Vogel State Park Lake

Vogel State Park Lake

Friday, July 30, 2010

Does the Thermometer Go over 100?

We have one of those thermometers that has a sensor outside and you read it inside.  It give you the inside and outside temperatures.  It’s digital and  Al was wondering if it went up to 100 degrees.

Well, here is the answer.



P1010020
Yep, I guess it does.  It’s about 2pm and already 101.7 degrees.

Our plan for this afternoon was to wash the motor home.  We figured playing in water would be a good thing in this heat.  However, we didn’t plan on it getting quite this hot.  So maybe we will have to rethink our plan.

This morning we took the motor home to get gas at the non-ethanol station that we found yesterday.  It’s 18 miles away.  It’s a shame the government has chosen what kind of fuel we can put in our vehicles.  We bought some Lucas Fuel Conditioner and added to the gas.  We ran the generator under load with both a/c’s running, so it got a good work out.  We had a little trouble getting the air conditioners to run without “shedding”.  We have some kind of electric management system and it will  shut down one or both air conditioners if it’s not getting enough power.  We only have a 30 amp system.   I then remembered I had the house battery switch turned off, I turned it on and shortly later the a/c’s  quit shedding.  I don’t know if that was the problem or what, but it worried me.  We sure don’t want the expense of  a/c problems. 

As usual when we haven’t driven the motor home for a while, I get a little nervous.  Al says when we go to the mountains, I will have to “stay in my room.”   He does a good job, but until we’ve driven a little while my nerves are on edge. 

So the motor home has been run, gassed, and a fuel conditioner added.  We’re good for another month.  Maybe it’ll get it’s bath a little later today.

How to "un" Reject a Comment?

Anyone know how to "un" reject a comment?  Rick, I know you can help. :)

I accidentally hit "reject" and deleted a good comment regarding fuel stabilizers.  The anonymous commenter said in south Florida a lot of people have problems with generators during hurricane season.  They let them sit all year with fuel in them and they don't run when they need them.  It sounded like he worked at a small engine shop.  He also said he used Stabil in his 454 engine.

Thanks "anonymous" for your comment.  We plan to start using a fuel stabilizer regularly in the motor home, and our other small engines.  That ethanol is just too damaging. I don't know if it in Diesel fuel or not. 

We did find a gas station about 18 miles from us that doesn't have any ethanol in their fuel. I spoke to the owner. She said they were trying to hold out and not buy the ethanol gas because her husband also felt it was bad for the engines.  We figured, the motor home needs to be run monthly, so we'll run it to the gas station and put gas in it.  As much gas as it sucks up, we can run it there next month and buy a little more.  :)  Hopefully this hot weather will cool down soon and we can go on a camping trip.  It' so hot now, we have no desire to go camping.  We're still hoping to be able to go on the Tennessee trip, but that probably won't be until October.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ethanol

Have any of you had problems from using gasoline with Ethanol  in your motor home or generator engines? 


Most of the gas we can  now buy has up to 10% Ethanol in it.  It has been known in the marine industry for a long time that ethanol causes problems to marine engines.  I don't know why it would cause problems in boats and not cause problems in cars, motor homes, or small engines.

We are concerned about our motor home and generator engines.

Last year we had a problem with small pin holes in the fuel lines in our riding mower.  We attributed it to Ethanol.  This year, we can't get the pressure washer to start or stay running.  It is about 3 years old with probably less than 4 hours on it.  Al drained the gas from it the last time he used it, but now thinks a little was left in the fuel lines.  He's tried everything he can think of and still cannot get this brand new pressure washer to run.

About 3 months ago Al bought a new Troybilt weed eater.  All of a sudden, he couldn't get it to start.  It was still under warranty so he took it in to a local repair shop. The first thing they did was look at the fuel tank and they found a lot of sludge in the tank.  Al was baffled about where that came from in a brand new engine.  He wondered if he got bad gas or oil? The gas had only been in there 2 - 3 weeks maximum.  The shop refused to repair it because of the sludge.  How could this have happened to a brand new engine?


Al started taking it apart and noticed there should be two hoses in the fuel tank, and one was missing. We started to think about the Ethanol issues, and I read some articles on line.  We now think that the Ethanol in the gas may have disintegrated the hose, which caused the sludge in the tank.  We aren't sure, but we can't get the brand new motor started!  The shop recommended he put some Seafoam in the fuel tank and after he cleaned out the sludge.  He has to replace that missing hose first. 

He tried the Seafoam fuel additive  on the pressure washer, but has still not been able to get it to stay running, although it did start for a moment.

So while we aren't happy with these small engines having these problems, we are more concerned with the motor home engine and also the generator.  

We think that if you run the gas through the engine frequently (like a car engine) you will be okay.  I think our mower gets enough gas run through it, that it has been okay this year.  Al ran all the gas out of the engine last fall before we stored it for the winter.

I am concerned with the motor home and generator because we don't run them often.  Now we do try to take the motor home out for a drive monthly and also run the generator, but is this enough?  Remember the weedeater had fuel sitting in it for only 2-3 weeks.

This is one article I read about the damage caused by ethanol in fuel.

The following is a quote from another article.


"Oh, a tremendous amount of repairs. It just keeps getting worse each year," says Butch Trevor of Trevor Hardware in Moline. "The alcohol in the gas basically starts to break down and crack the fuel line. It destroys the seals on the inside of the carburetor."

And it's getting harder to find gasoline without ethanol mixed in. Most blends at gas station pumps are called E-10 which means they contain up to 10 percent ethanol because of federal mandates. And
Trevor says while these gas-alcohol blends may be OK for your car engine, smaller engines just aren't made to run on ethanol. " It clogs up theinside of the little carburetor in the engine," Trevor says. "When I get inside a small engine that's used ethanol, it looks like somebody blew their nose in the carburetor. Another way it looks is like somebody puked in the carburetor and it hardened up."

That's because alcohol attracts moisture, which leads to the creation of a gummy residue in your engine. That moisture can also create rust. And this can happen in all types of small engines whether it's chain saws, weedeaters, or many outboard motors on boats. In fact, most marine engines made before 2000 prohibit the use of alcohol because of its nasty side effects.
But no matter what kind of small engine you may use, Trevor suggests you avoid ethanol completely, "or you'll wind up with an engine that won't start, surges up and down, or it won't run at all."

Not surprisingly, the ethanol industry says mechanics like Trevor are just plain wrong. Groups such as the National Corn Growers Association and the Renewable Fuels Association say E-10 is perfectly safe to use in small engines.


Trevor, though, says the ethanol lobby should come to his repair shop to see the damage done by E-10, damage he says he never saw before the federal ethanol mandates. He says if you choose to feed ethanol to your small engine, sooner or later you'll be paying a visit to a mechanic like him.

There are many stations in the Quad City area that sell 100% gasoline with no ethanol included, and that pure form of gasoline will often cost you about 10 cents more per gallon. However, Trevor says you can pay that small additional cost right now... or pay the often expensive repair bills down the road."



Al bought some fuel additives that we intend to put in the fuel we use for the RV, generator and other small engines.  They say it is to correct ethanol problems, however, I just read this fuel additive chart and the additive we bought doesn't appear to be a good one.  We went to the auto supply store today and got a fuel additive that's on the above linked list.  The guy that worked there said this ethanol is murder on small engines.  Yup, I think we figured that out.

For those of us who are not fulltimers and our motor homes sit more than they are driven, it may be something to think about.  From what I read this can be a cumulative affect and the damage that is being done will not be known for years.


I think this is something to be aware of.  We may be wrong about ethanol causing a problem.  The government and Corn Growers association both say it is safe....but I don't trust either one of them!

Just something to think about.  Do a internet search on Ethanol fuel and see what you find.  It's an eye opener.  Just a FYI.

I just found this link for gas stations without Ethanol.  Click here.  We're headed out to fill up our gas cans and hopefully the station will be large enough for the motor home.  If so, it's getting topped off with non ethanol gas, and some fuel additives.

Have any of you done any research on Ethanol?  What have you found out?  Am I over reacting?  We are just concerned about damaging our very expensive motor home engine.

I think I'm going to start a thread on Rv-Net Forum and see if anyone there has any issues with their generators or motor home engines.  In the meantime, from what I read, these fuel additives can help your engine run better and give you better gas mileage.  The ethanol is supposed to decrease your fuel mileage.  On a big motor home, a decrease is a bad thing!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

America's Scenic Rv Adventure

We received a great new Netflix movie today and I thought other rv'ers might like it.  Probably everyone has seen it, but it was new to us.

It is America's Scenic Rv Adventures, disc1.This one is about Alaska, and has some wonderful scenery and wildlife shots.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find disc 2. 


For those of us who haven't been lucky enough to see Alaska in person, this is a great dvd

We Did It!

I listed the house on Zillow.com.   We are not ready for a showing, but I listed in their "Make Me Move" site.   I dont' think we'll get much response since we are in a small town and with the housing market the way it is, but at least it's a first step. Now, if someone calls and wants to come see the house....I'm going to.....scream!!

My number one helper (Al) has informed me that he's taking the day off until he gets his belly full at the country buffet!  I explained I wanted to finish the painting on the porch first, but he's not budging.  We really needed to get some new paint brushes anyway, so I guess he wins that battle!  I think I wore him out yesterday.  He finished mowing the pasture after we painted and while I was having a little nap. :)  Okay, my secret's out.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Welcome new followers, Chuck and Aneeke.  It's always nice to log on and find a new follower!

Today was a productive day.  We got the floor on the front porch painted and almost all of the trim.  It's pretty much a done deal!  Hopefully tomorrow we can finish up the remaining trim. I need a little painting gadget to finish some areas that a regular paint brush doesn't work well.   Tomorrow, we're going to put the chairs back and maybe a vase or two of flowers, then I intend to turn the fan on and sit out there any read my book for a little while.

After we finished the painting, I gave us both a haircut.  Another accomplishment!  After that, Al finished mowing the pasture!  That's such a big job, to finish it is cause for celebration.  So I'm having a vodka tonic to celebrate his good work!

We're getting closer to actually listing the house.  We have chosen a Realtor, and now we just need to get a few more things done.  We really need to list it while everything is green and pretty, but we just keep finding more things that need doing!  I may go ahead and put it on Zillow for now and see if anything happens.

I am so disappointed to find out my Pillars of the Earth mini series that we were watching through Netflix was only the first 2 episodes!  We came inside for a break today and were looking forward to watching episode 3 and it wasn't there.  I know it's playing on Tv but I guess just one episode a week, so I guess I'll have to wait for the rest.  I did buy the book and it's loaded on my E-reader, so I started it today. 


Monday, July 26, 2010

Pillars of the Earth

In my previous post, I mentioned the mini-series,  Pillars of the Earth being shown on AMC.  I was incorrect.  Directv is showing it on their channel 101.  Sorry, my mistake.

We just started watching it last night and are already hooked, so if you get a chance, try to catch it.  It's from a book by the author Ken Follett.  I just ordered it for my new E-reader.  It was 883 pages and only $6.99.  I am enjoying the mini series so much, I know the book will go into the story more. 

Try it, you'll like it.  I am watching it streaming through Netflix and my Roku player. 




Painting

Well the temperature is 99 degrees and we just came inside our front porch painting project.  We've been working for about an hour or so, then coming inside, drinking ice cold water, and cooling off.  It's shady where we're working and we have a fan on, but it's still 99 degrees and very humid.  We feel like we're making progress though, a little at a time.  That's about all that we can do in this stifling heat.

We started watching a good movie on tv last night.  We've been seeing advertisements for The Pillars of the Earth.  It's a mini-series set in 12th century England.  It's playing now on the AMC channel.   It's pretty good and we're hooked.

I  set it up on Tivo, and it had already recorded about 5 episodes, most of which were duplicates, and I didn' t know which was the first episode.  I checked on Netflix and was surprised to find it in available for instant streaming and since we have a Roku player we can watch it there. That way I know I am watching it in the right order.  If you have Netflix you can watch it through your computer, Tv, Roku player, or Wii player.  Our preferred way is through the Roku player, but any of these ways work just fine.

So if you get a chance try this mini-series.  It's has some interesting characters and a very good story line.  In fact, I'm about ready to catch episode 3.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Little Progress

Despite the heat, we managed to make some progress on the house today.  We got the front porch floor half painted. I used Al's electric sander and roughed up the previous paint a little, then put down one coat of  Behr's paint. We were very happy with it. I remembered using it several years ago and didn't like it, but they must have improved it over the years because it was great paint.  It went on very smooth and one coat covered perfectly.  That's my kind of paint!  I hate to paint and anything that makes it easier is great.  Hopefully we can finish it tomorrow.  At least we felt like we had made some progress.  We could get so much more done if it was a little cooler.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Comment Moderation

Merikay made a comment on her blog a few days ago about comment moderation with word verification.  You know, the one where you have to type in some crazy word that you cannot read. It was something she disliked and I have always hated them too.  I thought I had mine turned off.  It turns out, I turned it off on my other blog, but never did with this one.

I went ahead and turned off the word verification.  I have it set so that I have to approve any comments, so I don't see where the word verification is necessary.

I had to figure out (again) how to do it.  Here's what you do.

In Blogger, go to  Settings, then Comments, then just say no to word verification.
 
Rick turned his off also.  Maybe we can get those darn things removed from most blogs!!

Word verification is one of my pet peeves, but also small print (I'm old...it's all small print) and blogs that are hard on my eyes.  I can't explain that,, it's just some are very hard to read.  I'm also not a big fan of music.  You can increase size of print on blogs you are reading by "control" and "+".  Everyone probably knows that, but I just figured that out a few months ago.

Today's plan is to finish my sweet pickles, make my soap, and do something constructive as far as getting ready to put the house on the market.  The problem is, that we need to finish up the porch painting, gutter cleaning, roof repair projects, but it's been 98 degrees with stifling humidity.  We need to get outside by 7am and start work, but we just can't seem to get motivated until we've had coffee for a few hours.  :)


Friday, July 23, 2010

Vitamins

Al and I have always believed in vitamins and food supplements.  We know we don't eat properly and the foods available these days are not grown like they used to.  Everything is grown with herbicides and pesticides, and produce is no longer allowed to ripen naturally.

What got me started in vitamins is when I started getting Migraine headaches (on my honeymoon).  Long story short, I found out that birth control pills depleted your supply of vitamin B-6 which in some cases could cause Migraines.  No more migraines.  Anyway, after that I got interested in supplements.

The problem with taking vitamins, is that in order to get everything you need you can spend a fortune.  Over the years I have found a few brands that I trust.

One brand I stayed away from was One a Day Multiple Vitamins.They were known for not dissolving.

So the point of my story, is that I found a new multiple vitamin that I really like.  We both noticed immediately that we felt better when we took them.

The vitamin is One A Day 50+ Advantage.  I tell you, they give me more energy!  I noticed the difference almost right away after taking them.  I also notice when I get lax and don't take them for a few days.

We found these vitamins while at Sam's Club.  I think they were about $17 for a large bottle.  We just decided to get some "cheap" vitamins to tide us over until we could get some good (expensive) ones.  I compared the labels of  "One a Day" and Centrum and found One A Day to be better, which surprised me.  They have a Men's and Women's over 50 formula.  We decided to give them a try and we went with the woman's formula.  After all, we were just taking them until we found better ones.


What we found out was that almost immediately we both started to have more energy. That sure surprised me because this brand used to have such a bad reputation. 

We're going to get Al on the Men's 50+ formula now that we know we like them.  The men's formula has no iron, and it has lycopene, which is the ingredient in tomato's that is known to promote prostrate health. 

The right formula if you're over 50 is in a silver/gray plastic bottle.  I didn't see them at our Walmart, but it's a small store. I don't know where to get them other than Sam's Club. 

Anyway, I just wanted to pass this on because they sure seem to help us.

(edit:  they didnt' work today...went into town ate lunch then came home and had a nap :)  Didn't sleep very well though....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

E-Reader Update

Well, I am liking my Sony PRS 600 E-Reader much better than I did at first.  I have almost finished a book I got through Barnes and Noble for under $3.  I had no problem with the one that I paid for, and I was able to upload a few classics from them as well.  There were a few more current books that looked good and were also free.  They were supposedly free,  and it appeared I was able to successfully download them, however I couldn't read them from my computer or move them to the Sony E-reader.   I read on their forum, that Sony isn't compatible with the format they use, but  it was sure compatible with the one I paid money for!

There are a lot of books available for $6-10, but I just won't pay that much for a book to read one time, unless it's something I have to have right away (like the Twilight series).  I know a lot of people do though, so this may be less expensive.  I am still intending to get them free from the library.

The Sony is easy to read, as long as you have decent light.  The first night I used it I didn't have enough light and that was my problem there. You probably need a little better lighting for an E-reader than a regular book.  You can just lay it on your lap and not have to worry about the page flipping over as you would with a regular book.  I like that.  I found some free books, but mostly they are junk or old, old books.  Okay, so they are classics, but they are still really old!  I know I should pick up a few of the classics, but the ones I started just didn't get my attention right away.

If the Georgia library would just make it easier to download their E-books, I would prefer to get my books there.  I need to work on getting my Florida library card back.

I still can return my Sony, if I am not happy with it, but I think I will keep it.  What I like about it, is:

1.  It accepts the format from the library's, so I can get free books there.

2.  I like the online dictionary, for looking up words I don't know.

3.  I like the notepad.  I can underline or highlight things and I then save that page.  It's a good way to remember characters in those books with so many people.


4.  I think the size is about perfect.  It's a 6inch screen, which is just about right.  About like a paperback.  I think a larger one might get a little too heavy.

So if any of you are thinking about getting an e-reader, check out the Sony PRS 600. I don't think you would go wrong with any of them though.  I looked at the Kobo from Barnes and Noble and liked it real well.  Also the Nook from Borders (I think) appears to be a nice one as well.  Of course, the original Kindle is the original.  It's confusing to try to buy something new like this that you don't know anything about.  The nice thing, is that they are coming down in price.  Ours has a touch screen which I like, but I tried the Kobo out without the touch screen and it was just as easy. You just push (mash as they say in Georgia) a button to turn the pages.  I can either push the button or brush my finger over the screen to turn the page.  I find that is what I normally do.

This is what the main page looks like. It's a touch screen, so I just tap where I want to go. The top left icon is the book I am reading.  It takes you right back to the page you left off.  Pretty cool huh?



Sony Digital Reader Touch Edition - Black (PRS600BC)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Maybe I Should Reconsider?

Well, after having my Sony PRS600  for a little while and figuring it out, I may have to reconsider my plan of returning it.

The quick start instruction manual was terrible but I found a great place to learn about it online.

Did you know you could go to You Tube and watch a video on how to operate your E-reader?

I believe you could probably just do a search and get a quick video on about anything you wanted. If you buy a new camera (Margie) and want to know how to use it...go to You Tube and learn the easy way!  This may be something everyone else knows, but this is new to me. I think it would also be helpful in choosing that e-reader, camera, cell phone, computer, or whatever else you are looking at. 

The few  minutes I spent watching the You Tube video really helped me learn how to use the E-reader and I must say, I like it a lot better now.  I found the manual online but it was too long and detailed.  I'll read a paper manual from cover to cover, but I hate reading a manual online. I think it's my generation.  I know I could print it, but I didn't bother.

Anyway, I found out how to use the E-reader's  dictionary.  You just double click on a word and the definition comes up. That's easy enough and it will be helpful when I come across a word I don't know..who knows, I may get smarter. :) 

You can also make notes or highlights  on a page, and it will save it so that you can go back to it later.  You know how some books have so many characters that it's difficult to remember who they are?  I think with this, you could mark the page where they are introduced and then just go back to it if you needed to.

It's also a PDF reader so I'm thinking it may be easier for reading manuals online? You could download the manual and then move it over to the e-reader.

The 600 also has a MP3 player, so you can download songs and listen to them with headphones while reading a book!  You can also put photos on, but since they are in black and white, I don't think I would bother with that.

As far as the screen contrast, I believe this is probably just about as good as it gets.  I think it may take some getting used to.

Thanks Rick for your post about your Sony PR505.  I think I will keep this one now that I've figured the darn thing out!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

E-Reader?

I don't think I will be having an electronic reader.


We made the trip into Tallahassee yesterday with the intention of getting a Sony E-reader.  We went several places that either didn't have any, or their displays were not functional.  That should have been my first clue.  We finally found the Sony PRS 600 at Target for $169.  We bought it and took it home, with the understanding that it is returnable with the receipt within 90 days.

The first thing I noticed is that is appears that it was "previously owned", and that irritated me.  I like my stuff, fresh and new.  There were 11 e-books already loaded onto it..most foreign and nothing I would ever have thought about reading.  The box had no instruction manual except for a quick start guide which was less than helpful. I don't know if that was just missing from my already been used reader or they just don't come with a regular manual.  Would you have though an E-Reader would at least have had a manual already loaded into it?

The book was dark...not enough contrast between the "ink" and the "page."  I kept wanting to turn up the brightness on the screen.  I don't think it is possible.  You are reading black "print" on a gray "page."

Years ago, when I bought electronics, computers and the like, there was always a steep learning curve.   In the past several years most everything is extremely user friendly right out of the box and directions are rarely needed, and that is they way I want it.  Our Garmin GPS was like that.  It was very intuitive right out of the box.  This was not like our Garmin Gps!


This Sony E-Reader is very frustrating to me.  According to the quick start guide once you charge it, you disconnect it from the computer (which charges it) and then follow the on-screen instructions!  Fine, but there were no on screen instructions.  Evidently that was a one time thing and the guy who owned my new reader got to them first!!!

I installed the "e-book library software" and registered to the e-book store.  The directions say when the reader is connected to my computer, the autoplay will appear on the screen.  
I then went to the Georgia Library to see what was available to read through their e-book program.  I could find nothing that was available right now.  You had to "place a hold" and they would notify when it was available.  Some of the titles I chose surely would have been available because no one would have wanted them,  I just wanted something to test out..  No luck there.  Also Georgia's on line search is terrible. I used to use the Florida library frequently and always found lots of interesting things to read. They had the New York Times Best Seller list and many others.  In Georgia, you'd better know what you want or you won't find it.  So I don't think I'll be getting any e-books from Georgia.  It was also very confusing. I went to Florida's library and it seemed much easier to get their e-books, but unfortunately my old library card number doesn't work anymore!  I don't know if I'll be able to get another card from Florida since we live in Georgia now, but we do own a house there and Al has a business there...so maybe. 

I was able to download some books to my computer, but had a little more trouble getting them over to the E-reader.  Finally, I got it figured out and even found an instruction manual on line, not on the E-book where you'd think it would be.

Oh, yeah,  I also found a nice photo of my E-readers first owner along with two songs he chose to listen to while he read those 11 foreign books!

In the process of all this, I decided the Sony is just too hard to read.  It supposedly has a dictionary, so that when you come across a word you don't know, you can highlight it and get the definition.  I thought that would be nice, but I can only occasionally get it to work.  Usually  when I try to select a word to get a definition for, it  just turns the pages on me, but the few times it did work, the definition was not in the larger print I preferred, but in tiny, little print that I can't read anyway.  So there is no point to that!

So my rating for the Sony E-book is a two thumbs down!  The reason we chose this one, is because it has the format that library's use and I thought I would primarily get my books from the library. I do not intend to pay $10-20 for a E-book. 

The good news is that it's returnable and back to Target it goes.  Maybe some of the other models will have brighter screens, and maybe I would get used to them, but for now I have lost interest in an E-book.  I did look at a Kobo E-reader at Borders bookstore.  It was lighter weight, seemed to be a little easier on the eyes.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Owe an Apology to Brian

We are continuing to post items for sale on Craig's List, and are currently listing a Garden tiller.

I had gotten an e-mail from "Brian" and we made arrangements for him to come by today.  He called this morning and said he was on his way, so we went up to the garage, got the tiller out, started it up and cleaned the dust off of it a little bit.  We rode around the yard on the Golf cart for a while so that when Brian came, we could lead him up to the garage.  He was interested, made an offer for $300, we held our $350 price, he agreed and then asked if we would take a check?  Yeah right, we're going to take a $350 check from a perfect stranger?  What are you thinking?  We said no, but told him where there was a Bank of America ATM.  He left and I didn't think we'd ever see him again.  I was irritated that he wasted an hour of our time!

Well, we never thought we'd see Brian again, but a little while later, up drives Brian in his little red truck with cash in hand!  He loaded the tiller up in the back of his truck, without tying it down or securing it in any way.  I just knew it was going to fall down or bounce right out of his truck.  It's his now, so it will be his problem.  Anyway, I guess I owe Brian an apology, I  thought he was trying to pull a scam. After all, we were perfect strangers.  Is it just me, or has my years of insurance claim adjusting, made me a skeptic?

Well at least that's one more larger item gone! 

Now with my $350 in hand....I'm wanting a present and Al says I can have one (he's such a soft touch.)!

I'm interested in an E-reader.  I had been wanting one for a while and Rick wrote a post to his blog this morning about the Sony model that he had and liked.  He pointed out that not all E-Readers will allow you to download E-Books from the library, but the Sony one will.   Thanks Rick for the information!  I think it will be great once we go full time to be able to get our books this way.  Of course we'll have to have one for each of us.  I've been looking online but I think we may head to Tallahassee tomorrow and check them out.  I want to be able to hold one in my hand and look at it, and I also want to be able to return it if I don't like it. I find returns are much easier at stores, even though I'll have to pay sales tax. 

 So that's about it for today.  Al is out riding my mower, so I may have to go out and kick him off....but I think I'll wait a few more acres first.  :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It Could Only Happen to Us

Al wanted to go out for breakfast this morning and since he had a hard week in Tampa, I decided he should get his wish. :)  We went into Thomasville, had breakfast and did some shopping. We went into Sears to ask them about a problem we are having with our fairly new air compressor.  It’s a 125 PSI unit, but we can’t get over 90 lbs of air into the tires.  We don’t normally buy extended warranties, but for some reason we did on this, and I’m glad we did.  The guy told us to bring it back and they would ship it back to be repaired.

As we were walking back to the car in the parking lot, Al saw a very scared little mouse running around all over the parking lot, like he didn’t know where to go. He was very tiny and actually kind of cute.  I quickly got in the car and Al tried to herd him over to the grassy area so he wouldn't get run over.  The little guy kept running around the parking lot and under our car, between our front and rear tires.  We didn't dare move for fear of squishing him.   It got to be kind of comical after a few minutes.  Al kept trying to scoot him away so we could drive off without squishing him, but it just kept running under our car, then away and back into the parking lot.  He was scared and didn't know where to go.  I'm guessing he rode into town in someones vehicle and was surprised to find his new location. Finally the little guy, ran right up to Al, looked right up into his eyes and then started to climbed up on his shoe!  I am not kidding!  It would have freaked me out but not Al.  He  just nudged  him away.  I was sure wishing I had my camera.  I reached down to get the cell phone to take a quick picture, but the mouse was back under the car by then.  After about 5 minutes, the little guy finally went under another vehicle that was parked next to a grassy area and we were able to drive off.  Hopefully things turned out well for the little mouse.  My mouse story is certainly not like Nellie's mouse (rat?) story and ended better for our mouse.  Of course this mouse wasn’t in my house eating my corn on the cob!  This could only happen to Karen and Al!

Vacation's Over

Al came home last night from his trip to Tampa....yea!!   I was very glad to see him and he was very glad to be home.  He was completely worn out from his "vacation".  That'll teach him to run off just when we're making progress on getting the house ready to put on the market!  We had dinner and started to watch a Roku/Netlflix movie, but he was just too tired and went to bed before it even got dark.

I've been looking at a good route to take for our potential Tennessee trip and  a good place to stay a night.  I know we could drive the 500 miles all in one day, but why would we?  Mapquest has us going right around Atlanta and I'd rather not do that.  Al thought maybe we could head north from Macon and then spend the night at a state park in Georgia or South Carolina.  Margie gave me a reminder about the  Mountain Directory, so I ordered one online. I probably could have gotten one at Camping World, but the nearest one is 45 minutes away, so I figured the gas would cost more than the $5 I spent on postage.  They have an Eastern and Western book.  I didn't get the Western one at this time, but I'm sure I will later. I think it will help me figure out the grades and elevations ahead of time.  Margie gave me a good suggestion for handling scary roads.  She said to 1.  go into the bedroom and close the door.  2.  put your head under the cover until it's all better!!   I know most people don't think the Eastern Mountains are anything to worry about, but remember, I'm a Floridian and our highest elevation in the entire state is 345 feet, and I've never even been to that "mountain."  Any other suggestions for things we might need to help us navigate, find campgrounds, live on the road?  We have a good GPS, but the newer ones have the lane assist, which I think would be nice.

Well it's almost 7am and poor tired Al is still in bed.  He never sleeps in!  I'm planning to make him rest today and tomorrow there will be no mercy.  :)

Here is an interesting site.  It tells you the highest elevations in each state.  It's a good way to help me avoid mountains!  Well, I don't want to avoid them, I just want to see them from a distance or in the CAR!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Catching Up

Al comes home tomorrow, so I decided to try and get some grass mowed before he got back. I have always enjoyed riding the mower and do most of the mowing on the rider.  I think he's afraid I am starting not like it anymore. :)    It certainly takes both of us to handle all this property.  I would rather be riding around outside on the mower than cleaning cabinets, painting, or sorting "stuff", but mowing can wait and I need to get these other things done.  Besides, as soon as I get it mowed, it just needs it again.  Why not save some gas and do it half as often? 


I have gotten all the kitchen cabinets straightened up.  I will need to unload some of my small appliances that won't fit in the motor home, but at least the cabinets are nice and neat.  After Al recuperates from his trip, I think we'll finish up the porch painting.  I have done pretty much all I can without having to stand on a ladder.  The higher parts will be his job.  We don't have much left though and I think we can whip it out pretty quickly, if we just focus!  The next project will be to work on the two spare bedrooms/junk room/office.  Of course while we're doing all that we will also have to be working on the yard.

We are going to try to take the Tennessee trip maybe in October.  It looks like it's around 500 miles.  It will depend on where we are on the house selling though.  I have been looking at routes.  I would like to have as little elevation as possible!  Yes, I know, I want to go to the mountains....I just don't want to drive the motor home up there!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tennessee Mountain Vacation?

Al knows someone that has a RV lot in north Tennessee, near the Virginia border.  Actually, they have  rv 4 lots with electricity, water and sewer. :)  They have invited us to bring the MH up there and stay whenever we want, and we've been thinking we might take them up on their kind offer.  It's about 500 miles north of us, so we figured we'd need 5-6 days to get there...just kidding, we'd only need 3!  We're not big on driving any distance, but I think we could make it in two days but if we found somewhere we wanted to stay, we could take some extra time.  The only thing is I'm worried about driving in the mountains!  By mountains, remember this girl is a flatlander and if the elevation is over 200 feet, it's a mountain to me!   Our motorhome is a gutless wonder, so I hope it can make it up the hills!  Actually it has been from Florida to Alaska, so I guess it made up over a few mountains.  It went there with it's previous owners...not us. We know because we have a receipt for an oil change in Alaska.

So that gives us something else to think about.  If, we get the house ready to sell, and if nothing else comes up (like a sold sign) we might be able to squeeze a fall trip in.  The nice thing is that we don't need a reservation, so if it works out, we can just go!  How nice is that?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blog Tweaks

I was reading an interesting blog post from Rick and Paulette, about saving and organizing digital photographs.  He gave some really good tips.  In Ricks post he mentioned correctly sizing the photographs so that they would load quickly on other computers which may be using Wifi or an Aircard. I think I have my photos properly sized, but if anyone has any problems with that issue or any others, please let me know.  When I post using Windows Live Writer, I believe I have them sized correctly, but I'm not sure about that when I use Blogger to write the post.

Well enough about blogging.

Yesterday I spent on routine cleaning.  Since we had been busy outside painting, we neglected the house and boy did it need some attention.  I hate to think how we are going to manage to keep everything perfect when we put the house on the market.  The only way I know to do that is to LEAVE!  We had thought about trying to be gone as much as possible at that point, but I doubt we will have sold, donated, or trashed enough stuff at that point, so we will probably have to stay here and continue to try to unload all the crap treasures!  When we sold the house in Tampa, packed up most of the stuff and moved it here to Georgia, left enough furniture to properly stage it, and LEFT! 

Today my goal is to clean a kitchen cabinet that is a catch all.  I know that doesn't sound too ambitious for a days project, but you should see this cabinet!  If I get that done, I'll feel like I accomplished something!  It's a large double lower cabinet.  Wish me luck!


Monday, July 12, 2010

100 Best Places to Live

REALLY?????

This list was on my Yahoo home page this morning.  My idea of a great place to live doesn't mean long, cold winters, lots of rain,  not much excitement, or short on charm!

I guess I have a different view of a great place to live!  These were a few of the top 10 that were on the list. 


Eden Prairie, MN
Population: 64,000
Unemployment: 5.1%
Pluses: Plenty of jobs, very low crime, lots for kids to do
Minus: Long, cold winters
  
Bellevue, WA
Population: 124,000
Unemployment: 5.8%
Pluses: Natural beauty, excellent schools, diversity
Minuses: Pricey real estate, rain

Overland Park, KS
Population: 175,000
Unemployment
: 5.3%
Pluses: Good schools, low cost of living
Minuses: Some job losses, not much excitement

Fishers, IN
Population: 69,000
Unemployment: 6.2%
Pluses: Very low crime, inexpensive homes
Minus: Short on charm


To each his own, and I guess the job market makes some of these places appealing, but to me, long cold winters are not where I want to live.


I've been drinking my coffee and reading blogs this morning, and seeing where all the fulltimers are at and all the wonderful adventures they are having, makes me want to sell this house and hit the road.  Since Margie won't come help paint, I guess I'd better get moving.  Time's a wasting!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Same Ole, Same Ole

Yesterday was spent about the same as the past few days.  I worked on the painting project on the front porch and Al was back and forth between the gutter project and a multitude of other things.  It's just too hot to be on the roof for too long at a time.  He's having problems getting the gutter covers to fit and stay on properly. 

We really need to do some mowing, but if I start that project, then the painting suffers.  I decided to forget the mowing for a little while and concentrate on the painting.  Al is getting worried...he's afraid I am going to quit liking to mow!  With our commercial grade zero turn mower, I know I can get through the pasture, even if it's real high.  I would rather be riding that mower around than painting any day, but mowing always needs doing and once I finish this painting project, it will be done!!!  My goal is to finish as much of the painting as I can do while he is "on vacation" this week.  I am not climbing up on a ladder to reach the really high stuff, so Al will do that part.  I don't mind my scaffold, but I am not comfortable with heights.

My other project for this week is to work on the house inside.  Unfortunately it has suffered while we've been working on the painting projects outside. We're trying to get at the point where we can have the house ready enough to at least get it listed.  There is a lot of stuff that we can do after the fact, but we want to at least get it listed for now.  We don't expect a lot of lookers due to the rural area we are in and the housing market.

We are hoping once we get it listed, and make some good progress with weeding out our treasures/junk/stuff, we can take a little camping trip.  Of course we have no desire to go anywhere until it cools off a little.  When we lived in Tampa, our camping trips started in October and for the most part ended around May.  We would sometimes take a kayaking/camping trip to Silver River State Park in early June, but mostly we just did day trips during the hot summers.  It's the same here...too hot to camp!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

One Thing Leads to Another

We finished painting the ceiling on the front patio last night and were very pleased with ourselves.  However, we still have much more to do and we keep finding new projects we hadn't previously thought of.  It's very frustrating.  We were so tired last night I think once hit the bed we didn't stir all night long. 

Al was thrilled last night when he realized that on Sunday, he is "going on vacation."  He's celebrating..and frankly so am I, because when he goes on "vacation" so will I.  His vacation consists of going to Tampa to do his few remaining pest control customers.  He goes monthly and normally dreads it, but this time he's anxious to go.  I guess I've been working him too hard!

Part of the problem with working, is that it's so darned hot that everything you do is a chore.  It's actually cooler today, at only 93 degrees.  The humidity is very high.

Maybe it's the hot weather, or maybe it's just that I'd like to go diving, but I got to thinking about a wonderful dive trip we took a few years ago.  It was aboard the  Dolphin Dream.   It's a liveaboard dive boat.  It was called the Dream Two at the time.  We boarded in Riviera Beach, Florida and cruised the Bahamas for a few days.  It's a wonderful trip and I would sure like to go again.  It got very expensive since we went though.  They have a wonderful encounter with wild Dolphin and it was an amazing dive.  On their night dives they played music by Credence Clearwater Revival down to you while you were diving.  We had the pleasure of following an Octopus around watching him grab dinner from the holes in the reef, all the while changing colors constantly.  It was so much fun.....ahh, wish I was there instead of painting.....


Friday, July 09, 2010

Rethinking What Needs to be Sold

When we started this painting project, I was thinking that as soon as we sold this house I was going to throw away all my painting supplies forever.  As Margie pointed out, motorhomes don't need paint :)  Unfortunately, I remembered, we have a house in Tampa that we rent out...duh.  So we are re-thinking some of those items.  I guess we can store a few things at my Moms house....I know she'll love that! 

The heat has been stifling the past few days after a few days of cooler weather.  We finally smartened up today and got up earlier and shortened our coffee/news hours. We just need to start before it gets too hot.   It's 95 degrees now and it's only 11 am.  I  can work on my porch painting since it's in the shade, but I think Al will have to wait till evening to get back up on the roof.  He's still working on the covers for the rain gutters.  They don't seem to want to go on quite right and it's killing his knees.

That's the plan for today.  Al wants to go to the buffet for some catfish, but if we do that, our day will be shot, so I have to play slave driver.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Attack

Well, we were working along pretty well.  Al was cleaning gutters and I was starting the prep work to paint the ceiling of the front porch.  Did I mention, I hate to paint?

We decided to take a lunch break. I was inside, Al was outside.  I heard him scream.  He said he had been stung in the eye.  It turns out, he was stung at least twice and maybe 3 times right around the right eye.  It’s so red and swollen and red, it’s hard to tell where he got stung.  He wasn’t sure how many times he was hit.  I remember a few years ago getting stung in the upper cheek and it felt like someone punched me. I can only imagine how he feels.  Poor baby.  He was in just riding down in the golf cart.  He had on his regular glasses with his sunglasses over them and the wasp got under his glasses!  We put ice, and vinegar on it and he took a Benadryl, which always zonks him out, so good night Al.  I need to stay busy, and get my work done.  After all, I didn't’ get stung, but I have a real hard time working when he’s relaxing!  I either need to get stung, or back to work…..hummmm?  Oh, yeah, it’s now 95 degrees…lovely huh?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Heat is Back

We had a few days of cooler weather, but now it appears the humidity is back.  Yesterday it only got into the low 90's but with the higher humidity, it was miserable.

However, we did manage to finish painting the floor on the back porch!  Hallelujah!  When I first went out in the morning, the temperature was only in the 70's and it was very nice.  Soon I heard Ivan the Terrible (Mockingbird) singing the prettiest song.  He was in the tree right above me and it was so nice.  We think he is "in love" again, because we saw two of them flitting around together later in the day.  Sometimes I wonder if their singing is brought on when they have babies!  By the time Al came out a few minutes later, he had stopped singing.

We still have some touch up to do (where I dropped, blobbed, and painted the wrong thing), but nothing major.  Our next project is the front porch.  The back porch was the worst and until it was repainted, the front porch didn't look too bad, just needed a good cleaning and some touch up paint here and there.  Of course now that the back looks so good, the front is starting to look worse!  Isn't that always how it is?  You paint something and it makes everything else look dirty!  So I guess we'll start working on the front today.  Unfortunately, it's about twice the size.  Al needs to go up on the roof first and do some patching up there where we have a water leak. 

We really want to put the house on the market while everything is pretty and green, but we're going to have to really hurry!!

I had Craig Listed our old RV memory foam mattress topper and we sold it yesterday for $50.  I almost just threw it out, but  then decided to give Craig s List a try, since it didn't cost anything.  The lady that bought it was a intensive care nurse who worked two full time jobs!  She worked at a hospital in Tampa and also in Tallahassee!  I have a good friend who is a nurse and I know it's a very stressful job.  I don't know how she manages to work two different jobs.  She recently bought a Class C from a patient who needed money for Radiation treatment and is going to take her kids up to  Vogel State Park  in North Georgia.  That's a very nice park in the mountains.  There is the prettiest lake right up there in the mountain.  We never stayed there, but visited one day when we were in the area.  It's one of the most popular parks in Georgia.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Cute Video posted on RV-Net Forum

This is not Rv related, but I found it on the forum this morning.  It's just so cute (to animal lovers) that I had to share.

click

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Plan

Today’s plan is to work on the floor for the back porch.  It needs to be sanded a little, primed and painted.  Not my favorite task, but necessary before we put the house on the market.  Then we will need to start on the front porch, which is larger.  :(

There is a front in the Gulf of Mexico, that is potentially going to be the next tropical storm, so it’s bringing us a some cloudy and cooler weather.  It’s only 81 now and not too awfully humid…perfect painting weather.

Our new Rabbit Air Purifier is trying to tell me something.  We got it Friday and so far like it real well.  It’s so quiet, I don’t know it’s even running.  It has a blue light that illuminates to let you know the quality of your air is good.

Yesterday, after breakfast, the light  turned bright red.  I quickly got out the manual to see what it meant and…oh no…toxic air!  Well actually just not good air. 

Evidently Mr. Rabbit didn’t like my cooking.  I may have caused a little smoke when I was cooking Al’s breakfast yesterday.  He talked me into bacon, eggs and hash browns.   I think it was the bacon that got me!  Last night for dinner, we got the red light again…all I made was spaghetti and garlic toast.  So I guess it’s sensitive enough to tell when the air quality isn’t good.  When that happens, it goes into a higher mode until it’s satisfied with the air quality. 

Okay, breaks over…time to get back to work.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Birthday America

Nothing special going on here for the 4th of July.  We're not going to watch any fireworks, just stay home where it's nice and quiet.

We made some progress yesterday on our porch painting project.  Our porches here are wood and a pain in the butt to paint and maintain.  I never appreciated our aluminum pool cage in Tampa, until I had to start maintaining these wood porches. In the 30 years we had the aluminum screen porch, it never had to be painted, and the cool deck just needed to be hosed down with some Clorox every once in a while.  Anyway, we got the ceiling and sides painted.  Now we just need to do the floor, which now has some paint spots on it. :)  I think the floor will be the worst part.  We tried to pressure wash it, but our used 3 times, brand new pressure washer will not start. We've had it about 3 years, but haven't used it for a few years.  Al had run all the gas out of it the last time he used it, but in retrospect, he might have needed to drain the remaining gas from the bowl as well.  Anyway, that's another project to get it started. 

I started working on the July mowing of the pasture.  It usually takes a few days because I just can't mow that much grass all at once.  I got a bad case of  "mower butt" almost immediately and had to cut it short.  It seems that last winter when we put down the Allure flooring in the motor home, I did something to my Sciatic nerve and I have been having problems ever since. Riding that mower for too long at a time can be very painful. 


We had initially thought about going to see the new Twilight movie, Eclipse yesterday afternoon, but were too deep into painting, so I'll have to wait.  :(  We aren't big movie goers, and much prefer watching on our own TV from the comfort of our recliners. Once in a while there are movies we either want to see ASAP or prefer the big screen.  Eclipse is one of them!




Saturday, July 03, 2010

No Progress Yesterday

We had made some progress on our painting project on Thursday and were hoping to keep up the momentum yesterday.  However, that was not to be.

Al was feeling better than he was, but still was not up to par so he finally broke down and tried to make a doctors appointment.  Unfortunately, our doctor was out of town and his partner has recently retired, so we were not able to get an appointment at that office.  This is one thing I don't like about small town living.  We searched our Humana website to find another doctor who is on the preferred provider list.  Unfortunately on that list, several of the doctors weren't accepting new patients.  We finally located a doctor we could use and got an appointment.  He was Pakistani and not our number one choice, but he was available and Al got an appointment.  He thought Al had a sinus/respiratory infection and prescribed another anti-biotic.   He is due for his physical, so he'll make an appointment with his own doctor in a few weeks, and we'll follow up on this infection.

Our  Rabbit Air Purifier arrived yesterday and so far I'm very impressed.

We had bought a Honeywell brand system at Home Depot and it was so noisy, it drove you crazy.  You get what you pay for, I guess.  It's being returned.   The Rabbit system has 6 different filters, one stacked on top of the other.  Each filter has a different purpose.  The top one is washable and will pick up the cat hair and dust.   The highest and noisiest setting on the Rabbit is much quieter than the quietest setting on the Honeywell.  Hopefully it will help Al.  He has just developed a sensitivity to chemical odors, dust, and paint fumes.  That makes it difficult when you're trying to paint!




This morning we woke up to something we hadn't seen for a while, and we were shocked!  We temperature outside was 69 degrees!  We hadn't seen anything in the 60's for a while.  I opened the back door to get some of that cool air inside!  Of course, 5 minutes later, it hit 70!

The 4th of July week-end will find us hanging around the house.  One thing I do like about small town living is that we don't hear noisy fireworks 2 weeks before and a week afterwards.  In Tampa a few weeks before the 4th, or New Years, or several other holidays, people would buy fireworks and set them off day and night.  They  wouldn't be the pretty ones, just the noisy ones.  I have never seen the point in just making noise.  We get none of that here and I love our peace and quiet!  I'd much rather hear a bird chirp!

One thing we might do today is go see the new Twilight movie, "Eclipse."  I got interested in the movie after watching the first movie.  I enjoyed it so much, I decided to read the book and I was hooked.  I ended up reading all 4 books and we've seen both movies so far.  Al likes the movies, but couldn't get into the books.  In town there is a movie theater that is the old fashioned style theater.   It has been renovated and is supposed to be very nice.  We'll see I guess.  The matinee starts at 4:30 and the cost is $6 but they have a senior citizen special....don't know what the age is, but we are getting older.  :) 


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Dream Trip


We spent yesterday working outside.  We've had some rain partially due to the feeder bands from Hurricane Alex.   The rain is causing the "sprouts" to grow.  Those are those nasty things that sprout up two days after you mow.  I hate them!  I mowed several acres yesterday and ended up with a bad case of  "mower butt" and a sore thumb.  Gotta mow while it's cloudy, cool,  and not raining!

Al worked on cleaning the concrete pad up by the garage.  He had wood piled up there and the beetles got it, so we ended up with a mess.  It's cleaned up now and ready to power wash.  Another project that needed to be done before we put the house on the market.  If the weather holds out, we may be able to get some some pressure washing of the back porch in preparation to paint..

We've been reading so many blogs of different summer trips and it's made us anxious to make our own trip.  Not this year, unfortunately. We certainly want to head west to the Grand Canyon and all the other wonderful places in the west, but I think our first big trip will be a trip to Maine and possibly Nova Scotia.  What we'd like to do is head north starting around April.  We'd follow the spring bloom and warmer weather north.  We'd see the sights along the way and probably visit some relatives in North Carolina.  Once we got as far as we could we'd start heading south when the weather started getting cooler and the fall colors started.  I think we'd aim to be back in north Georgia toward the end of October.  Sounds nice, huh?  Not this year, but one day, hopefully.

Meanwhile, we are continuing our preparations to getting the house on the market.  We did some painting prep work on the back porch and were able to get a little painting done.  We're not needing to paint everything, just do a little touch up.  The secret is to match the paint so you don't have to paint it all.  I hate to paint and Al says it bothers his lungs.