Friday, December 31, 2010

Skydive City

Zephyrhills, Florida

Yesterday warmed up to 71 degrees, but a bit cloudy.  We thought about a kayak trip, but we prefer a sunny day if we  have the choice.

It was very nice to be able to open the windows and turn off the heater!  Yes, our site in the sun is good!
Zephyrhills is about 26 miles northeast of Tampa in Pasco County.  The summer population is about 53,000.  The winter (snowbird) population is about 85,000.  It’s where Zephyrhills water is bottled. 

We’ve found the traffic to be much better than in Tampa.  The Tampa traffic was really getting to us.  We’ve become used to small town living and it’s frustrating that it takes half an hour to get somewhere that’s 5 miles away! 

There are many snowbird rv and mobile home parks in close proximity.  I have seen very little difference between any of the ones I looked at and the prices seem pretty reasonable.  
Our “overflow” site.   It’s not pretty, but it’s in the sun!

Zephyrhills is also big into skydiving and the home of  Skydive City.  There are some die hard sky dive fans and this appears to be the place to be.  There are tents, rv’s and even a building that looks to be a bunkhouse. 

The “campground” doesn’t have many amenities!


If you have an Rv, there are spaces to park it as well.  Note the wheel chair ramp on this rv?  I wonder if that became necessary after a jump?

We spent a few hours just watching the skydivers.  One plane would take off after the other, each one loaded with skydivers.

It was amazing watching dozens of divers drop out of the sky.  Before they deployed their chutes, it looked almost like a flock of birds high up in the sky.  Then all of a sudden you’d notice the chutes starting to deploy as they drifted down.


The skydivers get into this plane from the rear.  You can see the inside is not real comfy.

There are also a lot of gliders.  They fly on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.  You can bet we’ll be back for that.  We’ve seen gliders fly before and it’s amazing because they are so quiet.

We kind of got caught up in the excitement and half thought about taking a tandem jump.  I think we’d better not…at least not Al, as he has bad shoulders and knees.  Now me on the other hand….

Several years ago, we very nearly bought a Paramotor.  The powered paramotor  straps to your back.  It has a small fan with a motor that turns it. .  You have a parachute and you start the motor, run which causes the parachute to become airborne.  You then start to become airborne.   The motor doesn’t keep you up in the air, it just moves you along while you are airborne.  When you want to come down, you turn off the motor and glide down  from the parachute.

It looks like so much fun, and is reasonably safe because you do have a parachute.  We almost bought two units but we decided we really couldn’t afford it at the time.  That was one time Al was able to talk me out of something I really wanted to do.  He was right.  We couldn’t afford it at that time and now I’m afraid we’re too old  brittle, and feeble :)

Looks fun doesn’t it?  Watching the skydivers really brought it back to me!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Move to Sweetwater Carefree Rv Resort

Zephyrhills, Florida

Moving Day

We got up early yesterday (as usual) and walked over to the snack bar for another wonderful breakfast.  Unfortunately,  there was a different cook and our breakfast came ice cold…after 30 minutes.  We didn’t send it back, because we didn’t want to wait another half hour. 

We stayed 17 nights at Silver Dollar Resort, which was the longest we’ve ever lived in our motor home.  We were all settled in, and in my mind, I wondered why we wanted to start all over at a new location, when we had everything set up so nicely!

We got on the road about 12:30. We only had about 45 miles to go.  I followed Al to the gas station, where we got $145 of gas.  Ouch.  The next stop was propane.   Our gauge inside showed about 1/2 tank left.  The gauge on the  outside tank showed empty and that had previously been  accurate, we thought.  We felt that the outside gauge was accurate, until yesterday when our “empty” tank only took 13 gallons of propane.  So now, we’re baffled.  Our propane cost $44.  Ouch, again :)

We arrived at the campground around 3pm.  We chose a site in the overflow area, which is next door to the maintenance shed.  It’s not the view that we normally prefer.  We decided on this site because it’s huge, level, and it sits in full sun!  The temperatures have been so cold, that we felt we could use all the sun we could get.  

The weather was gorgeous when we arrived so the first thing I did was open the windows!  That was the first time we’ve been able to do that since we arrived in Florida! 

The weather is going to be in the mid 70’s today so we plan to be outside as much as possible.  We just have to wait for the sun to come up!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It’s Warming Up!

Yesterday when we got up, it was 26 degrees!  Today, it warmed up to 27!  It is  supposed to start warming up today, and we’ll be in the mid to upper 70’s the rest of the week.

Today is moving day.  We got the kayaks loaded back in the truck yesterday, and did as much as we could ahead of time.  There is no hurry though, since we only have about 30 miles to drive today.  We  have to get propane and gas on the way.

We walked over the the snack bar at the golf course yesterday morning and had a very good breakfast for $4.99.  It was so good, we decided to go back today.

We’re hoping to do some kayaking soon.  Our new campground is very close to Hillsborough River State Park.  It’s a very nice place to kayak and hike, and one of our favorite campgrounds.  The Hillsborough River runs throughout Tampa and there are some real nice launch areas near the new campground.  One of our favorite places to kayak on the river is just loaded with alligators and birds.  We always enjoy kayaking there.

We’re looking forward to our new campground.  It will be much more like a campground.  This place is mostly snowbird mobile homes and has a different feel to it.  The people in the campground are much friendlier and there are more activities.  Al thinks he may have to take up shuffleboard!  He has the white hair to fit right in with the rest of the “boys.”

I redid my post yesterday and was able to get my paragraphs to separate.  We’ll see what happens today.

26 Degrees…in Florida??

Tampa, Florida


We're in the middle of a 3 day cold front and we awoke to a 26 degree temperature.  We're nice and toasty inside though!


Yes, Rick, the electric blanket was on again :)  I have to confess  we actually have two electric for us and one for the kitties.  We put theirs on the dash and they love it!  We figured it would be cheaper than running the furnace, especially since our electricity is free.  We like to keep the motor home cool at night because we can't stand that dry heat when we're sleeping, and it gets pretty cool inside.  One more cold night then back to the 70's!


We're moving tomorrow so we went for a ride and located a good place to fuel up and get propane. We wanted somewhere we could easily get in and out without unhooking the toad.  We're running pretty low on propane and were trying to make it last until we moved.  Al hooked up the Extend-a-Stay propane kit, just in case our propane ran out during the night.


Today we plan to start packing up in preparation for our move tomorrow.  We've really made ourselves at home here and now we have to get it all back together for travel.  We only have to go about 30 miles, so it's not far, but nevertheless, we have to go through the same preparations as if we were going on a longer trip.  We're looking forward to getting into the new sunny site.  We have quite a few trees here, which we normally like, but with the temperatures, we'll enjoy more sun.  We are supposed to be approaching the 80's!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Problem with LiveWriter and Blogger

I tried use Blogger to post the blog today and was not able to get a space between paragraphs. It just ran together as one paragraph. I tried inserting extra lines and still the same. I finally decided to go to Livewriter and it was asking me to sign onto Google and then asked me to fill out the little coded words! I tried, but it would hang up there and go no further. Anyone else having problems? ***note*** I inserted spaces between the 4 paragraphs****** None coming through?

26 Degrees

Tampa, Florida We're in the middle of a 3 day cold front and we awoke to a 26 degree temperature. We're nice and toasty inside though! Yes, Rick, the electric blanket was on again :) I have to confess we actually have two electric for us and one for the kitties. We put theirs on the dash and they love it! We figured it would be cheaper than running the furnace, especially since our electricity is free. We like to keep the motor home cool at night because we can't stand that dry heat when we're sleeping, and it gets pretty cool inside. One more cold night then back to the 70's! We're moving tomorrow so we went for a ride and located a good place to fuel up and get propane. We wanted somewhere we could easily get in and out without unhooking the toad. We're running pretty low on propane and were trying to make it last until we moved. Al hooked up the Extend-a-Stay propane kit, just in case our propane ran out during the night. Here is a picture I found online of the Extend a Stay kit for anyone who doesn't know what it is.
Basically, you use a propane cylinder like you can get at Walmart or anywhere to connect to the onboard propane tank. If your onboard propane runs out, it draws from the cylinder. It's much easier to fill up that cylinder than move the motor home to get a refill. Today we plan to start packing up in preparation for our move tomorrow. We've really made ourselves at home here and now we have to get it all back together for travel. We only have to go about 30 miles, so it's not far, but nevertheless, we have to go through the same preparations as if we were going on a longer trip. We're looking forward to getting into the new sunny site. We have quite a few trees here, which we normally like, but with the temperatures, we'll enjoy more sun. We are supposed to be approaching the 80's!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hunkered Down in “Sunny” Florida

Odessa, Florida – Silver Dollar Resort

Yesterday was a windy, cold and ugly day in Central Florida. 

The weather report I read on my Droid said the winds at about 20 mph, but it sure seemed stronger to us.  Many of the stronger gusts would actually shake the motor home.

The temperature never got over the low 50’s and the sun only peeked out on occasion.

It was a good day to stay inside and hunker down, which is exactly what we did.

We had some issues with our satellite because the wind kept blowing the dish around!  The stand stayed up just fine because Al had the legs anchored down, but the dish would turn a bit.  We tried to tighten it, but the wind would move it just enough to mess with the signal.  Al finally decided to watch his football games on the over the air tv…commercials and all!  I don’t think the commercials mattered too much to him anyway, because he dozed through a good portion of them.

I went back to the bedroom and watched some old programs I had Tivo’d.  I got in bed, pulled the covers up and turned on the electric blanket!  That’s my idea of roughing it while camping!

We did make a trip to the laundry mat and did 4 loads.  The washer and dryers here cost $1.25.  The new campground charges  $1.75.  That’s quite a difference so we figured we’d get as much done as we can while it’s cheap.  I actually don’t mind going to the laundry.  I remember when I lived by myself many years ago, I hated going to the Laundromat and the first thing we bought when we got married was a washer and dryer.  For some reason, I don’t hate it anymore.  Maybe because it’s in a campground, not an actual Laundromat.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Tradition

Our new tradition for Christmas day is to get up early and go to the beach.  We normally head over to St Petersburg and go to Fort Desoto.

We decided to go somewhere closer yesterday and went to our old stomping grounds of Tarpon Springs.   Tarpon Springs the home of the famous Greek sponge docks.  The divers would put on dive suits and helmets and dive for sponges offshore. 

This is the typical sponge diving suit of the past.


They didn’t use scuba tanks. The hose you see is his air supply.  Nowadays, they use scuba tanks instead of these cumbersome outfits.

  It was a very lucrative business.  Al and I actually did a little sponge diving and made a few bucks on them.  The most prized sponge is a “Wooly” sponge.  Underwater they are black.  Sponges are actually millions of tiny animals and the sponge is actually the exoskeleton.  The cleaning process is a stinky process.  Here is what a cleaned Wooly sponge looks like.  They make wonderful bath sponges!


Al and I used to keep our boat there at a marina in  Tarpon Springs, so this sure brought back memories.  We’d go offshore 24 miles to our favorite dive sites and then come back in to Anclote Key to relax.  Good memories. 

You can’t get to Anclote Key by car, so we had to make due and just go to boat ramp which is on the Anclote River.  The town of Tarpon Springs is an interesting town and it attracts a lot of tourists.  We didn’t get into town yesterday though.  Been there, done that…many times!  You can buy some nice shells and of course sponges!

Here are a few pictures we took.  As you can see, it was a nice day.  These were taken from the Anclote River which leads right out into the gulf.   The sand on Anclote key is sugar white and much prettier than what you see here.  The water was clear though.  Let me tell you, there are some wonderful sites offshore in this area.  We had so much fun diving these waters!





After we left we happened on this little pond.  There was a guy taking a picture of a gator and I thought it would make an interesting photo. 


Of course with my new Canon Camera, I didn’t have to get that close!


A Cormorant drying his wings right by the gator.


The next pictures are a few of the campground we will be going to next week.  It’s called  Sweetwater Rv Park.

It’s  nothing fancy, but is reasonably priced and fairly close to Mom’s house.  We found a site right out in the sun which was another plus.  Normally we prefer shaded sites, but in the winter….sunny sites look pretty good!  Plus it will be easier to get satellite reception.

There are quite a few snowbird mobile homes in the park.  You sure see a lot of Canadian license plates! 

The pool is nice, but not heated.  It wouldn’t matter, unless the pool water is 94 degrees, I wouldn’t go in it anyway.  You can’t get it that warm from solar heat this time of year.  No is no hot tub…that I would have used!


This next picture gave us a big laugh!  I told you it was a “geezer park.”  Here is the proof!


Notice all the 3 wheeled bicycles with large padded seats!  The guys were having a good game of horseshoes!  We just had to laugh.

And of course…


This certainly isn’t the type of place we normally go.  We prefer large wooded sites with lots of trees and privacy, but for now, this will work out just fine.  The people were very friendly and we are actually looking forward to our stay there.

We’re hunkered down the the motor home this morning, trying not to blow away.  We’re having 20 mph winds (they say), but it feels stronger.  We got some rain last night ahead of the cold front.  We don’t expect the temps to get out of the 50’s for the next few days.  We’re trying to stretch our propane until we leave.  We haven’t hooked up the Extend a Stay propane connection yet.  It’s supposed to allow you to hook up a propane tank directly to the rv, and use that propane instead of having to full up the onboard tank.  I’m a little nervous that it somehow won’t work though.  I don’t know how to test it until we actually run out of propane! 

After this 3 day cold front, the temps appear to be warming up.  I even saw a few upper 70’s predicted!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I just want to wish a very Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends.

I've appreciated getting to know you through the blogging world. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

We spent the morning yesterday finding a new "home". We found a "geezer park" that we think we'll be happy at.  Hey, we're geezers, so we should fit right in! We'll be moving over next week. I'll post a few pictures later today. The price is right and it will serve our needs well.

We had a nice Christmas eve with Mom and my brother, and made my Mom's home made pizza, which is our Christmas Eve tradition. She's getting older, but she hasn't lost her touch with the pizza!

Al and I have started our new Christmas tradition with a trip to the beach on Christmas morning. We're both a little tired this morning, so we haven't decided if we'd continue our tradition or not. Today should be the last day before the next cold front.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Margie and Bruce.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Free Books – Some Habits Die Hard

Tampa, Florida

One of the main reasons we both got our new Sony eReaders, was to eliminate the need to have to carry a lot of books with us.

Nellie's post today reminded me of  just how many books we have.  Al just finished a Nelson Demille book that was the first of a two part series.  I was able to locate it on the Tampa library system and download it right to his eReader.  That’s exactly what the plan was.  So tell me why, he came home from the laundry with a hand full of used (stinky cigarette smelling) books?   I won’t even allow them in the house until they air out!  I find myself looking through these books as well.  Old habits die hard, I guess.  We need to go through our books and donate a few of them.

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day.  Al finished up some appointments and I took Mom in for her heart monitor, or so I thought.  When we got there, we found there was a mix-up on their part and they didn’t have the right monitor.  It turns out an “event monitor” is not the same as a Holter monitor and the “event monitor” was being used by someone else.  Oh, well, nothing could be done at that point.  We left there, got some lunch and then went to Bealls Department Store to get Mom some new slacks.  She’s lost a lot of weight and none of her clothes fit. 

Later in the afternoon Al and I checked around for a new campground to stay at.  Unfortunately, we haven’t found anything any cheaper than we have here. 

I got a few suggestions in the comments yesterday, so we’ll check them out today.  We may just go up to Paradise Rv Resort in Bushnell where they have a $199 special.  If they still have any openings, that is.

Another fun day in Florida :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tv, Windowshades, & Haircuts

Tampa, Florida

We had the "day off " yesterday and spent it just puttering around the house.  We didn't have anywhere that we needed to be and it was a most enjoyable day. We never left the campground and it felt really good!  We briefly contemplated a kayak trip or a drive to the beach, but decided we'd rather just relax around the campground.

The weather was nice and sunny and the temps in the upper 60's.  There was some kind of big thing going on and many golfers were out on the course today.

We spent our day just cleaning and organizing around here.  Al did some window cleaning.  It's amazing how fast they get dirty. We had a day/night shade that needed fixing and Al (my hero) managed to get that fixed. I can have sunlight coming in that window!

We had about given up getting satellite reception here, but Al decided to give it another try.  He finally picked up a signal, but the readings were only  in the 70's which is not nearly enough to get a picture.  He finally moved the dish to a new location and got a signal locked on!  We get all the channels, including the DNS channels for ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox! more commercials!!!  My hero!

I gave us both a haircut with our Flowbee haircutter.  We're now presentable again!  Al was getting a bit shaggy, so we felt good about that.

I have to take Mom in to get the heart monitor put on today and Al has a few remaining pest control accounts to finish up.  I might bring Mom over here to see where we are staying.  She hasn't gotten out here yet.

We're still trying to decide where to go next.  Our plan was to head to Welaka, Florida the 29th. We have reservations there for 2 months.  I'm thinking we should stay closer to Mom though, so that's not looking promising.  We just haven't found anything close by that is reasonably priced.  I need to get on the ball and start looking.  We can stay here for $695 a month (electric included).  Now that we have satellite, that sounds a little better. We'd like to find something cheaper, but other than the Escapees campground in Bushnell, Florida, I haven't found anything.

We tried to find someone that could deliver propane to us here in the campground and were told of a law against propane delivery to an Rv.  It seems that it's too dangerous to fill up the propane tank on an Rv.  They can do it to the houses and businesses, just not rv's.  Makes you feel real safe, huh?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

Last night was the first lunar eclipse that occured on the winter solstice,  in 372 years.  The earth aligned between the full moon and the sun, causing a shadow on the moon.
It was supposed to take 72 minutes from start to finish, so I knew I had a long window.  We intended to wake up and try to get some pictures....but it was pretty cold.  I set the alarm for 2:20 am.  When it went off, we were snug in our warm bed with the electric blanket on.  Did we really care?  Couldn't I just look at the pictures on the internet?  Was it really such a big deal?
After trying to justify staying in my warm bed,  I decided to just go peek out the window to see if I could see the moon.  I couldn't, and finally decided to go outside.  It wasn't that cold outside and we didn't freeze.
The moon was mostly covered by the  shadow.  It looked a little orange.  I think because of the shadow, it didn't allow me to get a clear shot if I zoomed in nearly all the way.  I had to back off the zoom in order to get some clear shots. 
Here is what we saw.  The moon was almost totally covered by the shadow.

We had another interesting day yesterday.  Interesting…not fun.  We were sitting inside drinking our morning coffee, when Mom called and said our friend Bobbie (our old neighbor) was having some problems with her blood pressure dropping.  Bobbie wanted to go to the doctor but would not consider calling an ambulance.  We didn’t know how bad she was at that time.  She normally gets her medical care at the base (McDill AFB) and doesn’t have a doctor nearby.  We ended up taking her to a walk-in clinic where there were all sorts of sick people hacking, groaning and snorting, grunting and wailing.  Painted a pretty picture, didn’t I?  Bobbie, who is 86 and badly stooped over started feeling bad the night before when she was standing on a ladder cleaning out her kitchen cabinets!  I tried to explain to her why that is a bad idea, but she’s not going to stop.  One day she will fall and lay on the floor a day or two until someone finds her.  Anyway, we got her to the clinic, called her daughter and then went back home to shower.  The doctor lowered her blood pressure medicine and she appears to be okay.    Mom insisted on going there with us and I didn’t want her in that hazardous waste dump any longer than necessary, so we left Bobbie in the care of her daughter.  They had an argument the night before and Bobbie didn’t want us to call her daughter….but I did :)
We managed to finish up our very limited Christmas shopping yesterday.  We took Mom out to get a few things and get her out of the house.  It seems to help her if she doesn’t stay home all day and think about her problems.  It was a pretty sunny day and warm enough to just wear a long sleeve shirt. 
We’re sitting here watching the golfers, Sandhill Cranes and the deer.
Hopefully we’ll be able to get over to the beach the next few days.  Our Christmas tradition the past few years is to head over to Fort DeSoto Christmas morning.  It’s  a beautiful beach/campground right on the Gulf of Mexico and is often rated as the best beach in the country.  We like to see the  Rosette Spoonbills and White Pelicans there. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunny, Cooler

Yesterday was foggy and cloudy all day as the "cold" front was moving in.  I didn't mind though because it wasn't freezing cold.

We took some time in the morning to get the new home theater system set up and finally got the Tv off of the front dash area.  No satellite yet unfortunately.

We did some organization around here and we continually are finding things that don't need.  It's funny how Al, who used to be the worst one to collect stuff, now says, "get rid of it."  We're finding it's so different living in the rv, verses just a short camping trip.  Our little Christmas tree is sitting in a box in Mom's garage.  There is just no room for a 3 foot Christmas tree.  Our other decorations are still in a box under the bed!  We have too many jackets and sweat clothes and we plan to get rid of some of them.  I can see some serious garage sales and Good Will runs in our future this spring.  We're realizing our space limitations.  We could use a larger motor home.  This one is only 32 feet.  We have two slides, but 8-10 more feet would come in handy!

I had to watch the two hour Survivor season finally with commercials.  I hated  watching it like that.  It seemed like it would never end!   Poor Al wasn't feeling well last night and felt too bad to stay up, so he went to bed and missed it.  Normally we would have just tivo'd it.  I don't think we're going to get a satellite signal here, but I guess we'll try again.

The temperature is 37 degrees this morning, but the sun is out, so I think it'll be a pretty day.  It's supposed to get up to 62, so it'll be cool.  Sure would like to see some upper 70's or 80's!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Foggy and Damp

Friday was beautiful, sunny, and warm, but unfortunately, I didn't get outside much.

I took Mom to the doctor Friday for the results of her tests.  They all came out negative, so we're back to square one as to what is wrong with her.  She feels it's her heart because she's having discomfort in that area but the cardiologist checked her out and said her heart is fine.  The doctor suggested she see a different cardiologist and we have an appointment for one that came highly recommended.  In the meantime they are going to put a holter monitor on her for a few weeks to monitor what's going on.  She's pretty depressed because nothing has been found and she's feeling worse and worse.  Saturday is her 81st birthday.  We're trying to help her stay positive, but it's not easy.

Al went to Bushnell Friday for an appointment and checked out two Rv parks for a possible stay.  They are just a little too far from Mom's house so we don't think we'll be able to go there.  This place is too expensive though.  We have reservations for Welaka Lodge and Rv Resort starting the 29th, but I think we'll have to cancel that as well.  So far we've had to cancel every reservation we've made.

We spent the day with Mom yesterday and finally got her out of the house.  I think some of her problem is depression and we think getting her out is good medicine.  We took her to Sam's to buy some Christmas gifts and we got her a new microwave.  After that we took her to Outback for a birthday dinner.  We were hesitant because Outback usually has a long line.  We had to take a beeper and they told us it would be a 20-30 minute wait.  In about 5 minutes they called us to our table.  That's the problem with Florida in the winter....lots of tourists and snowbirds and all the restaurants are very crowded...even at 5pm!  Mom and I had the WalaHalla pasta, which is a chicken and pasta with vegetables.  It was excellent. It's not even on the menu anymore but they will fix it for you if you ask.  It's always been one of my favorites.  I sure wish I knew how to make it.   Al got a steak and lobster, so he was a happy boy as well.

Today is very foggy and damp, but there are people on the golf course.  Die hards, I guess.  We have another cool front coming in and the temps will only get into the mid 60's.  I can handle that :)

We are going to try to re-mount the living room Tv today.   We just have it setting on the dash because Al needs to hook up the Tivo and new home theater system.  We had to take the Tv out of the motorhome and use it in the house when our big Tv conked out. Hopefully today will be the day we get it done!  We just got our fresh water hose hooked up yesterday.  Al had a leaky connection and it took some time to get it done...and we had no time.

Our Florida vacation hasn't been much fun so far, but we appreciate the warmer weather and it's good to see family.  

Friday, December 17, 2010

Visiting Friends

It finally warmed up yesterday with the temperature up to 70.  It is supposed to be even warmer today, but then we have another cool front coming in on Saturday.  Fortunately this cool front isn't going to be as bad as the last one.

Al spent the day working, and I took Mom to visit two of her friends.  The first was to visit our old next door neighbor Bobbie.  She and her husband lived next door to us.  He was a prisoner of war for 18 months, in WWII after the plane he was flying was shot down.  They were very good neighbors and he helped Al fix many, many things.  He taught Al a lot over the years.  He passed away a few years ago at  86. Mom and his wife Bobbie have become good friends so I took Mom to visit her.  After that we went over to visit Mom's other friend Kathy.  She is almost 93 years old and still lives by herself.  She still drives (scary), but she really needs to be in an assisted living facility, or have someone live with her.  She is nearly deaf, so talking to her is no fun.

Today I have to take Mom to the doctor to discuss the results from some tests she had done.  I want to be there, so I can hopefully get some answers.

Al has to head back to Bushnell today for an account, so I may try to ride up there with him.  It will depend on what the doctor says.  There is a campground there that is advertising $199 introductory special.  It may be a good cheap option, so we want to check it out.

Another exciting day in Florida!  One of these days, we hope to do something fun!  It won't be today though!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More of the Same

Hopefully last night was out last night of cold temps for a while.  Today it's supposed to get up to the mid 60's and tonight only 50.  We're really tired of cold weather.

Nothing much going on here and certainly nothing fun.  I took Mom to get her hair done and then Al met us and we all went to lunch at Sweet Tomato's.  They have some wonderful soups and they hit the spot with the cool weather.

We got home after dark again, so still no time to get the satellite set up.  We have some trees in the way and Al hasn't been able to get a good enough signal to get all the channels.  By the time we've gotten home it's just been too dark and cold.  We have managed to get the local channels through the antenna and were able to watch Survivor last night.  We were so glad to have gotten tv that we didn't even complain (too much) about the commercials!

I'm going to spend the day with Mom again and Al is still working on his pest control customers.   We have a little Christmas shopping to do and Al is forcing me to send some Christmas cards!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Warmer Weather is on the Way

Tampa, Florida

Yesterday was another very cold day in Tampa.  The wind had died down quite a bit but not all the way, so it stayed cool all day due to the temperature and wind combo.

We stayed warm overnight running the furnace, but in doing so we are sucking up our very expensive propane!  We can stay warm under the electric blanket, but the kitties get cold so we keep some heat on for them.  Yes, I know they have fur coats, but remember, they are Florida kitties!  I've done some looking for other heaters, but I don't know what to use.  I'm paranoid about space heaters and propane is expensive.  The furnace is wasteful with so much heat being vented outside.  We saw some Olympic heaters at Camping World yesterday, but they were in boxes so I didn't get to look at them.  One was fairly small in size, so that would be the best.  I need to do some more research I guess.

We got up early and walked over to the clubhouse for a newspaper and then out around the golf course.  We wanted to get some pictures of the local deer that hang around the course.

Here is our campsite

The golf course is  to our left and the snack bar and recreation center is behind us. There are only 2 other rv's here right now. They expect to be full late January when they have some big trap event.

We walked around the edge of the golf course and found some green grass that hadn't been damaged by cold.  It was very pretty with the palm trees in the background.

We found the deer.  They were definitely watching me!  I thought I counted 6 of them, but once I looked at the picture, I only counted five.

The laundry/library area is right behind the rec center area.  It looks pretty nice.  There are restrooms next door to that but we didn't go inside.  I'm not sure if they are just bathrooms, or if there are showers there as well.  This used to be a campground, but now mostly is a snowbird mobile home park, so there may not be shower facilities.  That doesn't bother me because I always use our shower.

Al got some of his pest control accounts done and we made a quick stop at Camping World and Sam's club. We also got some Christmas gifts mailed and I spend the rest of the day with Mom.

Today will be more of the same.  Nothing fun or exciting going on here.  It's only supposed to get to 55 here today, but 75 by Friday and no more freezing temps for a while.

We're also having trouble with out door lock.  It seems the colder it is, the harder it is to unlock.  That's one more project for Al.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Windy and Cool

Yesterday was spent at Mom's helping her clean up some of her "stuff."  My cousin Paul is in town.  He's a 38 year old Sheriff's deputy with lots of energy, so while he's here, he's trying to help her clean up some storage areas.  Trips to Goodwill and the dump.  Sound familiar?

We were able to spend the morning at the motorhome and organized a few things, but we still haven't been able to get the Directv Satellite antenna installed.  We don't have a roof mounted one, and just set up an antenna each time. It was so windy yesterday that we didn't even bother.  The weather reports were stating the winds were 18-20 mph, but it felt a lot stronger to us.  They were to calm down overnight and the cold air would arrive.  According to my Droid weather report, it's currently 33 degrees!  I can't complain too much though because it's 25 at home.  It's going to warm up to 57 today and 75 by Friday.

We spoke to the Realtor yesterday and it seems the young couple that was going to make an offer, is still trying.  The hold up is their financing.  They are trying to get a loan through FHA and it's difficult.  I'm just glad they didn't make an offer pending financing.  I don't want to tie the house up with that.  I'm still holding out for April.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Arrived at Silver Dollar Resort

Odessa, Florida

We left Bushnell Saturday, and drove the 60 miles south to Silver Dollar Resort in Odessa Florida.  We arrived early afternoon.  It used to be a campground with a few mobile homes thrown in.  Now there are mostly newer modular homes, and older mobile homes in this park.  There are a few empty lots with rv's in them, but very few.  Years ago this was mostly an rv park with a few mobile homes.  It was your typical snowbird campground.  I remember coming in here 20 years ago and seeing all those snowbirds having such a nice time, and I envied them!    It's not your typical campground, but it serves our needs due to the location.

We arrived a day early so we called first to confirm there wouldn't be a problem.  We spoke to the week-end manager Ken and he said not to worry about paying for Saturday, we'd just start paying on Sunday.  That works for us!   

We're just 10 miles from my Moms house in Tampa, in the city of Odessa.  Odessa is a beautiful outskirt of Tampa with beautiful lakes and large Live oak trees. It was rural with lots of horses and houses with acreage, at least it was until the developers came during the housing boom.  We passed some mega mansions on the way to the rv park.

Silver Dollar Resort is a golf and trap shooting club.  We were told they have more trap shooting contests here than anywhere in the country.  Currently there are no shooting contests going on.

 There is a small separate campground (where we are) right by the driving range.  We are parked there overlooking the driving range.  Hopefully the golf balls will not be coming in our direction.  Our our rear window, we look out at the clubhouse.    There is a snack bar and regular bar there with big tv's all around.

This is a golf community with lots of golf carts running around, even in the evenings.  Most everyone has one in their carport or garage.

We have a nice level concrete pad and are one of only 3 rv's here right now.  It gets busier during shoots and after Christmas.

We woke up Sunday morning and saw 5 deer playing on the golf course.  Once it got a little bit light outside the golfers started coming.  The weather was nice and we only needed a light jacket all day. I think it got up to the mid/upper 60's.

We spent most of the day with my Mom.  Her sister from North Carolina is there and also my cousin.  It was nice to see everyone.

The wind started picking up last night in advance of a cold front.  The high today is only supposed to reach 50 and down to 31 tonight.  We'll be having several days of that until it warms back up Thursday.

I'm up early this morning because it's do windy, the wind noise woke me up.  Once I was awake, I realized it was cold in here so I turned the furnace up.  It didn't kick on.  We wondered if the pilot light blew out due to the strong winds.  We're not exactly sure how the furnace works.  We have never had to light a pilot light, we just turn it on from our Intellitec Electronic Climate Control. I got out the manuals while Al checked the fuse panel.  He found the fuse was not pushed all the way in.  I don't know how it got out, because it was working fine last night.  Anyway that solved the problem and we have heat again.  Thank goodness.  This was not going to be a good day to be without heat.  We have a forced air heater but I won't leave that on while we're sleeping or gone.

Today will be cold and windy, so I don't think we'll be outside much.  It's supposed to be windy most of the day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

We're in Florida!

Yesterday was a tough day but we made it safely, but not to the destination we planned!  Again, those plans made of Jello!

We thought we'd get out of town early since we had most everything loaded and the toad was hooked up to the motor home.  Those last minute details just kept popping up!  I literally mopped my way out the door!  We wanted to take enough time to make sure we didn't forget anything and 200 miles down the road, wonder if something was done or forgotten.

Anyway about 10:30 as we were pulling out, the Realtor was pulling in showing the house.

That leaking tire we discovered on Thursday was still leaking.  It's a slow leak but enough to concern us.  Al had tightened the valve and monitor thinking maybe he hadn't quite gotten it tight the last time.  Unfortunately that wasn't the problem because it was down to about 76 pounds yesterday morning.

First stop, Russell Tire.  We got a nice young man to look at it. I explained that unless we knew exactly what the problem was, that I would worry :)  We thought we needed a new valve stem.  He checked the tire over carefully and put some soap around the rim and valve.  He wasn't convinced that was where the leak was coming from and kept looking.  He finally discovered the cause.

The seam on these valve stem extensions had broken.  Probably from over tightening it or banging the wheel cover against it trying to put it back on.   Lesson learned.

An hour and a half later and $40 poorer, we left there to go get the propane filled. Our local guy that was going to bring it to the house, never quite made it.

We'd gotten propane at this place years ago and didn't realize they must have changed the parking lot around and no way could we pull in there and get back out without unhooking the toad.  We got that done and hooked back up and we were finally ready to leave town about 1:00pm.  We were already tired.  I had gotten up at 3am yesterday morning and by this time, I was needing a nap.

Our plan was to head about 100 miles to Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park (where we had reservations).  

A little while later we word that my Mother was having some medical issues.  The call was from an aunt in North Carolina who talked to her sister in Tampa that was with Mom.  We weren't able to find out what was going on, so we decided to head on down to Tampa.  Poor Al was tired already and didn't really feel like driving all day.

Part way down, we finally got a call from the Aunt in Tampa and Mom had just had a weak spell at the doctor and she was fine.  The doctor had ruled out some serious issues and was sending her for another test.  

We decided we would never make it to Tampa before dark and decided to stay at the Escapee Park in Bushnell Florida.  It's only about 60 miles from Tampa.  

We got to Sumpter Oaks Rv park in Bushnell about 5:20.  They were very friendly  and the park is nice and clean.  We got into a pull through sight so we didn't even have to un-hook the toad.  We were invited to a  jam session and sloppy joe dinner at the club house.  We sure would have liked to have gone for the food because we were exhausted by that time....but we were both just TOO UGLY.  It was way beyond just putting on a hat and calling it good.  We decided to stay home and see what we could find that was easy.

The Nuwave oven saved us again. I took some chicken tenders from the freezer and dusted them with a McCormick country style seasoning and threw them in the oven.  You can't really screw up those tenders and the Nuwave did it's usual thing.  They were delicious.  Got to get some more of that stuff.  I put them on some sandwich rounds and added a piece of cheese and tomato and we had a nice dinner.  That and a few glasses of wine for me and beer for Al, we were happy.

The cats settled down and even Medium and Dolly are back to normal after their traumatic day.  

I had forgotten how comfortable our new memory foam mattress is and the bed felt SO good.

This morning we're going to shower and head over to the community center for a breakfast.  We really like it here!  Wish we could stay longer, but we'll head to Tampa a little later and get to Silver Dollar Resort a day earlier than planned.

I haven't gotten any pictures of the campground, but will try to get some later this morning. It's pretty full.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Try Again?

After we decided yesterday to postpone our departure we brought a few things back down from the motor home to the house.  A little counterproductive, but we just got a few things that we needed.

The trouble is, all throughout the evening, we kept thinking of other things we needed.  We brought the coffee pot back down (we'd sold the rv coffee pot at a garage sale), but we forgot the coffee!  Then Al remembered his blood pressure pills.  We were able to find one in the house.  Then I realized I needed to take my contacts out....uh oh, the lens solution is in the motor home!

One thing we hadn't considered was the fact that we had "de-winterized" the motor home, thinking we would be leaving.  The only think we did was put some fresh water in the tank.  I had not turned on the faucets or flushed the toilet, so we think the lines are still full of anti-freeze.  Al drained the fresh water tank again, and we're hoping all is well.

Our Realtor called yesterday evening and said someone is showing the house this morning between 10 and 11 am. That's one way to get us up and moving quickly this morning!

 The Realtor for the young couple that was going to "make an offer on Tuesday", still thinks they are still going to make an offer.  That's fine...take your about April?  That would work well with our schedule!

I woke up about 3am today and my mind started racing thinking about what we were going to do today.  I decided to just get up so I'd have plenty of time to drink my coffee and read my blogs.  I need my coffee/blog time!

The two PITA's are up in the motorhome.  I hope they're warm enough.  Many people probably think we're crazy for putting up with them, but when we took them in it was for life.  They are actually good kitties, but they still have that fear deep inside them and that may never change.  Many feral cats lose that wildness pretty quickly, but some don't.  If we hadn't taken them in, they would both have certainly been dead long ago.  So when we take an animal, we commit to them, despite their flaws.

We think we'll be able to leave town fairly early today.  We hooked up the toad last night, so that's one more chore done.  We just need to wait for daylight to get started.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Plan B

Okay, plan A isn't working too well.  It's 2pm and we aren't ready to go.  We decided to stay put tonight and leave early tomorrow (yeah right).

  We had a problem getting two of the kitties (Dolly Parton and Medium) loaded into the motor home.  They sense when something is going on and get scared.  Once that happens we have a hard time catching them.  They were feral cats and sometimes that wildness stays with them a long, long time.  They are now both drugged and safely inside the motor home where they'll stay tonight.  I'm not too worried about them getting cold, but we will leave the heat on for them.

We are almost ready but with it getting dark so early and since we want  to try to find some propane on the way, we decided the heck with it.  We'll go out and have a nice lunch somewhere and maybe even a nap when we get home.  We don't want to drive and night and prefer to have a good margin in case of any problems.  Since we're leaving for a few months, we don't want to rush and forget something important.

I called the campground and told them we're delayed.

I guess this is what they mean when they say plans are set in Jello!

Today's the Day

Well today we will finally start our trip south to Florida.  It's not like going to Florida is such a big deal since we're only about 30 miles to the state line anyway!  We're heading southeast and only going about 100 miles.

We have to catch the kitties (remember Medium and Dolly Parton?)  I wanted to get them into the motor home yesterday, but it was just too cold and I didn't want them to freeze.  They both have planted themselves on the bed on top of the electric blanket.  I've been leaving it on for them all day because they're all such wienies!  It seems to make Medium lazy and almost like he's been drugged.  Drugged is good for him, because I'm fixin (that's a Georgia word) to give him a tranquilizer.    Yes, I know they're spoiled, but they're Florida kitties and not used to this cold weather :)

We still have a lot of stuff to do today before we are ready to go but we wanted to at least wait for daylight.  The temperature is 29!

We're hoping to get some propane on the way.  There is a place on the way, but unless the owner is there at the time, no one can pump it.  We're hoping he will be there when we come by, but we aren't sure when that will be.  Our gauge inside shows full, but the tank gauge shows 1/2 full.  So we're not sure how much we really have and with the cold temps, we want to get it topped off.  We had hoped the local propane company could have gotten here to give us a fill-up, and they said they would when they were in the area.

I guess it's time to get some breakfast and get started....lots to do.

Florida here we come!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Good Thing We Have a Tire Pressure Monitor

We checked the tires on the motor home and truck several days ago.  Several of them needed some air due to the cooler temperatures, so Al got them all aired up to around 90 psi.

This morning, I turned on the TST Tire Pressure monitor and noticed that one rear tire was down to 60 pounds. It looked okay visually but we confirmed it was actually only 60 pounds.  If we hadn't had the tire monitoring system, we would have assumed the tires were all fine since we'd just checked them.

Al thinks he may not have gotten the monitor properly tightened the last time. It's in kind of a tricky place and is a little hard to work on.  We needed longer valve stems. Another thing for our list, I guess.  So I guess if we hadn't had the monitor, we wouldn't have had the problem.  We're going to watch it and hopefully we don't have some kind of leak.

I finally got our roadside assistance set up today.  I hope I'm finished spending money for a little while.  I was going to go back to Good Sams because I'd seen an ad for $79.  When I called, I was told that was for new customers only.  I said, okay, I'll think about it and I'm also checking out Coach Net (thinking she would drop the price).  She said fine, so I went online and found Coach Net for $89 with an Escapee Discount.  Good Sams wanted $112.95.    Wouldn't you have thought they would want to keep an existing (but expired) customer?  Last year they called me all the time and I finally renewed at a discounted rate.  Oh well, at least we have the coverage again.

We're running around here trying to get everything loaded, cleaned, stashed, and sorted.  We don't want to leave valuables or personal property laying around since we may have some home showings.  The problem is what do you do with it all?

Al needs to clean out the gutters (meant to do it last week, but too many appointments), load the bikes and kayaks and get all the outside chores done.  We decided to shut off the power to the well, and drain the pipes in the house as best as we can.  I'm leaving the heat turned down to 50 or 60.  Hopefully we won't have any frozen pipes.

I've been busy going through the house looking for stuff I want with me...and I'm finding a LOT of STUFF!  Unfortunately, I'm running out of places to put things in the motor home.

I guess I should really get back to work.  My break is over.

Tomorrow's the Day

I can't believe it's here already, but we're leaving for Tampa tomorrow, and boy have we got a lot to do first!

I guess we'll start moving into it today and spend the night there tonight. That way everything we need will be in one place. We're trying to conserve propane as much as possible.  

In a motor home the propane tanks can't be removed and you have to take the motor home to get the tanks refilled.  That can be a bit of a hassle so we try to avoid it as much as possible.  We bought an "Extend a Stay" kit from Camping World a long time ago.  Our understanding is that you can attach a portable propane tank to it, and your motor home can run off of that portable tank.  We've never used it so we aren't sure it will even work.  It looks like we'll be needing lots of propane for out furnace the next week or two!  Can anyone give me their experience with an "Extend a Stay"?

I have to finish loading the motor home today and clean the house.  Al is finishing up clearing out the storage shed.  He has to load the bikes and kayaks and find some room for an extra propane tank and some firewood.  He was smart and took some firewood to Tampa last month when he was there.  Once we get to Tampa, we'll have plenty, but we're not going directly there.  

Today will be a very busy day!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Cold Front and Thousand Trails

The southeast has been hit with a cold front that extends deep into Florida.  That's not good news for us, since we're heading to Tampa!

We woke up to 28 degrees, and Tampa is 37.  Unfortunately the extended forecast in Tampa doesn't get much better. This is very unusual for December.

This cold weather is making it a little more difficult to get last minute things done. We need to de-winterize the motor home, but can't until we're ready to leave.  I'd like to move into the motor home tomorrow, cats and all.  That way I could get the house cleaned up now instead of waiting until the last minute, but I don't want to burn up all of our propane.  I guess we'll get it all figured out.

Howard from Rv Dreams posted a blog about Thousand Trails camping club.  I had never checked them out and had heard they were expensive with lots of fees.  Howard said they have a new "zone" option for $499 annually, and that until the end of the year, the initial enrollment fee will be waived.  After that year you can either continue your membership or cancel with 60 days notice.  Hmmmm?  With a zone membership you can stay for free for up to 30 days.  After 30 days, you can stay for $3 a night.  Hmmmm..  I went to the website for more info.  Here are the different zones.  Notice there are many states with no rv parks and most don't have many, even Florida and Arizona.

There are four zones to choose from.

I think the southeast zone would work best for us.  There are some restrictions which I think we could live with, but the number of campgrounds is limited.  There are only three in the entire state of Florida.

Here are the restrictions I copied from their website:

In general you can stay up to 14 consecutive days at a time and wait seven days before beginning your next stay. If you stay less than four nights at one resort, you are allowed a consecutive stay at the next resort without having to observe the seven-day rest period. Within these guidelines, your pass provides you with unlimited camping all year long!

I did a live chat with "Jessica" who was very helpful.  Here is what she told me.

Normally the "enrollment fee" is $5000 and annual dues are between $550-600!  Now I remember why we never joined!   I remember reading about people who purchased memberships and sold them, but the transfer fees were very high.

They are celebrating their 40th anniversary and have waived the $5000 and annual dues are $499.  She assured me that was all the tax, no additional charges.  (we'll see)  She also said next years dues would only be $499.

There are certain sites available for Thousand Trail members only and you can reserve them 60 days in advance.  She checked and found there are still sites available in Florida in February.  

For an additional $199 you can get either a Florida or Arizona "Max" pass.  That will buy you 4 additional resorts in Arizona and 6 in Florida.  One of those resorts in Florida  is in the Keys.  I checked the rate and for February the monthly rate is normally $2130 to $2865!  I imagine all those sites are booked!

I still want to do more research and see what people that have the membership think about it, but it might be a good deal for us.  The $499 breaks down to $17 a night and after 30 days, we'd only pay $3.  The main issue I see is lack of campgrounds.  You'd have to plan your journey around them.  

Anybody out there have any thoughts or experiences, good or bad?

I can see more research is needed.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Change of Plans

We decided to change our plans for our stay in Florida.  We had reservations at Hillsborough River State Park, which is one of our favorite campgrounds in the area.  We decided to head south about a week earlier so we still needed a place to stay from the 12th through the 20th.  Campgrounds get pretty booked in Florida in the winter, so we decided we'd better get something going.

We decided to cancel our previous plans and stay the entire time at Silver Dollar Resort in Odessa, Florida.  It's only about 7-8 miles from my Mom's house and closer to the Gulf.  Mom has been having some health issues, so we felt this would be better since it's close to her house.  That way she can easily come visit us and vice versa.  It's a little pricey, but it was the cheapest we found.  The rates are $23 a night, but then you have to add the $48 resort fee and the 11% Florida taxes and resort fees.  That's why Florida is so cheap for residents as far as vehicle registration...they get the tourists!

Silver Dollar Resort only has about 25 rv sites now as most of the sites have been purchased and mobile homes have been put on them.  Evidently it was bought by a large company a few years ago.  I think we'll be happy though. It's a pretty place and very close to to the Gulf.  They have big trap and skeet tournaments there frequently and one is ending on the 12th.  We were concerned about the noise scaring the cats, but we'll be on the other side of the road, so hopefully there won't be too much noise.  Here is a satellite picture of the resort.  We've driven through it before and liked it, but not for a while.  I hope we'll be happy there. Hey, what am I talking about...we're always happy when we're in the motor home!

We worked on packing up the motor home yesterday and getting things organized around here. We are planning on leaving Thursday, but we have so much to do, I don't know if we'll make it or not :)

Unfortunately the weather is not cooperating.  We have a cold front and we're supposed to get into the low 20's tonight.  It would be easier is we could just move up to the motor home, but with the cold temps, we'd have to run the propane for heat and we don't want to burn up all our propane.

We're getting down to the wire!   I wish I could say that it will be nice and warm in Tampa, but the cold front has reached all the way down to central Florida too!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Our Last Garage Sale

Saturdays garage sale is our last one, or at least  for a while.

The morning started out pretty cold, so we bundled up and headed out to start our garage sale.  I managed to get out of the house with only one contact lens in each eye!   We were hoping since it is the first of the month, we'd have a lot of business.  The weather warmed up nicely so it was a beautiful day for a garage sale.

Unfortunately, half the town had the same idea and there were garage sales everywhere!  It brought a lot of people out, but gave us some competition.  We didn't get much traffic for the first few hours.

We slashed prices because we kept thinking, if we don't sell this, we have to either take it home or to Good Will.   We started out slow, but ended up having a fairly good day and sold $125 worth.  Considering the low prices we did pretty well.  We got rid of lots of stuff, but unfortunately, not all of it.

We sold the last two Christmas trees.  Yea!!!  We no longer have any Christmas decorations, except for the few I kept to decorate the motor home.  We sold all the small appliances we had there.

I brought an old goose down comforter that was pretty beat up, but I gave it to the Mexican lady across the street.  She appears to be dirt poor and I figured a nice warm down comforter would be nice for her.  She also got some jeans and sweaters.

We went home and gave the motor home a bath.  It was to be our last warm day before we leave, so we got that chore done.

Now we have to clean out the shed before we leave and that's not going to be fun.  A lot of what's left is going to Good Will.

Another long busy day down!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Busy Friday

I had to go back to the eye doctor yesterday to check on the contacts they had me in.  They gave me some multi focal lenses to try and warned me we may need to try a few different strengths.

I put my contacts in yesterday morning.  Now, remember, this is the first time I've ever worn two contacts.  Normally I just wear one contact in my right eye. I put the contacts in and the right one felt really uncomfortable.

I finally decided I' was going to have to remove it. Once I did I tried cleaning it and it came apart....into two contacts!  What?  How could this have happened?  I had no clue...until I got to the doctors office and I decided to check my left eye...yep, no contact there!  Like a dummy I put them both into the right eye!  No wonder it didn't feel right.

Al told me, "I bet you won't post that to your blog!"  He thought I'd never tell what a dumb thing I did, but hey, we're all friends here, right?

Once I talked to the doctor, we decided to go back to the mono lens contact, but he wanted me to try a little correction in the left eye for distance.  He increased the strength in the right eye (for closeup) and sent me on my way to try this new prescription.  I think it's going to work out well.  Those multi focal lenses really bothered me.  I got headaches and was nauseous.   I just have to go back Monday and he'll write me a prescription.  I don't have enough time to get any more while we're here.

We finally got Al his eReader yesterday.  We had been back and forth on them and even bought the Sony 300.  He liked it real well, but it only had a 5inch screen, no dictionary, and only 3 font sizes.  My 600 has 6 font sizes and sometimes that larger print comes in handy.  We found the 600 on sale at Office Depot for $149 and a nice cover with built in light for $19.99.  So he's finally happy and can quit whining :)

We went to the bread store and stocked up on bread.  Thomasville is the headquarters for Flowers Foods, which makes most of the bread you eat.  Check on the back of your loaf of bread...good chance it's from Flowers in Thomasville, Georgia!  They have a wonderful little (cheap) bread store.  They were trying to almost give away dinner rolls yesterday....25 cents a box!

We discovered these wonderful little Nature's Own Sandwich Rounds a while back.  

We got them for 50 cents a package!  If you haven't tried them, give them a try.  They are so good!  They make wonderful hamburger buns, are great for egg salad sandwiches and even just as toast.  They don't look very good, but they are so good!  We stocked up on breads and will freeze some.  I hate paying store prices for bread when we have found them so cheap at the bread store.

We spent most of the day running errands in town, but when we came home, we had a package on the porch.  Our surge protector was waiting for us.  I ordered it Wednesday and we had it Friday.  Now, that's good service!   Thanks Lawrence Rv for such great service.  The unit was much bigger than I had pictured.  It's a solid piece of equipment, pretty heavy and appears to be solidly built.  We'll give it a try today at our connection at the house.  

Today is our last garage sale.  I have mixed feelings about that.  The extra money is nice and we're getting rid of lots of stuff, but it's going to be cold today!  Once we're finished today, we'll start cleaning out the storage shed.  Some stuff will go to Good Will and the rest home to our garage.  Once we get back home, we'll start having our sales at the house and see how that goes.  I think we probably have attracted more customers being in town than we will at the house which is about 5 miles from town.  We may end up renting another shed if we don't get any business.  But for now, we're just about done garage sale'ing for a while!

Friday, December 03, 2010

One More Chore Done

This has been a busy (and expensive) week.  We ordered the energy management system  and new fire extinguishers already.

My projects for Thursday were to be Emergency Roadside Service since we'd let Good Sam's lapse, and decide on a mail service.  We decided to go ahead and get a mail service now, since we'll be needing one when we start full timing anyway.  We couldn't figure out a better (cheaper) way to handle our mail while we're gone.  The Post office has their version of the mail service for snowbirds, however it was way too expensive.  It cost $13.95 a week!

From my post a few days ago I got comment with a good recommendation from Jeff & Barbie regarding a mail service.  They use My Rv Mail, out of Crestview, Florida.  I checked  them out and liked them and the price was right. Thanks Jeff and Barbie.  Check out their blog, it's interesting!

I called My Rv Mail to ask a few questions and ended up talking with Kirt.  He took care of me right over the phone and I signed up for the 3 month gold service plan.  With the Passport America discount, it cost  $67.50 for the 3 month (cheaper if you pay annually or semi-annually), plus $30 initial postage deposit, plus $25 set up fee.  They have a website where you can see exactly what mail they have for you.  You can check what you want sent or trashed and update the address where you want your mail to come to.  You can update your information on the web 24/7.  For $2.50 they will scan a letter so you can read it immediately. I think they will work out very well.  We just have to send in some post office required forms and we'll be all set up.  We already have our new Florida address.

When Kirt called me back after I emailed him for help logging onto their site, I noticed the called id said, Passport America.  I checked and Passport America is also in Crestview, so I'm assuming it's run by the same person. I've been extremely happy with Passport America, so I feel sure we made a good decision.

Here is their pricing schedule for the Gold Plan with a discount if you're a Passport America member.

You can see I would have saved quite a bit if I'd have gotten the 12 month service.  Once we're on the road, we'll do that, but for now I'll go with the 3 month and renew month by month if needed.  They have a bronze, silver, and gold plan, but we went with the gold, which is the most expensive.

I never did get around to the ERS.  I'm leaning towards Coach Net because they have tech support.  Sometimes it's nice to have someone to call for help.  As long as we get it done before we leave, we're okay.

We had to take our little old kitty  Socks, to the vet today.  She has a thyroid problem and it's not under control.  She had some bloodwork done and her medication adjusted.  $213 poorer, we took her home :)  She's our oldest kitty at 19, we think she's 19, but we're not exactly sure.

Al was busy this afternoon.  He changed the oil on the motor home.  We're hoping to get it washed before we go, but the temperature is only getting into the mid 60's, so we'll see.

We had a really good dinner tonight.  We cooked some steaks on the Nuwave oven and boy did it do a good job.  I threw some potatoes in the regular oven and some fresh green beans on the Nuwave grill with the steaks and everything turned out great.  That's unusual for me!

We cooked hot dogs on it for lunch and they were very good too, so we've  decided we're going to leave our grill home.  We haven't cooked a burger on the Nuwave yet, but have we figure if it cooks a good steak, it'll cook a good burger. We see no reason to bring the grill. We may even sell it.  With the Nuwave you don't have to worry about the steaks flaring up. No smoke, no fire and the outside doesn't get that awfully hot.  You can touch it for a second or two without burning your hand. I like that better than the open flame of our gas stove and oven.  You set the timer for the desired number of minutes and walk away.  It beeps, you turn the food over and walk away until you hear the beep again.  You may need to adjust the cooking a few more minutes, but for the most part you don't even have to think about it.  Boy were those steaks tender.  Of course they were fillets, so they would be tender anyway.  So the Nuwave is replacing the toaster, toaster oven and probably the grill.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Safety Equipment

We finally broke down and made a few purchases that we've been needing for a while.

We have been told that it's a good idea to have some sort of voltage protection system that will protect the rv from damage due to either high or low voltage at campgrounds.  You can have an issue with the pedestal as soon as you plug in, or with surges. You just don't know who has been working on the electricity at these campgrounds.  I remember a claim I handled once, where someone's rv was damaged due to faulty wiring that had just been repaired.  It turned out the campground handled the damage, but you never know.

 Either way, your expensive electronics can be damaged before you have any warning.  We decided on a Progressive plug in unit and ordered it from Lawrence Rv after we spoke to him today.  He and his wife are full timers and have been selling these units for 8 years.  He was recommended on Rv-Net Forum and is a vendor at many rally's.

We ordered one and he was kind enough to send it priority shipping to be sure we got it before we leave next Thursday.  They make them in either 30 or 50 amp and plug in or hard wired. We decided against the hard wired because we didn't want anything else to have to install.  We can lock it onto the pedestal to prevent theft.  You plug it into the campground pedestal, give it 2 minutes to check and if everything is ok, your rv power comes on. If there is a problem it will give you an error code telling you what the problem is. It automatically shuts down power if the power voltage gets over 132 or under 104.  I understand rv air conditioners are particularly sensitive to surges.

$259 out the door.  One more needed item purchased.


The next important thing I ordered was some good quality fire extinguishers.  We have the cheapies that you buy at Walmart.  I think they're the kind that leave a powdered mess all over if you use them.  I remember a small oven fire in the house years ago where I chose to use one and what a mess it made of my kitchen!  I seriously would hesitate to use one again for that reason.

Anyway, we got these from Mac the Fire guy.  He's another one I found from Rv-net forum and he also attends many rv rally's.

We bought the fire safety kit for $150..out the door. Couldn't get a photo but it consists of 3 little extinguishers and one larger refillable one.  There is a lot of good info on this website and I would encourage everyone to read it.

You don't want this to happen to you!

 He also sells automatic units that you can mount in your refrigerator or engine compartment.  They activate automatically if the temperature gets over 280 degrees.  They are a little pricey though...although not as pricey as a new motor home, or death!

I still need to renew our Emergency Roadside Assistance.  It's expired and I haven't bothered to renew since we haven't gone anywhere.  I've debated between Good Sams (where we've been) or Coach Net.  I just didn't feel  like spending anymore money though.  Maybe tomorrow.

We're counting down until we leave and we really have a lot to do.  One step at a time, I guess.  I almost need a house looker to light a fire under me!