Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Al went for his annual physical. He had previously gotten his blood work done, so today was an EKG, and the dreaded prostrate exam. No sympathy from me on that one :) He got good results from his physical. His cholesterol and triglycerides levels were down to a normal range. Yea!
I've been doing some research on mail forwarding services and the best state for our domicile, or home state. We have tentatively planned on making Florida as our home base once we start fulltiming, and we're thinking that maybe we will just come here to Georgia for our yearly physical instead of trying to find another doctor. We never really had a good GP in Tampa. It's pretty much on the way anywhere we will be going, so that may be an option. We feel we get better care with a small town doctor. He's almost like Marcus Welby! One more thing to think about in the process of living fulltime in an Rv.
As far as mail forwarding services, I would like to use Escapees because they are set up and run by full timers and know what we will need. The only issue is that they are based in Texas and we would have a Texas mailing address. I can see an issue with our insurance company if we have a mailing address in Texas and vehicle registration and drivers licenses in Florida. I know a lot of people manage this with a Texas mailing address and another state home base, but I don't think I want to hassle with it. I also checked into Good Sam's mail forwarding service, which is based out of Pensacola, Florida. I think that may be our best bet. We really are Floridians anyway, having lived there so long.
There is a good amount of information on both the Escapees and the Good Sams website, for anyone looking into the full timing lifestyle.
All of this stuff is premature, until the house sells, but once it sells, I want to be prepared because I'm sure it will be pretty hectic.
Today is the day the people who came to see our house were going to "make an offer." The more I think about that, the more skeptical I become. I'm not going to hold my breath. In fact selling right now would sure mess up our wonderful plans we have for the winter! Our warm temperatures are leaving us and we're expected to get a cold front. Today it's supposed to get up to 77 for the high and Wednesday up to 57. That's quite a drop. It might not sound cold to people in North Dakota, but trust me, with our humidity, it's cold! So I think it's time to head south!
Monday, November 29, 2010
We're getting anxious to head south, but still don't know if our "prospect" is going to come through or not. The last we heard we might be getting an offer on the house on Tuesday (tomorrow). We're sure not counting on anything, but it's still in the back of our minds. Of course a contract on the house would completely change our plans. We're anxious to get to Florida and have some fun! We haven't done much fun lately and Al and I like to play!
For right now, we're going on the assumption that we are heading south on December 9th. We still have a gap as far as a place to stay from the 11th through the 19th. I had looked into a few possibilities, but decided not to reserve anything until after Tuesday, just in case. Of course that probably has jinxed us!
I always like to comment on things that I find that I really like, so here's another one. Have any of you watched the tv show "Glee?" We had heard about it and it's quite popular and has won numerous awards. We got the first few episodes from season one from Netflix and are hooked.. It's about a high school glee club. Sounds boring, but it's really very good. They sing and dance and are amazing!
Here's a video clip of one of my favorite songs. I don't know how they made this video, but I thought it was pretty good.
Today, we plan to clean house, start preparing and packing the motor home, and prepare for a house showing, or a sale! Phew!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
A few weeks ago we went ahead and signed up for Directv's Distance Network Service. I was a little confused about it, but now I think I've about got it figured out. For an extra $15 a month, we will be able to get CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox when we travel away from here. Currently when we go just a few miles from home, and get away from the "spot beam", we lose those channels from our Directv satellite. I was told it would take between 14 and 45 days to get it started, and a lot of people had a lot of trouble getting it done.
I know we could just put up our antenna and pick up the local over the air channels, but Al and I have become spoiled after having our Tivo. We don't watch commercials, unless on a rare occasion a cute one sneaks by. Al prefers to watch his football game at least half an hour after they start, so that he can watch the game at his own pace and skip the commercials. He can watch the play again only if he chooses and can slow mo, pause, or back up anytime he wants. If we used our antenna for over the air channels, we'd lose the ability to buzz past commercials, pause or rewind live tv. We're spoiled, so the extra $15 is worth it to have our Tivo all the time.
I've been checking to see if we got the DNS service connected, and today I found it had been done. That's one more step in the process of becoming fulltime rv'ers. All I had to do is fill out a special waiver that I got directly from the Directv website and send a copy of the Motorhome registration. It only took a few weeks to get it set up. There is some kind of law stating you can only get this DNS service if you are mobile. The DNS channels are located in the 380's.
Our Saturday garage sale went pretty well after getting off to a very slow start. At one point I wondered if we'd get over $10. It was cold, upper 30's but damp and windy. We almost froze! We did some price slashing and managed to get rid of one Christmas tree and decorations and a several small kitchen appliances. We felt good when we left, and made about $72. Not much money, but we got rid of a lot of stuff. We also took a few boxes and dropped them off at Goodwill. Next Saturday will be our last sale at the storage lot, unless we get a contract on the house and then I don't know what we'll do. The advantage to having the sales in town is we attract a lot of drive by traffic that we wouldn't get at our home in the country.
We talked to a guy today that told us about a local man in town that buys furniture and household items for resale. He will come to your house and make you an offer for everything. I'm sure he won't pay top dollar, but it may be something to think about if we get in a jam. If we were smart we would stay here for the winter and sell more stuff, but we just hate it here in the winter. It's just too cold for our thin blood! We may live to regret that decision, but Florida here we come!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
We thought about having a garage sale yesterday but the weather didn't cooperate so we gave up on that idea.
We headed out to the Thomasville which is the next town over. We decided to have some lunch before we went to the eye appointments.
Al was due for new eyeglasses and I was due to get an updated prescription for my mono-vision contact lens. I've tried prescription glasses on two occasions and just can't wear them, so I just use a contact lens in my right eye for reading. My left eye sees the distance and my right eye sees up close. It's worked out real well for me. I also use the little readers from Walmart when I'm not wearing my contacts. The doctor wanted me to try multi focus lenses and wear one in each eye. I'm trying them, but not only are they much more expensive, and I'll have to wear 2 lenses So far, they are giving me a headache. We have to go back next week so I'll see if they will work. I may just go back to the single contact lens.
We're trying to get all the last minute things done before we head to Tampa. We've been getting dental appointments done, and Al is getting his physical next week. I'm having to wait until spring for mine. We'll be leaving two weeks from yesterday, of course that's unless we get a contract on the house, then everything changes!
We're down to only two more garage sales. We're not sure what kind of turnout we'll have today, but we're going to give it a try. If we don't get many people, we'll close down early.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
We got some interesting news from our Realtor a few days ago. Apparently the young woman who came to look at the house is interested. Supposedly they are going to make an offer on Tuesday. I have no idea why Tuesday is the day, or what's going on. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens. It could very easily be a lowball offer, or they could make us a good offer and want us to be out before Christmas! A part of me wants everything to be put on hold so that it doesn't mess up our winter plans. A contract in March would be about perfect!
Our run of beautiful weather has continued, but unfortunately some humidity has returned. I think it's about over though and we'll be getting a little cooler in a few days.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Our run of warm weather continues. I actually had to turn on the a/c for a few minutes last night to cool the house down before we went to bed. This morning it’s foggy and 66 degrees. Love this weather!
Yesterday we got some feedback from our 2 home showings last week-end. The first lady wasn’t interested…she wanted a larger pond. The second one (the young woman with the 3 year old) is interested and supposedly they are planning to make an offer on the house without even coming back with her husband! Evidently her husband trusts her judgment on the house and is okay with just seeing the outside property. What can I say about that…they are very young. We’re preparing for a lowball offer, but who knows. A contract on the house would sure cobb up our winter trip to Florida!
Yesterday was spent working around the house. I decided to tackle the refrigerator and kitchen. Al worked on spreading some of the pine straw he’s been picking up. Of course that was after we spend a few hours watching the morning news shows and reading blogs!
We’re still using our NuWave oven frequently. I think it’s going to go down as one of our best purchases ever.
Al has agreed to getting rid of both the toaster and toaster oven since the NuWave does everything they do, and better.
I have taught him about “oven toast.” My Mom always made it for us and it’s so much better than a toaster. You put little pats of butter on the toast…don’t spread it all over and then put it in the oven on broil. Brown the top, turn it over then brown the bottom. It’s really good, but a bit of a pain in the neck, because you have to watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn. The NuWave makes very good oven toast and it’s much easier. You just put it in the oven, set it for 4 minutes and walk away. It’s done perfectly with minimal effort. Nope, we don’t need the toaster or toaster oven anymore!
We ended up using the NuWave for all three meals yesterday.
For breakfast we made sausage biscuits. We just put the precooked sausage and 2 frozen biscuits into the oven for a few minutes. We had to figure out how long to cook them, and we but they turned out good. Another easy meal.
For a light lunch, I wrapped some flour tortilla shells with a slice of havarti cheese inside and stuck them in the oven for a few minutes. The cheese was melted and the shells were slightly crispy. That was our lunch.
Last night, I spread some dry wing mix on some chicken tenders, and cooked them in the NuWave. When they were finished I put some fresh asparagus and broccoli in and roasted them for a few minutes. I had some frozen french fries in the regular oven and our meal was done. Very quick and easy and delicious. Yep, the NuWave has earned it’s space in the Rv. Of course when I actually start using it in the motor home, I’m sure It’ll be in the way a lot, but we’ll manage because it's so handy.
I found that the Nook eReader that Al wants is going to be on sale at Best Buy for $99. Unfortunately it’s an “early bird” special on Friday. We don’t feel like being in Tallahassee at 4am to save a few bucks. Hopefully I can find a good deal on “cyber Monday.” Rick answered my question about the difference on picking up a wifi and 3g signal. Al thought he would like the wifi or 3G eReader because he could also connect to the internet on it, just like a mini computer. He doesn’t care about being able to download ebooks through wifi, just getting on the internet and maybe sending some e-mail. However, after thinking about it, we’ve decided that with the tiny keyboard, it might be a little difficult to navigate the internet on the eReader, so it probably wouldn’t used to surf the internet. However, the wifi only Nook is cheaper than the Sony, so we’ll probably still get that one. He likes it real well and it does allow for downloading from the library, it has an online dictionary, and you can increase the font size. Those were the 3 criteria he wanted.
Now all we have to do it wait and see if the Realtor calls with an offer!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
On the way down to St Marks, I happened to see a bunch of birds flying overhead and several of them were Bald Eagles. We quickly backtracked and found a good place to park while we attempted to take some photos. We got a few pictures of the Eagles, but even with “stalker cam” zoomed out, I was not able to get any real close up shots. I could get zoomed in close, but they were flying around and I couldn’t quite get them. This is about the best I could get. They were just flying too fast to catch them if I zoomed any closer.
After we got to St Marks we went into the Gift shop and bought a few gifts for a favorite aunt.
We spent some time at the refuge and took some photos.
This is a shot of the marsh area. There are a lot of birds out here, and a few gators as well.
This is a huge flock of birds. I think they are some variation of a Morehen
The next is a beautiful Egret.
A scruffy looking Great Blue Heron
A bunch of Pelicans resting.
A few fishermen enjoying the lovely day.
The birthday boy.
We left after a short visit because Al wanted to go to Best Buy to check out a few e-Readers. He liked the “Nook”. It has the correct format (ePub and PDF) to be able to download eBooks directly from the library. The Kindle doesn’t, so that’s out. We much prefer free books from the library to paying $10-$15 for a book. What he liked was that it had a wifi connection. He thought when he was in Tampa for business, he could catch up on his sports stories. It did allow you internet access and emails with the wifi connection. The salesman said the other Nook (more money) had a 3G wifi connection. I’m not exactly understanding for this purpose of the difference between wifi and 3G. Yes, I know I have 3G on my Droid and it’s supposed to be faster. But when you’re just trying to catch a free wifi signal how does your eBook know it can only catch the regular wifi? Rick, I know you can weigh in on that. Is it worth the extra $50 for 3G? How do you connect to 3G verses the regular wifi unless you’re paying for the service through your internet provider?
After we left Best Buy, we headed over to Sams. My brand new camera was $20 less than it was a few weeks ago when I bought it! If anyone wants the Canon IS 30, it’s selling for $349.
We sampled the free food they gave away and bought some good looking steaks and a nice pork loin roast. We may skip the turkey for Thanksgiving this year since we’ve had it 3 times lately.
Next stop was Outback, for Al’s birthday dinner. He got the steak and lobster and I ordered their Wala-hala chicken and pasta dinner. It was delicious and Al really enjoyed his steak and lobster!
I found the missing piece to my tripod, but still haven’t set it up to get a full moon picture. These were taken by just trying to hold the camera steady. The closer you zoom, the harder it is.
I thought this one was interesting.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Our garage sale yesterday was pretty much a waste of time. We made a whopping $53. It may have had something to do with Thanksgiving next week. We did sell a few winter jackets and some more Christmas stuff. I got told that I had my Christmas trees were priced too high because you could get them at the Dollar Store cheaper! I told her maybe she should head over to the Dollar Store before they sold out! I may have to reduce the prices next week. I realized I miscalculated…we only have two more Saturdays before we head south. Not much time and a lot more stuff!
On the way home Al noticed a lot of people raking the pine straw from their yards and since we need some for landscape mulch, he decided to get the truck and see what he could find. He did pretty well, don’t you think?
The moon is full so I went out and tried to get a few more shots. With the camera zoomed as much as it is, even the beating of your heart causes the camera to shake enough to completely miss the moon. I tried to set up my tri-pod but found it is missing a piece and I had nothing to attach it to the camera. I have no idea where the piece might be.
Here are a few of the better shots. At this zoom, it was easy.
At this zoom, it was very difficult. I have a little more zoom left and can get close enough that I can’t even get the entire moon in the picture. Unfortunately, I can’t hold still enough for full zoom.
A couple of leafless pecan trees.
Here are a couple pictures of the motor home dash cover we bought a few weeks back. I promised to post some pictures, but kept forgetting to take them. You are supposed to cut holes for the vents and the computer table, but I haven’t done it yet. I’m afraid I’ll screw it up, so I’ve left it alone for now. The only time I need the vent covers cut is if we’re using the defrost while driving, or we could just move the cover back a little. The computer desk could also be pulled out without cutting the cover. We mainly wanted it to protect the dash from kitty claws, so I’m okay with it like it is…for now at least.
You can see, it fits pretty well.
You can see where the vents are.
Here you can see the computer desk.
It probably would lay down a little better if I cut out the desk. I probably will get Al to do it at some point. He’s a little neater than me with that kind of stuff.
Saturday was another perfect fall day. It was close to 80, clear skies and no wind. More of the same for the next few days :)
Today will be our trip to St Marks for Al’s Geezer National Park pass, so that’s the plan. Then when he gets home, he plans to watch the Bucs play football.
Oh, I forgot to mention. Al loved his “new” E-reader. He was really happy to see he got one for his birthday. I almost felt a little guilty :) Then I decided, to just let him stay happy and not tell him, that he actually opened my old E-reader. Then he turned it on and noticed the books were the books I had already gotten. The jig was up and he got a good laugh out of it. We’ll get him one before we head to Tampa, and hopefully we’ll find a good price on Black Friday.
Friday, November 19, 2010
It's been a busy day. I think it's about time for a nap!
The first showing was a woman in her 40's or 50's. I'm not sure if she had a husband or not but she'd need one for this place. I didn't get the feeling she loved our place.
The second was a young woman/girl with a darling 3 year old girl. They loved it. She took pictures and came back and looked at the house again after walking the property. I'm concerned they probably don't have the money since they are so young. She is married though and hubby is working. Oh well, maybe she has a rich daddy!
Al's on his way home. Today's his 62nd birthday and he's spending it driving. I'm fixing him a pork roast for dinner tonight. It's the first pork roast for the NuWave oven. We like our beef and pork roasts fall apart tender so we usually cook them a long time. We'll see how the NuWave does on this.
We're having another run of gorgeous weather. Beautiful clear blue skies and 70 degrees. It's supposed to warm up during the next few days with no rain predicted. This is my idea of perfect weather.
I'm pulling a dirty trick on Al for his birthday. We've been wanting to get him an E-reader, now that we know we like mine. I've heard they are going to come down in price during the Christmas holidays and black Friday. So I'm going to wrap up mine, and give it to him! Bet he sees through it! We don't make such a big deal of birthdays anymore, since we've both had so many. We buy our presents when we want them and don't wait for a special occasion. I do want to get him an e-reader though but I'd like to get a good deal. We're going to get another Sony PRS 600, like I got. I like it real well and it is the correct format that you can upload free eBooks from the library. I'm too cheap to pay for those books. You'd think eBooks would be cheaper but I don't find that to be the case.
Tomorrow is garage sale Saturday. Need to get rid of lots of stuff!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The fall colors are starting to peak here right now. Al will be back from Tampa tomorrow (his birthday), so we'll have to go for a leaf watching drive. Of course Saturday is garage sale day, so we have to get that out of the way first. Only 3 more sales before we leave for Florida, so we really need to move some stuff!
Sunday we may head down to St Marks National Wildlife Refuge to get Al his "geezer pass." It the senior pass that gets us into all the national parks for free! Yes, there are some advantages to getting older.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Right after I finished my post last night, I was determined to go ahead and restore the phone to the factory defaults and see if that helped.
The reason I hadn't done that earlier or taken the Verizon guy up on his offer for a new phone, is because I have done a lot of customizations to the phone. The phone comes "nekked" and you have to add your programs and customize it like you want it. It really involves a lot of time to get it like you want it. There are 7 home screens! I like the way I have the phone set up. All my email accounts, favorite sites, apps, wallpapers are all set up like I want. If I got a new phone or changed this one, I'd be back to square one. Granted, it would be easier this time, because I now know how I want it, but I really prefer not to if I don't have to. However, I could not deal with the phone like it was!
I was ready to get started on the restore, then I looked at the phone and noticed the thin vinyl cover I placed over the screen to protect it. I had just put on a new one and I had it on a little crooked, so I lifted it and straightened it. When I did that I got some air bubbles underneath it, so I locked the phone and tried to press out the air bubbles. I got to wondering if all that pressing may have affected the very sensitive touch screen. It was worth a shot, so I removed the cover and waited. No more problems....for a few minutes. Then it went crazy again.
In the meantime, Rick made another comment wondering why the guy at Verizon didn't know about this problem. Rick suggested I Google "Droid Possessed." I did that and found lots of issues with the exact same issue. I'm tempted to call them back and tell them where to look!
It appeared that some of the Apps I had installed may have caused the problems. I had already un-installed several Apps, but I decided to go back a little further and delete a few more. It shows the dates they were installed, so I tried to think back to when the problem started and get rid of any in that time frame. That appears to have been the problem. I haven't had any problems yet, but I haven't had the phone on too long this morningt. At least the phone didn't wake me up last night "working."
So far, so good!
Thanks again Rick! I had previously tried to find some comments about the phone problems, but didn't key in the correct search word. (well actually, I misspelled possessed!) For some reason Google couldn't find pocessesed!
If anyone out there is thinking about getting a Droid, I would still recommend it. I really do love it and Al does too. It's helped us out so many times. The free GPS is great and fun to use because you can see a satellite view. I love having my emails pop up when I get a new one and I love being able to see the weather and stock market anytime I like. One other thing I have gotten into the habit of doing is read blogs on it before I get out of bed in the morning. I usually wake up around 4am and turn on the tv until I fall back asleep. Yeah, Al just loves that little habit of mine :) Since I've gotten the Droid, I will get it and read my blogs. Sometimes I have to wait until Rick gets his posted around 5am!
So far, so good! Thanks again Rick!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I was talking on the phone (land line) to my friend Carol. The Droid was sitting on the couch next to me when it started going crazy. It pulled up my contacts, selected Carol and started to call her, changed its mind and then called Al instead. He answered and I had to put Carol on hold so that I could tell Al that I didn't call him, Droid did! He got a kick out of that. When I hung up with him, and got back to Carol, Droid decided to call Carol. It came through her phone as call waiting, she answered and got Droid. Crazy thing.
It mostly just likes to play with the calculator though. It was typing "log, log" into the calculator. I don't know how it did that because there are no letters on the keypad, just numbers. One time it was on the browser and started typing what looked like a telephone number. It never did fill in the last digit. I was writing the number down with the intention of calling it to see who the number belonged to. I still may give it shot.
The phone reminds me of then I worked at USAA and would have computer problems. We'd call our tech support in Texas and they would often take over our computer and fix it. You'd be sitting there watching them work on your computer and could see everything they typed and everywhere they went. This is exactly like that.
I have un-installed some of my most recent apps to see if that was the problem. I changed virus programs, and everything else I could think of. I don't want to restore my settings to factory default because I will lose all my "stuff." I finally called Verizon and the guy had never really heard of any problems of this kind with Droid but he was just reading some sort of screen. I told him I had heard that this has been happening to others, but he didn't know anything about that. He offered to send me another phone, I declined for now. That would also mean I would lose all my settings and apps. I un-installed a few more things. If that doesn't work I will have to go back to factory settings. If that doesn't work, I'll have to get another phone.
We've got 1 1/2 inches of rain overnight, along with a brief tornado warning, a few tornado watches and several marine warnings. It wasn't a good night sleep with the weather radio going off. I knew it was going to rain and decided to leave the motor home slides out to see if they leaked. First thing this morning I went up and checked and 3 of the 4 areas of concern were dry. The other one was just a little damp. I felt pretty good about even though we still seem to have a small problem.
As I'm sitting here typing, Droid just went to the calculator screen on its own. I see the X key being hit, now the clear, division, division and plus. back and forth a few times. I just put it back on the home screen and now it's going nuts Okay, that's enough....factory default reset it is!
Monday, November 15, 2010
I'm going to video it and prove it :)
My Droid phone occasionally has a life of its own. It's like someone is using all the features on my phone from somewhere else and I just standby and watch.
The calculator will come on and do all kinds of calculations. Then a browser opens and it seems like someone is searching for websites. It's not just me accidentally hitting a key by mistake. A LOT of keys are being hit and a lot of things are happening. My settings are being changed too. If I try to do something like to to the home screen, it immediately goes back somewhere else. It's really, really strange and it's happening more frequently.
My first thought was that somehow someone is on their own computer, working and my Droid is picking it up. I have a wifi button on the phone. I disabled it.
I don't know how to report the problem to Verizon. Hey Mr. Verizon guy, a gremlin has control of my phone and won't let me play with it.
This has happened quite frequently and appears to be happening more and more. Usually I have to turn off the phone to get it to stop.
It just happened a few minutes ago. I had the phone on the couch next to me. I wasn't touching it and it started going crazy.
Okay...there it goes again...checking balance,, linked phone profiles. entering a message. L. It typed the letter L. Then it stopped. I hit the home screen and it's okay now. This all happened while it was sitting on the couch next to me!
The other night, it was being charged and it started doing things and actually woke me up with all the clicking.
Okay Rick....see if you can solve THIS one!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
We visited it last month when we were in the area and loved it, so we felt a few nights there would be nice. It will break up our long trip south. We were able to get reservations for December 9th and 10th, but the week-end was booked. So we'll leave on Saturday (not my first choice) but we haven't found a place to stay after that. Al's heading to Tampa tomorrow, so he'll check out a few rv parks north of Tampa. If we can't find something, I guess we'll have to go visit some friends who have big yards :)
Saturday, November 13, 2010
We're actually starting to feel like we're making progress with our purging. I was thinking of some of the things we no longer own and the list is actually quite long. Of course we still own 4 Christmas trees. No one has shown any interest in them yet, but we're hoping as it gets closer to Christmas, they'll sell. We plan on keeping one little one for the motor home. Most of our Christmas decorations are gone though.
We have several "regulars" that come just about every week. One lady we've gotten to know hasn't bought much and was just laid off from her job at Goodwill. It turns out she was a 9-11 survivor. She was in one of the Twin Towers that day. She was so stressed out afterwards she decided to move here to where her son lives. We've gotten to know more people in this town in the few weeks we've had our garage sales then we have in the past 4 years.
We're getting there and making some progress with the purging process. I think we'll be in a much better place when the house finally sells. Of course at that point we'll be selling the furniture, mowers, golf cart and things we need until we move out permanently.
We decided that we'll go ahead and keep the storage building a little longer and have 3 more sales there before we head south for the winter. Before we leave we'll bring anything that's not sold either to Goodwill or back home. When we get back here, we'll have any additional garage sales in our own garage. Now that we don't have so much stuff, it will be easier. We're probably going to leave here sometime around December 6th. We will meander down towards Tampa and stay at a state park or two on the way down. Hopefully we won't have any problems getting a place to stay.
I finally took my required continuing ed classes for my insurance adjuster and agent licenses. I was torn on whether or not to bother with them, but you never know what the future will bring, so I went ahead and got them done, and renewed my licenses. Those licenses were so hard to get, I sure don't want t have to do that over again. That's one more thing I got done this week.
We've been experimenting some more with our new Nu-Wave oven. I've found that it doesn't cook as quickly as the recipes state, but I'm learning and we like it real well. We cooked a large turkey breast the other night and it was excellent. Of course, we overcooked it a little bit, but it was still very good. Nice and brown and tasty. I finally bought a new meat thermometer so hopefully I can judge cooking times better.
I tried roasting asparagus on the rack and it turned out great. I put some olive oil, salt and pepper and laid it on the rack. 7 minutes and it was delicious.
Tonight we're going to try a steak and see how that does. I'm going to make some more asparagus and maybe even a little broccoli. I really like the way it cooked the asparagus, so we'll see about the broccoli.
So far we think it's going to be a keeper. What I like, is there is no fire that I have to watch, like on my gas stove in the motor home. I set the timer for whatever time I need, and it shuts off when its done. I'm a worrier when it comes to fires in a house.
Speaking of fire, Al has managed to split 5 or 6 big tubs of firewood. We'll have lots of firewood this winter.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
When I worked at USAA Insurance, we dealt with the military and their families. It was kind of cool getting a phone call from Iraq or Pakistan via Satellite phone. These men and women were always extremely polite and honorable and it was always a pleasure to work with them.
One of the most special Veterans Days I remember was when I worked there. They had a big ceremony for Veterans and many of our employees were veterans, including our boss at the Tampa office. General Tom Draude was the best boss I ever had, and was a very special man. It was a wonderful place to work when he was there.He made sure each employee felt appreciated He has since passed away and I still feel sad about that. General Draude instructed us to always "do the right thing." If we could help a USAA member, and weren't sure if we were following the correct rule or procedure, just "do the right thing," and we would never get in trouble. I always remembered that and tried to do just that.
This morning I took a few minutes to get our credit reports. We hadn't done it for a while, so it was time.
Fortunately, we saw no problems, so it appears our identity hasn't been stolen yet.
When I went to the websiteS to order our free reports there were so many choices and I wasn't sure exactly where to order one. I didn't want to give out our social security numbers out to just anyone. I remembered reading a post from Howard and Linda when they ordered theirs a while back. Sure enough Howard provided the link and it was the same one I had already found, so I felt comfortable that I was not on a spam website. Thanks Howard.
Here is the link. You can get a free report annually from each of the three main companies.
Annual Credit Report
I was able to view and print them right away.
Today is supposed to be another warm sunny day. Yesterday we spent most of the day outside. I burned up about 4-5 gallons of gas on the mower...you know I was busy! Al split a bunch of pecan for campfires. Of course, here in Georgia. it's called PEE-can.
Happy Veterans Day all
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Guess what? Yep, someone is coming to look at the house this afternoon. We got the call from the Realtor yesterday morning, so at least we had 24 hours notice. We spent Monday cleaning up. We just can't seem to keep it showroom ready unless we have the motivation of someone coming to look at it.
We had someone drive up our private driveway yesterday afternoon, then turn around and head back when we saw him. Later Al saw him on the side road. We're assuming he is the guy who's looking at the house. Maybe this one is really interested. We normally don't get anyone on our property except UPS and Fed Ex, sot we're pretty sure it's a "looker."
Wish us luck.
Monday, November 08, 2010
Of course it looks great on Tv, but I wasn't sure how it would work in real life. I've been reading customer reviews and the consensus seems to be that it works well and people seem to love it. We thought it might be something good for the motor home, but we were concerned about space. As you all know, space is at a premium in an rv.
They were on sale at Kohl's department store, so we headed to Tallahassee.
It cooks with convection, infared, and conduction heat, and cooks faster than a regular oven. The infomercial shows them taking meat directly out of the freezer and right into the oven. It's fairly large, and takes up a good amount of counter space. We're hoping it'll help us to eat healthier and cheaper, and earn it's place on the counter.
I'm not one to plan meals ahead of time and frequently have nothing prepared, so we head out for some fast food. That's not good for our health, our budget, or our weight. My friend Carol has dinner planned by the time she wakes up. I tend to plan my dinner when we're starved and can't wait much longer. My meal planning strategy is not very successful :)
We got home with our new oven and I took a package of boneless chicken breasts out of the freezer, rinsed them, coated them with a mixture of Panko and Vigo bread crumbs and put them in the oven. The directions said 8 minutes a side. You hit three buttons and it starts cooking. No preheating, nothing. The outside of the oven gets warm, but not enough that you'd burn yourself if you touch it and it doesn't heat up your kitchen. They say it's smokeless, so hopefully no more setting off the smoke detector! After 8 minutes the oven shut off, I turned them over and cooked them another 8 minutes. When I cut into them and they were raw!
These breasts were very large and evidently needed more cooking, but I wasn't exactly sure how much more. I pulled out my meat thermometer and cooked them a few more minutes on each side. Well, it turned out my meat thermometer wasn't working and I overcooked the breasts a little. They were a little tough, but I blame myself, not the oven. They browned up nice and were crispy, even though a little over cooked. I expected I would need to "tweak" the cooking times a little. I think I need to get another meat thermometer. I've always had problems cooking chicken the correct time and this was no exception!
What I like about the Nu Wave oven is that I can cook something and not worry that I have to stand there and watch it. I particularly worry about the gas stove in the motor home, so I stay very close to the stove when I'm cooking there. There's something about that little blue flame that makes me nervous! With the Nu Wave, I can walk away and it will stop cooking when the timer goes off. I really like that. I won't have to worry about defrosting meat and can pull it out when we want it. We frequently defrost something in the morning and our plans change by evening and it doesn't get cooked.
I think after a day out kayaking or hiking, it'll come in handy. We think we may do a lot of cooking outside, so that'll save some counter space. In the past when we were camping, we ate quick and easy meals...camping food. Since we'll be living in the motor home, we need to eat better, and we're hoping this will help. You can cook your meat, vegetables and potatoes together and not have to worry ahead of time about defrosting the meat.
I bought some bacon and I'm making us some bacon and eggs this morning in the new oven. I just want to see how bacon does in the Nu Wave. We don't eat it often, partly because of the mess and partly because it's not good for us. This evening, we're going to cook a turkey breast and see how that works.
While in Tallahassee yesterday, we hit the Petsmart store for some kitty food and ended up getting "Little Noogie" a pet bed for the motor home. She's very timid and frequently sleeps under the brake/gas pedals in her little hiding spot. The pet bed will go there so she'll be more comfy. Of course when we're traveling, she rides in her kitty condo.
We then headed over to Sam's Club and I found my brand new camera for $368! I paid $429 at Walmart a few weeks ago. Walmart has a 30 day return policy, so if they won't honor that price, I'm returning it. That's a $61 difference!
Before we headed back home, we stopped at Red Lobster and had an early dinner. Boy was it good! By the time we got home, we had spent all of our profits from our garage sale the day before!
Today, we need to clean the house. We've just about got it messy enough that will bring out someone to come see it! We had some plant damage from the frosty nights so Al needs to cut them back. It's supposed to hit 70 today and then upper 70's the rest of the week, so our cool snap is over for now.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
We dressed warm for the garage sale since we'd be outside a few hours. I put on my Cuddle Duds, (tops and bottoms), a long sleeved shirt, sweater, jeans, and my coat! I also had on my warm wool socks and hiking boots. I fixed my hair so I didn't wear the hat that I really wanted to wear :) For any of you women out there that want some warm and lightweight long underwear type garments, these Cuddle Duds are the ticket. They fit snug against your skin, are lightweight, and feel thin and silky. They can be worn even under nice clothing and are very warm. You can get them at better department stores and can usually find them on sale for 25% off if you watch the sales. They're expensive, but oh so worth it :) During our purging process I had briefly thought about tossing my older ones out...but I don't think so. I always wear them in the winter, under my clothes when it's cold out. I'll make room for them.
We didn't get a very early start at the garage sale yesterday. (Someone forgot the keys to the shed and we had to turn around and go back home to get them.)
We thought it busy day for us, but then we remembered it was "Mule Day" in Calgary, Georgia. I think that's where all our business was. We did end up with a few larger sales and left the garage sale $120 richer.
However, I re-ran the add on Craig's List for our treadmill and ultra glide machine, and later that day we got a call from and interested party. We up selling them, and a small refrigerator for $100. So we ended up $220 ahead! Hey, every little bit helps and we got rid of those 3 bulky items.
We came home with the intention of having a short nap (garage sales are tiring) and I heard someone knocking on the front door. It turns out a lady who wanted to just look at our land for an uncle who currently lives in St Augustine, Florida. He's wanting to move to this area and wants some secluded land. Well, here we are :) She's trying to help him find something and is working with a Realtor. Maybe this would be a perfect buyer. He's wanting to have some cattle and goats. It sounds like he has some money too....we'll see, but we're not too optimistic because he's 80 years old.
Saturday, November 06, 2010
I did a little more research and found some information on the Directv website. If you take your receivers out of your local area, you are out of the "spot beam" area and will not get the local (abc, cbs, nbc, and fox) channels. You'll still get the other cable channels.
If you live in your Rv, you need to get a waiver to be able to use your receiver in your rv and get all of the channels. It's some sort of law. In order to get the waiver, you have to fill out the form and send a copy of your rv registration. It will cost $14 extra per month. You will get both east and west coast feeds, unless you have a HD receiver, (we don't.) I'm not sure what you need to do if you just travel a few months, but I think you can just call and have it suspended.
In the end, we decided to go ahead and get it set up. We filled out the waiver and mailed it off today. It could take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to get it started. We'll be gone long enough, that we will want all the comforts of home :)
We got more stuff moved over to the storage shed and ready for the garage sale tomorrow. We're hoping it'll be a good sale, despite the cold weather.
Friday, November 05, 2010
When we got home, I plugged the router and modem back in and found that modem was dead. No power to it whatsoever . Did I mix up the cords and plug the wrong one into the modem or did it just decide to die?
I called Windstream and was first told I would have to pay for a new modem since I didn't put the $5 monthly insurance on the $50 modem. After I pointed out to them that if they tried to charge me, I would cancel my phone and internet, and that I had just replaced the modem 2 months ago, they saw it my way. I should be getting my new modem today. It's very nice to have back up internet from my Droid, and I haven't really missed my DSL connection. I am seriously thinking about canceling the internet and phone service when we head to Florida. It costs about $70 a month. The only reason I don't is because I get free long distance and I prefer a land line to talk to my Mom and friend Carol. Carol and I tend to gab a long time, so we need unlimited minutes :) Also, we use our Roku player to watch streaming Netflix movies and I don't know if my Droid would allow me to stream fast enough to be watchable. I need to check that. Supposedly, I have unlimited Data on the Droid so that wouldn't be a problem. I just don't know if it will stream fast enough.
I've been trying to figure out how to take our Directv Tivo boxes with us next month and get our local channels. I know when we start fulltiming, we will have to sign up for (and pay extra) for the DNS service, but I am not sure exactly what I need to do for a short trip. I put the question out on RV-Net Forum but the fact that someone from Georgia is heading to Florida for the warmer winter weather, is taken over my post :)
My question has been lost in the discussion. Anybody out there know what I need to do? Can I take both Tivo receivers with us and just call direct and tell them what we've done to get temporary local channels? We will be at at least two different locations.
The first wave of our cold front has arrived. It got down to 42 last night and Saturday night they are predicting mid 30's! Brrrrr. Saturday might be a cold garage sale day!
Thursday, November 04, 2010
We have been having a problem with both slides leaking when it rains. We thought we had it fixed but last week we had a little rain and noticed the bedroom slide was still leaking. The living room slide hasn't leaked, so hopefully that is fixed. So on to plan b.
We were getting ready to winterize yesterday when it started to rain. It turned out to be a good time to look for a leak. I found a little rubber strip that should have been pushed flat when the slide is out. A corner of it had turned down and I think that let a little water run inside. It didn't leak during the rain we got yesterday, so hopefully it's fixed.
We plan to winterize by blowing out the water lines. That way we can more easily de-winterize when we leave next month. This will be the longest trip we've done in any of our Rv's, so we'll have to pack a little differently. For instance, we're bringing both of our Tivo boxes.
We're expecting a cold front today. It's supposed to get down into the mid 30's this week-end, with highs in the mid 60's. It might be a little cold for our Saturday garage sale. We expect it to freeze here, because it's always a little cooler here on our property.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
We found out today about the lady who "almost" bought the house. She was a widow and probably 60 years old. It turns out she bought a smaller property instead, even though she liked our house very well. It's probably best for her, but we had been hopeful she would come through.
I guess we're back to square one on the house. That would have been too easy if we could have sold it in a month and a half on the market. Realistically, we were no where near ready, and it would have been a real struggle to vacate the house now. I guess we'll just continue to downsize and have our weekly garage sales and hopefully it won't take too long.
We still intend to spend the winter in Florida though. We have reservations at Welaka Lodge & RV Resort for January and February, but are thinking of maybe just spending one month there and then heading a little further southeast to the Space Coast area of Florida. The Space Coast consists of the area near Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. We've never really explored this part of Florida and there is a lot to do. There are great kayaking and birding areas, plus beautiful beaches. We're in the process of checking out a few campgrounds. Of course we're looking for something inexpensive. When you winter in Florida you can find some pretty pricey rv parks. We do not want to have to pay $1500 for the month! Of course finding a vacancy that is nice and reasonably priced may be a little tricky.
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Al and I took advantage of Georgia’s early voting, and voted a few weeks ago, so all that’s is left is wait for the results.
Yesterday, Monday, we spent working on the motor home. It took us a while to get the “Stinkers” out, but we finally got them. I get angry at them for being so difficult, but if you could have seen the look of fear on the face of poor Medium. It was pitiful. He was really sure he was being killed. We got them back into the house and they were both fine. Crazy!
Al worked on the connections we needed to have both of our Tivo boxes when we travel. On short camping trips we just brought one Tivo box, but for longer trips and full time, we needed a better set up. He also fixed an electrical problem we had. We had a couple outlets in the bedroom (for the tv) that didn’t work. It turned out to be 3 sets of wires that were attached under a drawer that were held together inside an electrical junction box. It was a crazy set up and one that could easily come loose as you’re bouncing down the road. I hate him working on electrical problems, but he’s very careful and makes sure he knows what he’s doing before he does anything.
While he did his projects, I cleaned, vacuumed, and organized. Our last little trip made me realize I needed to make some changes for longer trips. We got a few of those vacuum bags from Walmart. The ones that you pack clothing/bedding, etc and use a vacuum cleaner to suck the air out of the bag. They work very well. I packed the rv bedspread and pillow shams and put them under the bed. It compacted them down very nicely. It will be a good way to store summer or winter clothes in the off season. Since we’ll be spending the winter in Florida, we won’t be able to store anything. In Florida you may need warm clothes one day and shorts the next.
Sunday was a fun day. We headed out to the rivers to do some artifact hunting. We didn’t have any luck, but enjoyed a very nice day. We ended up at Suwannee River State Park and did a nice long hike along the river.
Here’s “Stalker Cam” at work (big zoom lens of my Canon SX30 camera)
Notice the fisherman? They are between the two large trees right near the bank of the river.
How about now?
I was just testing my zoom lens out and actually I got kind of nervous when I zoomed into these guys. I felt like they were looking at me and wondering why I was taking their picture. I’m not sure what they were doing…didn’t see any fishing poles? Amazing zoom, huh? It truly is a stalker cam. Makes me re-think walking around my yard in my jammies : )
It was a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies and temps in the mid 70’s.
We found this little guy by the restroom. He was heading into the men's room. Al moved him back outside. I don’t think anyone wants to see him in the bathroom!
One more “Stalker Cam” photo. Here is a zoomed out photo. I think there is a boat in there.
Yep, here it is :)
Today, we plan to do more sorting and purging. We haven’t heard anything back from our hot prospect, so I guess that’s a done deal. Oh well, it will sell when the time is right.