Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Big Changes

 

I started this post about two weeks ago while we were up in our lot in Georgia. I’ve been trying to get it finished ever since. 

 

It’s hard to know where to begin. I haven’t written a blog for so long. Until recently, there was nothing to write about.  Some things haven’t changed.  We are still helping to care for my mom.  She is still in her own home with caregivers 7 hours a day, paid for by her LTC insurance policy.  My brother, Al and I are staying with her the rest of the time.

We are trying to find a live in caregiver that will care for her about 15-20 hours a week in exchange for free room and board.   Our friend Cindi who was going to do it, has had some major health issues so that didn’t work out. If we can find the right person, it will allow us to be able to leave town on a more regular basis.

We managed to get away from the stifling heat of Tampa and spend 2 weeks up in the north Georgia mountains on our lot at Rivers Edge.

 

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We didn’t have the time for much fun, but Al did manage to get in some fishing and tubing.  You’ll understand why we didn’t have much time to play, when I tell you what else we have been doing. 

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Our Florida friends, Heidi and Suzanne (in the above picture) visited Blairsville last fall with the intention of buying some property and a cabin. We found them a RV lot  to rent at Rivers Edge where we own our lot.  They fell in love with the area, the rv park, and in the 2 weeks they were there,  bought a lot on the river and made plans to upgrade the lot with a lovely cabin (She-Shed) concrete drive, and deck.   As it turned out, their She-Shed came in very handy for us.   Smile

Heidi, Suzanne and Al tubing

 

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We took some golf cart rides and some scenic drives.  You notice Al with a dog on his lap?  That is Cindy.  She is a rescue that was brought to the animal hospital nearly dead,  by owners who couldn’t be bothered to care for her.  After weeks of intensive veterinary care, she improved enough to be released.  Heidi decided she needed a good home and she has certainly won the doggie lottery with Suzanne and Heidi.     Oh, and guess who got poison ivy?  

 

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Our plan for going to Blairsville was to purchase a Fifth Wheel that we could leave on our lot.  We had done some looking in person and on line and we had decided what we wanted.

We decided that when we get to travel we will be happier in something smaller than a big class A motorhome.  Since we have  RV lots in the Keys and in the mountains, and we love both places, we know we will spend a lot of time on our lots.  Our plans for the future are evolving, but we now think we will put something permanent on both lots and travel in something smaller.  We’ve looked at a few Class B motorhomes.  Heidi and Suzanne just purchased a new Road Trek Popular Class B, which they love. It’s surprisingly roomy, but I think we need a little more room.  We think we would be happy in a B+ with a couple of slides.  We couldn’t live in something so small, but I think we could travel extensively in one and the B+ with slides have quite a bit of space.  A class B would be for the future when we are free to travel.

When we headed up to Blairsville, we left the motorhome here in Florida with the  intention to stay a few nights in a hotel and a few nights in our cabin.  The cabin on our RV lot is pretty comfortable, but has no bathroom facilities.  We figured, we would use the campground bathrooms. Luckily, Heidi and Suzanne were nice enough to offer the use of their She-Shed while we searched for a Fifth Wheel.   

We had done some Fifth Wheel shopping on line and in person, and found what we were looking for.

It was delivered and set up just a few days before we had to head back to Tampa.   Sad smile

It’s a 35 foot Carriage Cameo.

Cameo

 

Cameo

 

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Cameo

 

We got to spend two nights in our new home, but then had to leave and get back to Florida.

So, now that we’re back in Florida, we are working on ways to get back up to the mountains, hopefully for September and October. 

Stay tuned……

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

RV Temperature Alert for Pets, and Fun on the Island

 

Wesley Chapel, Fl  (high 90, low 68)

 

Things are about the same here. 

Our friend Cindi is still in the hospital.  The doctors are waiting for some test results and then hopefully she will be released and can recover.

We still have her dog Kujo.  He is doing well and seems happy.  We love dogs.  We love other peoples dogs, but we don’t want a dog.  Cats are so much easier.   He is a good dog, but he’s a dog, and we don’t want a dog.

 

Kujo

 

Now that we have the boat here, we have been taking every opportunity to use it.  With the hot Florida weather, we always worry about leaving the cats alone inside the motorhome.  If there should be a power outage, or the AC quits, they could quickly overheat and could die by the time we got home.

We  have a camera set up in the motorhome and I can look at the thermometer inside the coach from my phone and check on the cats.   It is a great thing to have, but requires internet and of course I have to remember to check.  I began searching for an alternative that would work without internet, and that would send me alerts if the temperature got too high.  I finally found another system that will do the job. You set the alerts for the high and lows you want and it will send you a text if the RV gets too hot or cold (yeah right).  

I found this gadget here:  Cell Sign Technology

Here is what it looks like.

Cellsign Technologies.com

I’m not exactly sure how it works, but it has a Sim card inside and works much like a cell phone does for texts. You have to purchase the unit, which is $119.  Then you pay $13.50 a month for the sim card alerts.   You can cancel at any time and there are no contracts.  It’s well worth the money for my peace of mind.  We love our kitties and would feel horrible if something were to happen to them while we were gone.

It does not require internet, but you do have to have some sort of cell signal in your area.

It plugs into an outlet and is only about the size of a cell phone. If the power goes out, or the temperature gets too warm, it will send you a text to notify you of the problem.  You can also text it anytime you want to know the temperature, or to double check that it’s working.   With this and the camera, I feel pretty comfortable leaving the cats alone for the day.

So, now that we have the cats (and dog) covered, we can feel safe going out in the boat.   Smile  The dog stays at home with the cats when we go boating and so far, so good.

We managed to get out twice last week and both times the water was clear, blue and beautiful.  From where we store the boat, we have a short three mile run down the Anclote River in Tarpon Springs, out to Anclote Key.  It’s a beautiful barrier island right off the coast.   The past two times we’ve been there the water was as clear and beautiful as I’ve ever seen it.

We anchored right off the beach where we could wade over to the island.

There weren’t many people when we go there, but they started arriving later in the afternoon.

We had two manatees hanging around all day. That’s pretty unusual for that area and I worried about them with all the boats around.

The picture isn’t real clear, but the dark spots are manatee. They were right in front of our boat by our anchor.

 

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We saw a school of Snook hanging around all day and another boater saw a huge Tarpon (fish). 

We saw this crazy boat.   It is one boat, but looks like a combination of two different boats. 

Crazy boat

 

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This boat apparently went to Anclote Key and never made it back.  The black thing in is a mercury motor.  The island is growing constantly and the last time we were there the boat numbers were no longer showing. It will be covered up completely probably by the next time we go out.  It’s interesting to watch how islands form and change over time.

 

capcized boat on Anclote

 

Isn’t that beautiful?

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We took a long walk along the beach, and picked up a few shells.  There have always been a lot of shells there.

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We’ve been to Anclote Key hundreds and hundreds of times and it was rarely like this.

 

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After out second walk, we headed back towards the boat and found we weren’t alone anymore.

We almost couldn’t see our boat from the others that decided they needed to park right next to us.

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We are the little boat with the blue top in the middle.   There was plenty of beach area, but for some reason they felt the need to park right on top of us. 

This is what it looked like when we left.  Smile

 

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Shortly after we got back to the boat, we got another visitor.  It’s an island hopper from Tarpon Springs….AKA cattle boat.  YIKES!  Look at all those people!

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This is going to be a rainy week in Florida, so it looks like no boating for a few days.