Friday, October 30, 2015

A Spook-tacular visit

Our visiting plans were altered a bit by a new member to the family...Red.   Not our family, but the family we were visiting.  We were planning to go out with the grown ups, having a sitter for the kids...but who could leave the side of a sweet puppy like this?  

He's a labradoodle and is just adorable.  Even though he's only been in the home for two nights, he acts like he's been there forever.  If it weren't for the fact he moves around, I'd have thought him to be a stuffed toy.

There's no barking and he sleeps through the night.  My son didn't do that until he was almost three months old....sleep through the night that is, the barking was never a problem with him.  Maybe during a full moon, but that was about it.

Their house was decorated up for Halloween and as you can see, even the skeletons have a dog in their family now as well.

I'm not sure how she does it with three kids and a dog, but Christy makes everything seem relaxed and easy as she set the table for our meal.

The kids are a hoot, but I'd keep an eye on the middle child...I think she's going to give them a run for their money.

It's always great seeing old friends and watching how the children keep growing and evolving.  

Long Live the Queen

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Good Fences Thursday

I had hoped to find a fence with pumpkins for the Halloween season, but at least this has some tomatoes and the fence is orange...close enough.

This was one of the many lovely fences I found on my walks when visiting Chateau de Charbonneau this summer.

Long Live the Queen of Good Fences Thursday

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Quiet days in Florida

We're staying a week in Apopka FL so we can visit with some friends of ours in Orlando soon.

The campground isn't anything special, but what makes it really great is that it adjoins the West Orange Trail, so Left Brain has been able to venture out safely for his bike fix.

I've found a group to play pickleball with in Winter Garden and from them learned of a campground about a block away from the courts...sigh.  This is where I learned I'm doing it all backwards.  I generally find a place to land and then look for pickleball.  I need to find the pickleball locations FIRST and then the lodging.

The courts there are being resurfaced and will end up being six brand new dedicated pickleball courts...probably by the time I leave.  Right now it's two tennis courts with chalk markings to delineate the boundaries...but it's still pickleball and with some really nice people so who cares.

Since it's been drizzly and rainy today, so I checked into an indoor venue they told me about that's another 12 miles further yet, but I don't care...I must play.  Ever since I had that bad experience in Georgia (or was if Florida?) of arriving and finding nobody to play with, I've gotten cautious.  So I called and confirmed the play times, and  then I was informed they are under construction this week and so everything would be closed.  Have I offended the Pickleball G-ds somehow?  Do I need to make some kind of sacrifice? 

So, it could be that another movie is looming in our future.  We've recently seen "The Intern" and loved it.  Then we saw "Bridge of Spies" which was incredible, especially for old people like us that remember this being in the news of our childhood.

But the silver lining of all this downtime has been finding out Jeannie Robertson is performing in Pensacola on March 17th.  I just adore her and it was from her that my husband also became known as Left Brain.  I've attached one of my favorite skits here for you to enjoy.

Long Live the Queen

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday's Critters

I just found this meme and since I had a recent photo of George, thought I'd give it a whirl for Saturdays Critters.

First we have George, sleeping on the he seems to do a lot.

And then there is a shot of both George and Gracie enjoying the afternoon out in their favorite tent.

Long Live the Queen

We are extremely everyone

I've experienced more grocery stores than I've ever imagined and it seems they all have their own "loyalty card", as do so many other shopping places.

So, at each new store I sign up for the loyalty card to save those pennies here and there as we shop across the country.

The collection is growing now and this is a photo of them with three of the cinema cards since we also tend to go to a lot of movies.

I've found the best place to keep these is in a CD holder that straps on to the sun visor in the car.  That way I can pull out the correct card for that days shopping or movie viewing.

Long Live the Queen of Card Carrying Loyalty

Friday, October 23, 2015

Florida tacky

Florida is a state like no other when it comes to tackiness, although George came pretty close...but the flowers are huge and beautiful.

We arrived in Saint Augustine and spent a couple of days as we wind down our road trip before landing for a month at a time.  I can't wait to tear everything out of the car and get it cleaned up and organized again.

These are our neighbors across the street in this little RV park.

When in Florida, apparently more is always better.

But as I walked around the park snapping photos I did get to meet the lady who created this sweet little table cover for her outside tables.

She was kind enough to show me how it was constructed and what materials she used.

I really like this as it would keep things underneath dry and clean and out of sight.  Oh the crap I could hide under here!  I'm thinking of making some fabric style boxes out of old tarps to make sure the bottoms of things stay clean and dry as well since I don't want to haul and store plastic boxes.

I feel another trip to a fabric shop coming up soon.

Long Live the Queen of Florida Living

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Good Fences Thursday

When I was near the Great Smoky Mountains I took a little photo jaunt with my friend Marti.

As we wandered about looking for the waterfall to photograph I spied this fence outside of the Cherokee Indian School.

Luckily there was a place to pull over to snap a quick shot for Good Fences Thursday.

Long Live the Queen

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I've got the Pickleball Blues

We've settled down in Georgia as we make our way south and landed in a Red Neck Southern Style campground.  As you can see from the photos, if you don't have an RV to stay in you can rent this cute little cottage...complete with facilities.

We are on Third Street, so the laundry was just a short walk from the RV and it was a relief to get caught up on this task.

On our way here I noticed this sign on the interstate and now the secret is out as to where the Bat Cave is located.

We are nestled in next to our neighbors on one side and a dead tree on the other, which just adds to the charm of the place. 

If we were staying longer we could really decorate southern style and pull the recliner outside.  The lights attached to the awning are for Halloween and blink and twinkle...all night long.

Hey, it's only for three days and I found I could play pickleball at the YMCA about 8 miles away.  Woo hoo!

It's been a long dry stretch for me lately, not being to get on my beloved courts.  Left Brain is finally on flatter ground with better roads and has been out peddling his @ss all over town and having a ball.

I was so excited the night before that I could hardly sleep.  I had visions of smacking the ball around and sweating profusely...oh the the fun I would have!

I arrived just a few minutes before the 9:00 start time and it was a good thing as I had to complete a form with lots of information, even though I explained I'd be here for two days and they'd never see me again.  But procedures are procedures and they move slowly in this corner of the world...which kills a Northern born hyper person like myself.

Then I had to produce identification, which I'd left in the car.  I pleaded with the lady that it was only a two hour session and I had to change into my shorts as it was too cold that morning to not wear jeans.

She begrudgingly agreed to release me and took my $10.  I was so excited I forgot to ask for my change.  Oh well, I could deal with that was time to PLAY!

You can imagine my dismay when I entered a gym with one feeble looking net set up and a beat up blonde in black spandex waiting for someone to play with.  She had no clue what she was doing...a very new newbie.

After attempting to volley over the net to warm up it became apparent no one was going to show up, so I apologized to her and and went back to the office.

I explained that I did not receive my change and learned that the fee for admission to the YMCA on a daily pass was $10.  What?  When I pressed her that I was there for about 10 minutes and was not playing to stay...or return...the other lady at the desk prompted her to return my money.  I couldn't leave fast enough.

Since there appeared to be a plethora of shopping nearby I went in pursuit of canned cat food...a recurring challenge for us.  Lo and behold there was a PetSmart and I stocked up on George's new favorite food.  Then I ran a couple of other chores, picking up items from my ever present list.

After a lengthy wandering of JoAnne Fabrics and leaving empty handed I checked my Yelp app for a place to eat and found a pizza place nearby.  I arrived shortly after they opened and ordered the two slices and a soda special.  Then I saw the photo of the sea salt caramel cheesecake.  Why not?  It had been a disappointing day and two slices of pizza was not a huge lunch, so I ordered it as well.

Well...I had no idea the slices of pizza were the size of my head.  It was more like having an entire pizza.  But I managed to digest it all and then savor the cheesecake.  By the time I finished and was in a sugar induced coma the YMCA had been forgiven.

Then I went home and worked off the sugar buzz by pulling everything out of the bays on one side of the RV, discarding items not needed anymore and straightening things out to create more space.  Now life was good!

Long Live the Queen of Pickleball Blues

Monday, October 19, 2015

Questions a full-timer often gets asked.

Many people simply don't get it that the RV is our home and our life is much the same as any body else, except that our view changes more frequently.

Lately we were asked "What do you do to pass the time?"

Well...we're certainly never bored!

Biking 15 miles a day (Left Brain)

Pickleball several times a week when able (The Queen)


eating out

seeing friends in the campground

playing with the cats (this takes up a HUGE hunk of time)

quilting & sewing





cooking and cleaning - basic chores

People seem to think that when you live in a small space you just sit inside and....I don't know what.  It's no different than what a person would do if they lived in a house.

My other favorite question is "What's your exit plan?"

I like to then ask them the same question in return and they seem shocked at the question.

Then they come back with "Well, I mean ....when you can no longer drive around in the RV."  To which I counter, it's no different than when you are not able to continue living in your house for whatever reasons may present themselves.  The only difference is that we've already done the hard part, getting rid of all those useless possessions.

When it's time to come off the road it will be a simple matter to find some place to live.  We know we don't want to ever own again or have to deal with maintenance, so rental will be the way to go.  The question is mainly "where" for us.  We still haven't found the perfect north and south places to call home.  But we're still looking!

Long Live the Queen of RV Life

Sunday, October 18, 2015

It's been a quiet week here in Ham-a-lot

Not much to post these days, so I've been absent on the social media scene.  We moved to a park in South Carolina that's very nice with tall pine trees and large sites.  The terrain is flatter and Left Brain is able to bike finally, so we extended out stay over the weekend.

I've been busy cleaning the RV, washing the woodwork, cleaning the mirrors and shampooing the carpet.  All the Fall housecleaning is done now and I can goof off a bit.

Therefore, out came the sewing machine and I've been whipping up some table runners and small quilts.  It's been a bit of a frenzy in my sweat shop and photos will follow as they progress.

We met our neighbor this afternoon when he knocked on the door and asked if we had cats.  I was responding that indeed we do and was reaching for one of the many cards I keep by the door with information on the tent and tunnel system.  Ooops....seems he was here to tell me they were running about under the RV.

Yup, Gracie managed to undo the zipper and spring herself and then lead George into a walk on the wild side as well.  

He let himself get caught quite easily and she just ran up the steps and waited for the door to open.

I'm glad they don't go very far, but it scares me when she does this.  I'm thinking of giving her Houdini as a middle name.

We're leaving tomorrow for Georgia and I've talked to a pickleball coordinator there and it looks like I should be able to play at the YMCA.

Then we'll have one more stop in St Augustine for a couple of days before landing near Orlando to visit our friends during the last week of the month.

I'll be more than ready to land for a month when we get to Florida.  The car needs to be cleaned out and things organized again, and it's much easier to do this when we are settled for a longer stay.

Long Live the Queen

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Good Fences Thursday

Good Fences Thursday

These are some images of fences we saw in the Great Smoky Mountains.  I like the primitive feel to these simple structures.

Long Live the Queen

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Trails End Campground

We've had a delightful weeks stay here in North Carolina, in fact we've decided to stay another two days.  Our plan was to move closer to Asheville to connect with Bob & Marti on Sunday for the Packer game, but there wasn't a campground available anywhere near there.

Parks on the eastern side of the states tend to be much older and therefore smaller and when the RV is over 30 feet it's a bit iffy.  We're not huge by any means at our 32 feet, but it was a no go.

This campground has lovely flowers planted everywhere you glance.  It's also sweet to watch the fog on the mountains in the morning.

There is an antique car parked near our site that was worth a photo or two.

Add to this beauty the fact I found a rec center that has pickleball Monday through Saturday for $1 a day....priceless.  Usually the times are two or three times a week and the cost is generally more like $3 to $5 a day to play.

Long Live the Queen of Trails End

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hooking Up - Senior Style

You've probably heard the term "hooking up" that the young people use today to, you know.

Just because we're old doesn't mean we can't "hook up" as well.

It's odd when you think about it.  The first year we stayed in Whispering Pines Campground in Holmen WI, I spent the first night in a sleep clinic and was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea.  I stopped breathing 72 times in one hour...which is not good.

Sleep apnea is a very serious condition and can lead to stroke, heart failure and death.  It didn't take a lot to convince me I needed to become friends with my CPAP machine.

When you stop breathing in your sleep the body assumes its under attack and the fight or flight response is triggered, flooding the body with adrenaline.  So in my case I had a lot of adrenaline pumping through my syst

Left Brain was found to be a candidate for a sleep study, but it wasn't scheduled until later in July, which would mean a three hour drive back to La Crosse for this procedure.  Luckily he was on the cancellation list and got a call to go in the last night of our stay in Whispering Pines. 

Too wired up to sleep

Yup...he came back with a CPAP machine as well.  A newer, much fancier and smaller model than the one I have.  I was a tad jealous.  I'm thinking there's something about staying at Whispering Pines that causes sleep apnea. 

He's adapting very nicely to it and now we are both waking up fresh and rested.

Love Live (and breathe) the Queen

Friday, October 9, 2015

Friends and Waterfalls

My friend, Marti, is also a vagabond and a lifelong friend.  She's been with me longer than some of my marriages, so it shows what a tolerant person she is.  She and her husband are living in Asheville NC for the month of October and if you would like to follow her blog go to Thru Marti's Eyes.

We connected once for lunch in Asheville and again in Cherokee.  She dumped her husband off at the casino and I left Left Brain home so we could have some fun.

Our main outing was in search of Mingo Falls, as she loves waterfalls.  

We started out and then decided we were hungry and needed a bathroom break before starting our rigorous hike up to the waterfalls, so I turned the car around and we found a spot for some food and conversation.

Then it was back on the road to the falls.  The hike up wasn't as bad as I feared.

She has a nice photo on her blog showing the steps we had to go up.  There were lots of stops on these steps to enjoy the scenery while we gasped for breath.

The falls were nice, but I suspect they are more magnificent in the spring time.  

The next photo shows the size of the falls in comparison with the two people in the foreground.  I asked Marti nicely to crawl out on those rocks for a photo, but she refused....she's funny that way.

There were a lot of people up there sharing the experience with us, so we managed to get a photo of the two of us by the falls.  The same lady took photos of us with both our cameras, but she must not have pushed the button hard enough or something, because mine were lacking this this is taken from Marti's blog.

On the way back we spotted these little cabins by the rivers edge and so I parked as far away from the multitude of no parking and no trespassing signs.  Surely those signs were not for US!

On our way back through town we stopped to enjoy some ice cream because....well, it's a tradition for us.  On all of our plant shopping trips there was always ice cream involved somehow.

It's great seeing old friends when our paths converge and we never know for sure when that might happen again, so we savor each moment together.

We'll get to see them one more time when we head into Asheville on Sunday to watch the Packer game with them at a sports bar.  Are you happy McGuffy?  This will definitely be a first for willing go to a sports bar and watch the game.  I'm guessing there may be some shopping as a sideline with just Marti and I as well.  And perhaps ice cream.

Long Live the Queen of Friends

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Quick Quilts

I usually have some odds and ends laying around.  A project I started and didn't pursue or an left over piece because I made too many.

One thing I always do with the smaller scraps is to sew them together and create a roll of pieced strips to use at a later date.

It occurred to me I could combine all my odds and ends into a little quilt for the top of the outside table.   Not that it needed it, but there was a bare surface that could be quilted.

I attached an edging to it that I then inserted some elastic to hold it on the table, keeping the design nice and flat.

It turned out pretty nice and took no time at all since I had a hunk of prequilted fabric left from when I made the chair covers.

Long Live the Queen of Compulsive Quilting

Monday, October 5, 2015

Blue Ridge Parkway

Finally!  A day with sunshine and no rain!  We both scrambled out the door like giddy little children.

Left Brain took a nice long bike ride up and down the hills.  This is scary for me because the roads are narrow and windy with a 45 mph speed limit.  But he came back just fine.

I went into Waynesville to check out the pickleball at the Old Armory Rec Center.  Today was scheduled for beginners, but it had been so long since I'd held a paddle in my hands I just couldn't stay away.  I introduced myself to the coach and she had me floating around assisting and giving encouragement.  As the day went on more and more left, so I got in some playing time and left sweaty and happy.

After returning to the RV we both cleaned up and headed out for some lunch and then a drive around the area, with a stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

What a glorious drive, winding up through the mountains with several overlooks to stop and admire the autumn colors poking out in the hills.

Hopefully the weather will remain rain-free and we can continue to explore this little corner of G-ds country.

Long Live the Queen of the Mountain

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Museum of Appalachia

We managed to find a brief respite from the rain and made a run for the Museum of Appalachia, located close to the Escapee Park in Tennessee.

This museum is a living history museum, with glimpses into a former way of life as you look into each of the buildings.

These rooms look so warm and cozy to me, but there weren't many windows so things tended to look pretty dark.

Every inch of space is utilized to the max, as with this trundle bed.  I could picture the grandkids trying to push one another underneath as they slept at night.

I just love all this space!  Who would have ever thought I'd glimpse inside a tiny cabin and think such a thought.  But when you live in an RV, your perspective changes.

No museum of the Appalachia would be complete without the still.

The closet is simple and straight forward.  Hmmm, while living in an RV I do tend to hang a lot of things on the wall for storage.  Must be my pioneer blood.

This little scene with the table set and curtains at the window really spoke to me, so I had to alter it with some artistic filters to showcase it.

The Mark Twain family cabin was moved from Possum Trot TN and once served as home for his parents and some of their children.  He was born five months after they left Tennessee, so only experienced this cabin inutero.

The Daniel Boone cabin is a one room, dirt floored structure and was used by 20th Century Fox as the frontier home of Daniel Boone in the TV series for CBS called Young Dan'l Boone

And now for some Photoshop play with a couple of the images from that visit.

I enjoyed the leaves on this old mill stone.

There were an abundance of wagon wheels.

Okay, the weather was crappy that day, but this just needed a blue sky, so I poked it in.  These goats were so cute as they stood up on the steps under the roof to escape the rain.

Long Live the Queen