitting in the lounge waiting I'm watching the weather channel and all the rain that's coming at us.....

We got home around 1630 if I recall correctly.  We'd made the decision not to try and move the rig.  But the Scotts had someone coming in the morning to measure for a building they're going to put up next year.  So we pack up, pull in the slides and the fun begins.

We had a slight problem.  Due to all the rain we've had over the past few days our truck could not back our truck up the slight incline.  Try as much as Jim could with our big, black beastie,  the heavy rig just said no...

All four of us worked late into the darkness and rain all for naught.  Tired, hungry and a little wet we gave up.  We decided to call road service in the morning.  That was an interesting call!  Trying to explain to the lady that we needed a 4 wheel dually to back us up a hill was fun. She proceeds to tell us they'll only pay for this, that and the other and anything above that would be our expense.  Alrighty then...I made sure we had plenty of money on the credit card and said lets do this.  We want to head south! Within thirty minutes we had a guy coming out to do just that.  And just as quick as you can say 'Bob's your uncle' the job was done.

The four of us went into fast track mode and by 1100 we were on the road with Anne and Scotty not to far behind!



This drive was less than 200 miles and it was a good test for Jim.  It's been five weeks since he could drive and his leg is bothersome and keeping it raised makes it less painful.  Each day is better.

We stayed at a KOA Thursday (last night) night and for Pete's sake I can't remember where!  But it was nestled in the woods and from what we saw it was quite nice.  Autumn decorations were everywhere and some campsites had Halloween decorations.  I'll bet it's quite nice during the season when all the trees are leafed out.  This particular KOA was the only campground we could find that was still open. These northern folks have cold, nasty weather this late in the year and they like to close down before freezing weather descends upon them.

Miss Anne fixed a dinner of meat loaf (one of Jim's favorites), mashed potatoes and canned peas.  We had our last meal together sharing a glass of wine.  All to soon we had to head home.  The excitement and work of the last 24 hours was catching up to all of us.

I was up early, Jim was up at 0800.  We walked over to Anne and Scotty's to say our goodbyes and once home we got er done.

We were on the road at 0945 this morning.  We had overcast skies and after all the rain and gloomy weather we had over the past week it sure was nice to see blue skies again!


Somewhere near Princeton, Pennsylvania we kept seeing signs like this and lower!  One place had diesel for $3.25


Since we're on a mission to get to Florida we're not really sightseeing.  We're traveling on Interstates and as you know they can be boring.  We rarely travel on Toll roads but we hit three sections of tolls yesterday and today for a total of $25! Have to admit most of the road surface was pretty decent.  But.... I can tell you for certain to not take I-95 through Philadelphia!  Granted there is work being done to improve the roads but my goodness the traffic was awful and I cannot not imagine what it would be like during rush hour

Tonight we are in Aberdeen Maryland at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.  This Army Base has 11 brand new camp sites and we got the last one.  Full hook-ups for $25 a night.  Cement pad is very nice!  There are trees keeping us from getting a signal for the TV but we've gone without TV for the past few nights what's another two?

We're booked for two nights and Jim has already been busy tonight looking for other campgrounds for us to stay on our Exodus South.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vermont and Friendship

Our friends Anne and Scotty have invited us to Vermont every summer since we met them.  We met in the Rio Grande Valley at Bentsen Palms Village RV Resort in 2007.  That was the year I was so sick!  Jim took to riding his trike all over the resort and discovered Anne and Scotty had the same type of trike.  From this our friendship grew and even though we don't see our friends for much of the year we do manage to visit every now and then.

I think we were in Asheville North Carolina when we decided to come north to visit with them.  Sharing this time with them has been interesting to say the least.  

When we arrived in July little did we know how the summer would turn out.  We met Lauren and Dave when they came and stayed a few weeks.  Then Pat and Vern showed up for a few days. Things were really hoppin' with four rigs here!  They dubbed this the Redneck Campground.  Around this time a neighbor came by and gifted us with food and drink!  Corn on the cob, green beans, summer squash, 5 pound bags of potatoes, wine, jellies, pickles and relishes.  Very generous and all because we wanted to buy some corn and he had closed down his stand because of thieves.  I'd say this was Vermont generosity at it's finest.

Scotty had his hip replaced then we discovered Jim's angina and the need for four bypasses.  Scotty got his medical release the 1st of October.  Being the wonderful friends they are, Anne and Scotty are hanging around until Jim is medically released tomorrow.  Normally they'd have been long gone by now.

The weather has gone from sunny, chilly days to damp, rainy and cold.  Packing up is a bear in this weather and Jim can't lift anything over ten pounds.  We're all chipping in and doing chores that have to be done.

I...We can't thank Anne and Scotty enough for staying and enduring this awful cold weather...Couldn't ask for better friends.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Busy Day!



Once again our sunrise was very pretty!

Sure was cold outside at 33 degrees so I didn't take very many pictures.  The bird bath had a layer of ice and I could see some frost on the grass and weeds.

For breakfast I made oatmeal with an apple and some cinnamon.  I knew we'd both be outside packing things up.  Because we've had so much rain and today is dry, we're going to try to move the rig tomorrow.  We've been told by Scotty that traction could be an issue and more rain is expected tomorrow and Wednesday.  Backing uphill might be a problem!

I'm sure it's because cold, wet weather has plagued us the last couple of days that the flies are coming in for the warmth.  All I know is they're annoying! Death to them all!

Everyone was busy today packing and cleaning and stowing. Dinner was waffles...not exciting but tasty and filling.

We're all looking forward to leaving on Thursday!



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday

We started the day with a lovely sunrise and as you can see there are some clouds...well, within twenty minutes of taking this picture the sky was covered in grey clouds


I thought it would be a good day to make some sour dough bread.  I was up at 0600 and got the dough mixed and rising before I had my coffee.  By 0800 the dough was shaped and rising again and by 0900 it was in the oven.  Helped warm the house and it sure smelled great.  Do you bake breads?

We had one little rain shower around 0900 but it's been dry since then.  When it rains it makes me colder..

It's in the mid 40's outside and still no sun at noon.  I made some noodle soup for our lunch and I guess a warm belly equals a nap!  Jim stretched out on the bed and I flopped down on the lounger.  

The Saints game isn't being shown on our channels and the lineup of other games just didn't interest me.  So I've been blogging and reading.

We headed to Rutland so Jim could walk the mall.  It's to cold outside for him to walk.  Need to get the man south!  After the mall we went to the grocery store for a couple items.  The drive there and back was under cloudy skies but the mountains were still covered with colorful trees.  If we keep getting rain the leaves will fall from the trees quicker....then it will be really dismal here.  

Normally we wouldn't stay this far north this time of year.  Both of us are from the mid west and we do not like winter.  It's why we live in the south so we can enjoy warmer weather.  Just a few more days and we'll be on the road!

Dinner was left overs and they were mighty tasty.  The New Orleans Saints lost....again!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rainy day

I awoke this morning to the sound of rain gently falling.  I never get tired of hearing the rain on the roof.  About the only time we heard rain when we lived in a sticks and bricks house was when it was coming down in buckets during a tropical storm or hurricane.

So it's been an indoor day today.  I did laundry, stripped the bed and remade it with the new heated mattress pad.  We've got some tweaking with the cords to figure out but we can both use the our controls for now.  The forecast low for tonight is 40 so we'll be able to test it.  Tomorrow night's forecast low is 29....Yikes!

Jim found a few chores to do and then he started making calls to book us a site.   Campgrounds this time of year are closed in most locations.  The season is over for the most part.  Once we get further south it shouldn't be a problem.

Our first choice (140 miles or so) was booked so he had to extend the search and he found one about 170 miles away.  We didn't want to travel very far because he hasn't driven for the past month and I'm sure it will tire him.  Just staying one night unless Jim needs to rest longer.  All four of us need to be elsewhere.  Jim has a 'date' on November 5th with his doctor and the Scott's are work camping at Bentsen Palm in Mission, Texas.

It has rained most of the day, we even had a thunderstorm roll through.  Don't think we've had one since we arrived the end of July.  Boo didn't like it!  The thunder caused him to bark which startled us.

We have plans to dine at the Fair Haven Inn tonight.  Four couples so it should be a good time, we already know the food is good.

The rain finally ended, even had the sun peek put briefly.  It was still cold and wet and neither one of us like that.

We left for dinner about a quarter after five with Scotty driving.  The other two couples were there, Steve and Dee Dee and Kathy and Roger.  Long time friends of Anne and Scotty.  We met them over the summer and they're fun people.  Stories were told and laughs were shared.

I ordered a Greek Salad with my beer and Jim had a veal pasta dish and white wine.  Of course he had to order a dessert of Bailey's Irish cheesecake which I must admit was very tasty!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Winding down our stay


Yesterday it rained off and on all day!  Not very good for getting things done.

We did visit with Jim's doctor to 'complain' about his leg and other medical things.  He's doing as well as he should be but he needs to take the diuretic more often to help with the swelling in his leg.

Today was beautiful!  When Jim got up he said 'I feel great'!  First time since his surgery.  Hopefully this will continue because we all miss our Jim.

Jim worked on some chores outside while I did some inside.  Then we drove into Fair Haven for propane and a filter for the truck.  Also bought a power strip for our heated mattress pad.  There's only one receptacle by the bed and with the air mattress already using one we need at least one more for the dual controls.  Tomorrow we'll get everything on the bed and hooked up because tomorrow night it's supposed to dip into the 30's again.

After lunch we both had a wee nap and then we went for a walk.  Not sure how far we went, perhaps a mile or so.

Dinner was grilled pork chops, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy supplied by Anne.  I brought over peas, salad and pickled beets.  Way to much food but it sure was good!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Geese are flying south

  Over the past week or so we've seen and heard geese heading south.  I think it's time to leave Vermont!  When I got up this morning it was 38 degrees outside and there was frost on the vehicles.....brrrr


No doubt about it, it's beautiful here this time of year and I'm glad we came.  Anne and Scotty have been wonderful hosts and were could have left the first week in October.  We have to wait until Jim is released by his surgeon and that should happen on the 23rd.

Jim is doing great and this morning he walked his first mile.  This is a condition of his release...we hope they'll take his word for it :-)  But I'm sure if a treadmill is involved he'll do it!

We're all making travel plans and hope to leave on the 24th.  The Scott's will travel with us for a few days to make sure Jim and I can travel without help.  Just as long as we can get far enough south to avoid freezing weather I think we'll do ok.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Breakfast

Do you eat breakfast?  Or is just coffee first thing in the morning for you?

Despite the fact that we're retired I still get up early every day.  Lately it's been shortly after 0600.  It's quiet that time of day and it's a joy to watch the sun come up over the tree line here. I have my coffee and read magazines and emails.  Sometimes I read a book.

Jim doesn't get up until I wake him at 0800 and that's when I usually have my breakfast.  Years ago I decided I needed to eat something to start my work day.  That's also when I'd fix oatmeal and had it daily!  Yuck.  But it's good for you, right?

Now I've decided 'I' can have anything I want for breakfast!  Sometimes it's soup, I make good soup and usually have enough to last for days.  Sometimes I have leftovers, potatoes being a favorite of mine.  Every now and then I even have a bowl of cereal with fruit and nuts.

The point is, I think it's important to start the day with some food.  After all breakfast is supposed to break your fast. 

This morning I had a mango and some toast.  What did you have for breakfast?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Did You Know?

October 5-11 is National Fire Prevention week.  Keeping your family safe and your home protected is important, but it doesn't have to be expensive.

Smoke detectors aren't expensive and the batteries last about a year....small price to pay 




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Monday Drive, Texas Falls

On Monday we joined Anne and Scotty for a drive to see some fall color.  We left just before lunch and made a stop in Brandon to see if Anne could find some fabric for a project.  No luck there but we did have some lunch before continuing our journey.


No doubt about it the mountains are filled with colorful trees!  Around every curve we found more beauty than Jim and I have seen in a long time!  Probably since we were in the Durango, Colorado area.  Totally different colors are involved


By the time we arrived at Texas Falls Jim was bushed.  To much sitting up made he leg ache quite a bit so he stayed in the car and napped after taking some medication.


Not sure how this beautiful, little waterfall got the name of Texas but it isn't Texas 'big'


One more stop at a covered bridge but I was more fascinated with this little frog!  You do  know I like frogs...


Jim is slowly recovering from his bypass surgery.  His appetite is good and he's walking everyday.  His heart is doing good!  No pain or discomfort from the incision.  His leg is another matter!  The bruising and incision from that is constantly bothersome. He has spent a lot of time sleeping but I think that's about to change!   We need to get him well enough to get released from medical care here so we can travel south.

We're looking at the map and getting hitch itch...at the moment we don't know for sure where we'll be for the winter.  Jim has to do some rehab and that's the most important consideration right now