Lake Nottley

Lake Nottley

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Trip to the ER

Yesterday was one of those days that started off bad and never changed.

It started with strong thunderstorms for most of the day with hail and possible tornado’s predicted.

Fortunately we never got any hail or tornados and very little wind, but we did get a fair amount of rain.  I always worry when severe weather is predicted, so I spent the day monitoring the weather.

By mid afternoon it cleared up so we decided to take the kitties to the vet for their check-ups.  Socks needed fluids and Squeaky needed a follow up visit for her liver problem.  Our local vet wants her to stay on antibiotics and Prednisone for a longer period.  I’m okay with the antibiotics, but I really hate the Prednisone as it is an immune suppressant , and I have also heard that it can bring on diabetes.  I guess we’ll go with this regimen though, but I will be doing some research.  Squeaky is definitely not feeling 100%.

After we got back home the sun started to shine (finally) so I went down to the house to do some laundry.  Al was working in his garage, sorting and cleaning. 

He got a phone call, so I brought the phone out to him. 

I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I noticed he was falling.  It was kind of slow motion, and I was worried that he would hit his head on the concrete, or break a leg when he landed with it under him.

When I got up to him, I noticed his hand was bleeding.  Some way, some how, he was on the ground with a fish hook stuck in the bottom of his shoe and another fish hook stuck in his index finger.  His foot was underneath him.  He couldn’t get up until he got the hook out of the shoe because the shoe and hook was attached to the hook in his finger.  I was able to find a tool to cut them apart and then we pulled the hook out of the shoe.  That hook only went through the rubber of the shoe, not his foot.  Thank goodness.

Then we had to address the hook in his finger.  It was in an unopened package of lures with three treble hooks.  We weren’t sure exactly what happened, but finally Al figured that he probably stepped on the hook, it became lodged in his shoe, he leaned down to pull it out when he tripped and it pierced his finger.  That’s the only thing that made any sense, but we’re still not exactly sure how it happened.  Darn…wish I could have gotten it on video :)

He cut the hook at the base so that his finger was at least free from the package of hooks, that had become very bloody by this time.  He thought he would be able to get the hook out himself.  I was skeptical, but I let him try.  Once we realized the barb was inside his finger, we realized a trip to the emergency room would be in order.

One thing about going to an ER in a small town is that we got right in with no wait. Everyone we spoke to, from the first person at the desk, to the nurses, to the doctor, all had comments that they hoped we got a big fish!  Of course we had to tell them, he was in his garage!

The doctor stuck 2 needles into the wound to deaden it.  Evidently that was extremely painful and poor Al’s face turned beet red.  It did the job though because he didn’t have much pain when the Doctor pulled the barb out.  He got a tetanus shot, a prescription for pain meds and antibiotics and we were on our way.  I’ll bet that was a $1000 visit.  Evidently fish hook injuries are very common because they have a preprinted sheet they handed up on how to care from a wound from a fish hook!

The following picture is the treble hook that we cut off.  The curved part and the barb was in Al’s finger.

IMG_3182

The Doc told us a story about a guy he treated that  was riding a bike home from a fishing trip.  The hook snagged a tree branch, and he jerked on the line to release the hook.  It came down and caught the calf of his leg, and he fell off his bike and broke his hand.  Yikes!  The Pharmacist said her brother is an ER doctor and he frequently treats fish hook wounds.  Who would have thought?

On the way out of the ER,  a young man came walking in in swim shorts, no shoes and barefoot.  He had bad burns on his legs and feet.  We couldn’t figure out how that could have happened, but he was going to be in for some pain.  I’m glad we got there first, or we may have had a long wait.

So, we ended up having an eventful day.  We came home, cooked a frozen pizza, watched Survivor and went to bed.  The pain meds Al was given made him drowsy and he is not planning on taking any more today.  I guess we’ll see how the pain is.  The Doc said it would probably be pretty painful. 

Today is our final day to prepare for our garage sale this week-end.  We’re having it Friday and Saturday.  Since it’s the first of the month, and the weather is supposed to be nice, we’re hoping for a lot of traffic. 

The next pictures are of some spring blooms. These were not taken at our house, but of a beautifully landscaped place in town.  They have a family of Swans and they have babies each year.

Spring Blooms-Cairo- 2011

Spring Blooms-Cairo- 2011

Spring Blooms-Cairo- 2011

Snowball bush

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Had to Drink the Margaritas

A guy that came by last week-end and said he wanted the freezer but couldn’t pick it up until this week.  Since we know how that usually goes, I didn’t think we’d see him again.

He surprised me and called to make arrangements to pick it and the fireplace set up yesterday afternoon.

I moved what was left in the big freezer to the freezer on the refrigerator, but didn’t have room for the big jug of frozen margaritas. Since  I’m not one to waste things… I had to drink it before it melted!  Not really, I only had one, and that one margarita made me sleepy!

So he took the freezer and fireplace tools, so I’m counting that in with last weeks moving sale, so we now have a grand total  $266.

Al had a guy come look at the boat but so far no sale.

We took a truck load of trash to the dump and another truck load to Goodwill.   I said last week we needed to get rid of 1/6 of all our stuff at last weeks garage sale.  We are getting to the point where we are deciding the value of the items and if the potential sale is worth the trouble.  If not, they are going to the dump or Goodwill and won’t have to be handled again.

I went through my drawers and tossed a bunch of stuff and the closets.  I’m going to put a rack of hanging clothes at the sale for $1.00.  Those will be the better things…the others are going to Goodwill.  If I can’t sell these things for $1.00 then I give up!

I have a dentist appointment this afternoon and I need to take Squeaky to the vet.  She is due for some more bloodwork testing to make sure her liver function is still good.  She also has a swollen lymph node in her jaw/neck area so I’m wondering what’s going on there.  She still doesn’t quite seem back to normal.

Thanks for all the suggestions on how to get rid of our stuff.  I have thought about an estate sale, but have wondered if we’d make any money ourselves.  There is a guy in town who does that, so maybe it’ll be something to consider for the remaining items. 

I’m feeling a little better about our progress, but of course it’s early.  I’m sure the closer we get to the end, the less confident I will be.

We’re waiting for the appraiser for FHA .  This could be where we hit a snag.  He may require us to do certain things that will cost us money.  If the house doesn’t meet their qualifications, they won’t give the loan.  Hopefully this will happen this week.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rain and Hail

Sunday was supposed to be a day to load up things for Goodwill and trash, but the weather didn’t cooperate.

We have been having some crummy weather due to approaching cold fronts.  This is what I hate about living in this area.  In the spring, the cold fronts coming from the northwest meet up with the warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and we end up with nasty weather.  We thought we had waited long enough to come back, but apparently not.

We had some pretty good size hail and it was sure loud hitting the motor home roof.  I get real nervous during storms, so it’s not a good thing.  That is one thing that concerns me about living in a motor home.  With the kitties, we can’t just spend the day at a mall or a movie theater.  The weather channel had mentioned some area getting hit with grapefruit size hail!  Can you believe that?  I hope they don’t mean those big old grapefruits like we have in Florida!

They are forecasting some spotty rain showers all day today, but hopefully we will still be able to make a trip to Goodwill.  We just need to get rid of some stuff, just to be able to see some progress.

Thanks for all your suggestions concerning how to attract garage sale people and also about alternate locations for our sales.  I will definitely put it on Craig's List this week and I also found a Garage Sale website.  As far as other locations, we could use a storage shed like we did before, but we really need to conserve our energy and having them come here is better.  Part of the problem last week, is we just had too much to do last week when we got back home and didn’t quite get everything done.

We bought more garage sale signs and will plaster this town with them before our next sale.  Hopefully, it’ll be better next week-end.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Time For Plan “B”

Remember I said we would need to get rid of 1/6 of all our stuff at our garage sale? 

Well, we didn’t even come close.  Not only did we not make much money, but we didn’t get rid of much in terms of volume.  We sold a grand total of $126.

We had an ad in the local paper, but it turns out not many people read the paper.

We had a few signs out, but not nearly enough.  Lesson learned.

I was afraid being out in the country would hurt us and it apparently did.

When we had the storage lot in town, we found just putting signs on major roads brought in lots of people.  The storage lot we had last fall is no longer available or we might consider doing that again.

Next week, we will have signs everywhere!

In the meantime, we are going to start loading up stuff for the trash and Goodwill.  We have got to get rid of stuff, and not wait until the last minute.

We also have decided we need to drop prices and make these items “too good to pass up.” 

After our sale, we went into town for a few groceries and we treated ourselves to lunch at the local country buffet.  Yumm..    We had worked really hard this past week and decided we needed a good meal and then a good afternoon nap.

Unfortunately our nap didn’t pan out because we got a hail storm.  Nothing like hail hitting your roof to wake you up.  I’m reminded why we prefer Florida weather.  I hate these strong winter and spring storms!

Today we’re going to the local diner and have breakfast.  We went there one day last week and I had a wonderful breakfast with country ham. I’ve been wanting more country ham ever since.  After breakfast, we’re going to get things together for a run to Goodwill tomorrow.  “Stuff” is going to leave the house today!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

First Moving/Garage Sale

It’s 7:00 am and we’re awaiting the first arrivals for the garage sale.  Our ad stated our starting time is 8:00 am starting time, but we decided we should probably get out of our jammies, and dressed, just in case of early birds.

Today is also the day the home buyers are sending someone in to do a final inspection.  They weren’t able to get into the garage or any out buildings while we were in Tampa, so they will do that today as well as check everything out more thoroughly. The water was turned off while we were gone, so I’m sure that will also be something they will check.  They have until the 31st to meet their due diligence requirements.  Hopefully they won’t nitpik and we’ll be one step closer.

Hopefully our first sale will be a success and then we can rest a bit this afternoon. It’s been a busy week since we got back home with the yard work and prepping for the sale.    Wish us luck!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Getting Ready for Moving Sale

We spent most of the day yesterday getting ready for our upcoming garage sale.

This will be the first one we’ve had at the house.  We need to go get some cash for change and get things laid out and priced.  It’s going to be a big job.

I woke up at 1 am this morning worrying about the amount of stuff we have.  I was thinking since we only have time for 6 garage sales, we need to get rid of 1/6 of everything  we have.

I put some more things on Craig’s List yesterday, and we got some interest on the boat.    We’re thinking, as long as we can sell the bigger items, the little things can go to Goodwill or trash if necessary. 

Providing the sale of the house goes through, we will need to change our state of residence.  We’ve decided to become Floridians again.  We’ll have to change our Rv insurance to fulltimers coverage, and add a rider for extra coverage for all of our things.  I had done a lot of research on all this previously, but I can’t remember it all. Does anyone have any suggestions on when to do what?  We need fulltimers coverage once the house sells, but we will still have Georgia Drivers Licenses and vehicle registrations.  I guess we can use our mail service address to get our new Florida fulltimers insurance and get the drivers license and tags after that.  Whew…more things to think about.

Gotta go, lots to do today!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Someone Invaded My Campsite

Last evening, Al was down by the house working, while I was “upstairs”  in the motor home fixing dinner and getting my shower.  The motor home is up on a hill a pretty good distance from the house.

I decided to walk down and get him.  So down I walked in my jammies.  Hey, that’s one of the benefits of living in the country :) 

I got about half way there when I noticed a truck in the driveway.  I debated for a few minutes whether or not it was Al’s truck, but finally decided it wasn’t.   Oops..better go back up and get some clothes on.   I called Al on his cell and he confirmed we had visitors! 

The way our property is, there is a dirt road that runs parallel to the south side of the property but we have a private driveway through the woods that we use.  Most people don’t know you can also get to our property by the dirt road. There is a gate with a no trespassing sign by our private driveway.  We haven’t had any problem with anyone coming onto the property…other than UPS or FedEx, so we don’t close or lock the gate.  (until now)

We had an ad in the local weekly paper for our garage sale this week-end,  and these two guys saw the ad and decided to come on in and see what we had.  We weren’t too happy about that, but they bought a ladder and may be interested in the boat.

We will be locking the gate from now on.

The good thing is that they own a business in town where they buy and resell furniture and other things.  The one guy is a collector and since we have lots of stuff, he may be a good guy to know.   They have a cousin that is an auctioneer and he will sell your things at auction if you like.  They are interested in purchasing furniture, boat, mower and a lot of other things.  I realize they won’t be offering top dollar, but at least it’s a back up plan for the things that don’t sell quickly.

I put our phone number in the ad (for directions) and have been getting calls about some of the items.  That  was a mistake and on sale number 2, the phone number won’t be on it.

I also listed some stuff on Craig’s List yesterday and have gotten a few responses.  I guess things are starting!  I’m a little hesitant on selling things like our bed and bedroom furniture until after the 31st when the buyers “due diligence” period ends.  Once we get some word on their financing and the due diligence is over, I’ll be more comfortable selling those types of things.  We can certainly live here in the motor home, but if this deal falls though, we could end up not selling for months or even years, so I hate to sell the things we really would need.    The problem with that is if it does go through, this stuff needs to all be gone. 

Yesterday started with me at the dentist to finish up a crown that I started in December.  The doc glue down the temporary real well since I’d be out of town and he had a devil of a time getting it off.  At one point he said I had 3 hands in my mouth!  He also filled two cavities and by the time I left, I felt like I’d been beaten up.

Al had been busy while I was gone and gotten the yellow pollen cleaned from both porches and was working on raking the leaves in the front. 

Poor Al, was worn out by the end of the day.  We’re making progress, but there is so much more to do.

I did laundry and boy does it take longer when you can only do one load at a time :)  Yes, that is the advantage to the Laundromat.   I took advantage of my clothesline and now everything has that nice fresh smell.

Our weather has been unseasonably hot here with the temp getting up to 87 yesterday.  That’s one thing I like about Georgia.  The spring and fall last longer than in Tampa.  This year it’s been way too hot for this early.  The Wisteria blooms have really taken a beating from the dry hot days.

Here are a few pictures of the Wisteria and flowering trees and shrubs.  I wish you could smell the wonderful fragrant Wisteria.  It has the most unusual fragrance and you can smell it all over the property.

Wisteria

Wisteria

Wisteria

IMG_3115

Spirea

Spirea

Crabapple

Crabapple bloom

Crabapple bloom

Dogwood

Dogwood Blooms

Wild Easter Lilies

Easter Lilies

We have really enjoyed living here and being around the beauty.  However, it’s a lot of work and we’re at the point we don’t want to work this hard. It’s especially hard on Al as he has to do most of the more physical labor.  We will miss our little house in the woods but we will be very happy to start our new life.  We can find beauty everywhere and that beauty can change from week to week.  We will miss our birds and wildlife, but we always have birds when we camp.  Normally the first thing that gets done when we get to a campsite is put some bird food out.   I keep remembering a trip last summer at Ochlockonee River State Park where we had a very friendly family of dear (including small fawn), and white and gray squirrels.  It was a wonderful trip.

Al I and I are “water people” and we need to be closer to it.  This place is just a little too far from the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic or “good” rivers.  So I’m sure we’ll be happy  in our new life.

Another busy day starts…..

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Day Closer to Full Timing

Yesterday was one of those days where we were busy all day but didn’t seem to get much accomplished.  We can’t be having many of those days because May 6th is coming up fast!

My first order of business was getting clothes washed.  Judy’s comment yesterday made me feel that maybe I was being “ugly” when I said I didn’t like to go to Laundromats because they were nasty and there were crummy people there.  I thought about how that sounded and decided I should go check them out.  We live in a small farming community. There are a lot of migrant workers here and they were the ones that appear to use the two Laundromats in town.  The crime level is very, very low here, so I wasn’t worried about getting mugged.  I just expected the facility to be dirty and nasty, and guess what?  I was right! It’s a shame people that some people have no other options and have to use these places.  The owners should be ashamed of themselves.  There are two laundromats in town and the other one was much better (but still not good) and very busy.  Again, I don’t mine laundromats at the campgrounds and have found them very clean and nice, but my experience yesterday convinced me I need a new/used washer.

We debated whether to fix, get a used one or rent.  We stopped at a rental place, but they just do “rent to own.” 

We finally decided to go to the repair facility Al had checked out and buy one of their used ones with a 30 day guarantee.  I know it will give me something else to sell, but at least I’ll have a machine while we’re here.  If I take a loss on it, it’ll be okay if I can avoid those dirty laundromats.  So today I’ll be doing some laundry and loving it!

We spent a lot of the day cleaning up the yard and it’s looking pretty good.  At least good enough for the buyers agent to inspect in Saturday. 

I took some pictures of some furniture and items we will be selling and today I’m going to start getting them posted on Craig's list.  I guess I’ll put some price tags on these items and if anyone at the garage sale is interested we can take them down to the house for a look.  We really need to make this and each garage sale count because we will only 5 garage sale week-ends before closing.  Scary!

Over the 5 years that we lived here we cultivated a lot of birds.  We fed them every day at least once.  We kept water for them and did our best to protect them from predators.  When we left in December Al filled the bird feeders as full as he could, but we felt very, very guilty leaving them with no food to face a cold winter.  Our house sitter would put some food out when she came by, but that wasn’t too often.  I especially felt bad for our very large family of Cardinals. 

The first thing we did when we got back was put some bird food out.  We see some birds but not nearly as many as we used to.   Our family of Cardinals by the front porch have moved on.   Al has seen some down in the woods and we’ve heard some, but I think they’re mad at us and we feel real bad.  I sure hope the new owners are bird lovers and will take care of our friends.  I will sure miss our bird friends when we leave.  I will also miss this beautiful piece of land where we can look out any window and see beauty.  Yes, I think there will be tears when we pull out of the drive-way the last time.  No regrets though.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

44 Days Until we are Fulltimers?

We are trying to prioritize things in order to get the house emptied out and all our stuff sold by May 6th.

So far things are progressing on the sale of the house.  We are cautiously optimistic.  We have a “pre-approval letter” from their lender.  However, we also had one of those from the buyer on our Tampa house and it meant absolutely nothing.

The buyers live in South Carolina and evidently do not intend to come and see the house.  I don’t understand why…maybe they are elderly?  All we know is that the man and woman have different last names. 

The local relatives of the buyers are coming over on Saturday to do a more detailed inspection of the property.  This is when they could either  hire a property inspector or do it themselves.  The realtor said it’s usually better if they do the inspection themselves.  Hopefully they won’t nitpick.   When we were in Florida for the winter, we had the well pump turned off and all the out buildings locked.  The buyers have until March 31st (we extended their deadline) to do their “due diligence.”   If they find something they don’t like they will still be able to void or renegotiate the contract. 

We have not moved back into the house.  All of our stuff is here in the motor home and the house is staying clean, so we’re not moving back into the house at least until after the inspection.  We may not move back there at all.  We thought it might be nice for the kitties to have one last chance to romp around their “big” house, but then it’s such a problem to catch them and get them back in the motor home. 

I had not done any laundry the last week we were in  Tampa thinking once we got back to Georgia, I would just do it all there.  I have a big pile of dirty clothes :(

I was so looking forward to having my washer, dryer and clothesline back.  I got the first load washed and when I came back to put them in the dryer the floor was wet.  Not a ton of water, but the washer was definitely leaking.  We were hoping it was a hose, but no such luck.  Al thinks it’s the water pump.  So now what do we do?  Buy a new washer?  Definitely not.  Replace the water pump?  Well the part is $100 and then there is no guarantee that it is actually the pump, plus it’s something else that takes up valuable time.  Rent a washing machine for a month or so?  That’s a possibility.  We’ve never rented anything like that, so I don’t know how that works, or how much it costs.  We could also buy a used machine.  Al found one with a 30 day guarantee for $150.  That seems a little expensive for using it for a month, but then we would be able to sell it.  I don’t mind at all using campground Laundromats, but I’m not so sure about a regular one.  My perception is they are nasty and crummy people are there.  Maybe I’m wrong.  All I know for sure is I really need to wash some clothes!

Yesterday was a busy day for us and by the time night fell, we were two very tired people!

We put an ad in the newspaper for a moving sale here at the house on Saturday.  We have never had one at the house before and always rejected that idea because we didn’t want strangers coming into our little private piece of paradise.  Now that we’re leaving, we aren’t so bothered by it.  We also got to know a lot of the garage sale crowd in town and they are decent people so we aren’t concerned that we’ll have a bunch of scumbags coming.  We just don’t know how many people we will draw because we are a little out side of town.

We went by and reserved a small storage shed.  We need this “safety net” for the things that we don’t sell or need to keep.  We are not selling the mower, golf cart or utility trailer until the check is in our hand, so we’ll definitely need a place to keep them until we sell them.

We got some gas for the mowers and went home and started the  job of mowing and cleaning up the property.    We had a winters worth of leaves on the close in front yard.  I mowed off and on most of the day and by the time the day ended I was sore all over.  Riding that mower makes you feel like you’ve been in a car accident, like you’ve been beaten up! 

It’s looking better already but we still have lots more mowing and clean up to do.  A few plants died over the winter but they may not get cut down.  Some things will have to be left for the new owners.

Today we need to get some shock and chlorine for the very green pool and make some decisions on the washing machine.  I will continue mowing. 

Some time between now and Saturday morning, we have to organize a garage sale.  We are going to start selling furniture, but we’re not moving it all to the garage.  I think we’ll put some stuff in the garage and just tell people that we have furniture if they are interested, we can take them to the house.  We’re just not sure how to manage all this.  I guess I need to put some prices on the furniture.

Another project for today will be to photograph and Craig’s List some things. 

Lots of work to do and it’s just beginning!  Wish us luck!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back in Georgia

We had an uneventful travel day back to Georgia yesterday and arrived home about 5pm.

The weeds were not as high as I had imagined and the red clover was just starting to flower.  We have a large patch of land that has turned into a clover field.  It’s very pretty when it’s all  blooming red but if you wait too long to mow it down, it’s very difficult.  I was afraid of what I would find, but it was just starting.  We usually don’t mow it for a while because it’s so pretty and fragrant.  The butterflies love the clover so we’re helping them too.

The Wisteria and Spirea were in full bloom so unfortunately we’ve missed a little of the blooming season.

I can’t wait to get started mowing.  We need to get some non-ethanol gas but first we have to empty the back of the truck enough to put some gas tanks :)  Yep, we need a bigger motor home!

The golf cart, my Honda Crv and the well pump all started right up, so that was a relief.  I had heard that if you turn off your well pump that you may have problems, so we were happy that it appears to be fine.

We were very surprised at how much stuff we had gotten rid of.  I guess we had been working harder than we thought!  We feel much better after we looked through the house and garage.  Of course Al didn’t have the heart to open the shed yet and it was the one area that he had never really gotten to.

Living for three months in the motor home was a very good idea.  We found out exactly what we have room for (nothing) and exactly what we need and will use.  We now know that we don’t need nearly so many clothes.  We learned that coats and jackets take up a lot of room and we don’t need so many.  It’s it’s really cold you can layer clothes under your regular jacket.  It was a very good thing to do as our trial run.  We also seem to have lost some attachment to some of our “stuff” and I think it’ll be easier to get rid of it now.  Taking an extended trip in your Rv before fulltiming is something I would highly recommend to others, if it’s possible.

Today, we will get some mower gas, get our mail resumed, rent a storage shed, and put some ads in the paper for garage sales.  We’ll also work on getting some things photographed and listed on Craig’s list.

It’s going to be a busy few weeks.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Getting Ready to Head Home

Sweetwater Rv Park – Zephyrhills, Florida
We’re getting ready to end our wonderful 3 month stay in Florida.  The weather has been great.  I had forgotten just how nice Florida winters are.  It’s been getting pretty hot during the day, but the evenings get really cool.  It’s perfect in my opinion!  I love those cool nights.
Our house in Georgia is only about 275 miles north, but it’s amazing how different the weather is.
We intend to leave Sunday, but since we don’t ever get an early start, we may just go half way and spend the night somewhere between.  We really don’t like to drive more than 150 miles a day…I know, I know, but that’s just us :)
We have a big job ahead of us when we get home and I’m not really looking forward to it.  I think living in the motor home for the past 3 months has given us a better perspective on what we actually need, use,  and have room for.  It may be a little easier to unload some stuff because we know better what we actually will need.
I have not posted for a few days or posted about our latest kayaking adventure on the new Sea Eagles.  I just haven’t had the heart to get into it until now. Here’s why.
You may remember, we got the first ones sent to us at Vero Beach and we had problems with both boats.  One had a skeg that was coming unglued and the other had a leak in the seam by where the keel is glued on.  Water was getting inside that seam making it difficult to deflate and fold the boat.  Both were minor issues, but since we just paid $1600 for brand new boats, we wanted them to be right.
We contacted Tim and Crystal from Inflatable Boats 4 Less.  They requested pictures for Sea Eagle.  In just a short while we were told Sea Eagle was sending us brand new boats and that we could keep the old ones until the new ones arrived.  They shipped the new ones Fed Ex 2 day delivery and we shipped the old ones back.  It was very good service, but still a hassle packing and shipping the old boats.
We never got a chance to try out the new ones before we left Vero Beach, but made plans on Monday to take them out to the Hillsborough River with our friends/neighbors Dean and Shirley.
We really love the handling on the new Sea Eagles.  They are stable, easier to get in and out, and handle well.  They weigh half of what the old hard kayaks did and are much easier to carry. 
Inflating them doesn’t take much time, but the deflating process it a little more time consuming.  Our Fast Track boats have a “drop stitch” floor. It gives the boat more stability and you can actually stand up in the boat and paddle if you like.  We love that feature, however it makes it more difficult to put them away because you have to make sure the bottom of the boat (under the floor) is dried out.
Our old boats got thrown into the truck bed wet and dirty and we were off. With the new boats, you have to dry them off before you roll them up and put them away.  Of course the sand is a big problem and you seem to have sand everywhere! 
Anyway, it was getting late, and while drying and deflating the boats we noticed water leaking from the EXACT same spot by the keel as the first boat.  I was extremely disheartened, to say the least.  Evidently Sea Eagle has an issue with that seam and it needs to be rectified.  I’m not sure if the other boat had the same leak or not.   By that time, we were in no mood to check it out, or even care.
I haven’t notified Tim and Crystal yet because I have just not been in the mood to deal with it.  I’m sure Sea Eagle will make it right, but it’s more hassle.  We aren’t going to be sending any boats back until we get back to Georgia though.
We did have a nice kayaking trip that day, although it was late when we started, so we just made it a short trip.  Dean and Shirley got a little nervous because the gators that had previously been hanging around on the banks, were swimming around in the river.  Dean  said Shirley was  concerned that it was feeding time and since they feed at night, maybe it wasn’t a good time to be on the river.  I’m still not convinced it was Shirley that was concerned about the gators :)
We did have a few swim right underneath us and it was a little unnerving.
This next picture is my view from my kayak. You can see the floor in this picture.  The hole you see is one of the places you inflate the keel area of the boat.  There is a valve for the keel, the floor and each side.
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Here is Al on the Sea Eagle Fast Track 385.
Al in his new Sea EagleThe next picture is of Dean and Shirley's Sea Eagle 330.  You can see there is quite a difference.
Dean and Shirley in their Sea Eagle 330
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Roseatte Spoonbill
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It was a pretty day.  The new growth on the trees was so bright green and pretty and despite the issues with the boats and the wandering gators, it was a very nice trip.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Isn't Technology Wonderful?

This is my first post on my (Al's) new iPad, while driving down the highway. I still love my Droid, but this is much easier to type!

I understand their is a program for iPad, that will allow you to verbally dictate your text like the Droid, but the one I found called Dragon, won't load for whatever reason. Anyway, I am sitting here with the iPad in my lap, the Droid right next to me, the gps on the window, the TST tire pressure monitoring system in front of me, and my camera and laptop on the floor...just in case! It might be a god thing for me to have these toys because if I pay attention to the road I get nervous! A distraction is good...for both of us! This part of highway 60 is just 2 lanes and is a little nerve-racking.

We got ready to go and gassed up in just under 3 hours, which is good time for us. I know Margie brags :) that they can be ready to go in 15 minutes...but I sure don't think we will ever be that fast.

We have been trying to figure out just how we will get our house emptied out in a few short weeks. I think once we get back home and start to face all the crap we still have, it will be overwhelming. I guess like others before us, we will get it done. In some ways living in the rv the past three months makes me realize I don't care about or need all the stuff we left behind. We have decided we will probably rent a shed for a while. It will hold the things we can't sell until the last minute. We won't sell the utility trailer, golf cart or riding mower until the deal is finalized. A shed will take some pressure off if we know we don't have to make all the decisions right away, and paperwork and pictures can be done once the things we need to get rid of are gone. Anyway, that's the thought for now. We are just hoping the house sale goes through, but we won't be shocked if it doesn't.


Moving Day and iPad Review

Sunshine Travel Rv Resort – Vero Beach, Florida

We’re leaving Vero Beach today and heading back to the Tampa/Zephyrhills area.  As soon as Al gets his pest control accounts done, we’ll be heading back to Georgia to start the very daunting project of clearing out our house so that we can become official full-timers!  Of course that’s providing the buyers financing comes through.  Holding our breath.

We got Al’s new iPad about a week ago and so far he really likes it.  However, we have found a few issues.

First, it seems to be slower than my laptop which is powered by my Droidx.  We went back to the Verizon store yesterday and spoke to them about that.  He said that is basically because it’s an Apple product and runs differently.  It doesn’t support Flash drive so U-tube is pretty much out because it’s so slow.

 Rick had a good post on the pros and cons of the iPad.  I agree with Rick, that it’s not really a computer as I know one.  From what Rick said about the processor, I guess the iPad2 would be a little faster and maybe we should have waited and gotten that one instead, but we had money in our pocket burning a hole so we didn’t do our research well.  I thought the basic difference between the two iPads was cameras, different color, and weight.  I didn’t think those things mattered to us.  The processor speed does matter though.

I still prefer using my laptop for most things.  I think once we get more apps and learn how to use it, we will do better.  We do like the iPad, but it’s different than I expected.  The problem is, unless you know someone that has one, you can’t really get a feel for using one at the store, so it’s hard to know what it’s like.

I still love my Droidx the best though!

We really like the gps on the Droid because it shows a satellite view, which is really nice when you’re looking for a campground, river or anything like that.  I can also talk to it to tell it where I want to go.  I don’t know if the iPad has such a program, but even if it did, we don’t have unlimited data so probably wouldn’t us it.

Before we bought the iPad, I thought it would be nice driving down the road using it.  I still think that part will be nice, but I still will use my Droid gps.

What we do like about the iPad is beside it being incredibly cool, it’s great for Al who is not very experienced on a computer.  It’s easier for him and he mostly is interested in reading sporting magazines and the USA today.  It’s great for that.  It is so different from a laptop that I’ve had to learn it from scratch so that I could help him.  He has been doing well though looking up things on Craig's list and finding motor homes for sale!  We took it to the Laundromat yesterday and that was nice…easier and more portable than the laptop (especially since my battery is dead and I need power).  I really need to find a new/cheap laptop battery.

The other problem we have with the iPad,  it is somehow, we have used over half of our 3G data plan in one week!  I don’t know why.  One possibility is that I connected my laptop to it and tried out the Mifi connection.  I didn’t use it long then went back to my PDAnet to connect to my Droid.  I did not disconnect the mifi and maybe I was using the mifi??  It seems that when the Mifi is on, my laptop is automatically connecting to it, instead of my Droid thru PDAnet.  I need to figure out how to change that because we’re using way too much data on the Ipad.   We need to be careful about running over, but if we do it’s only $10 a gig for overage, but with the Droid we have an unlimited data plan.

The guy at the Verizon store said that when you first get an iPad, you use a lot of data just loading all the apps but it usually comes down. I guess that is part of it too.

While we were at the video store, we found out that since they had reduced the price by $100 they would refund us the difference since we just bought it.    We thought that we would have to go on the Apple website for that rebate, but Verizon just did it. We ended up paying $399 for the Ipad.  We got the 16gig, wifi only Apple with the data plan coming from the free Mifi.

It looks like it’s going to be another beautiful day in south Florida.  It’s still a bit cooler which is okay with me.  The hot muggy weather will come soon enough and I really like not having to use the a/c.  It’s be a nice “moving day.”

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Contract on the House :)

Yesterday we got a good offer on the house, which we have accepted.  This a new offer.  The one last week went back and forth a few times, but in the end, they couldn’t or wouldn’t come up to a price we could accept.

In the meantime some local relatives of people who live in South Carolina came by to look at the house.  They were told an offer had been made.  They were looking at property for their relatives and apparently they liked it enough that their relatives made an offer without even seeing the property!

It was a good offer and we decided to accept it and not quibble back and forth and take a chance on losing them.

Of course it will depend on their getting their financing approved. They are trying to finance FHA with very little money down.  I didn’t think you could do that anymore, but our Realtor assures us that you can.

If, it goes through, closing will be May 6th.  Scary!!!

We really need to head home soon, but Al has his pest control accounts to do next week, so I guess we’ll stick around a little longer.  I’m sure we will need all the time we can get….assuming everything goes through. My mind was racing last night!

 

Our replacement kayaks arrived by 10am yesterday morning, so we didn’t have to sit around and wait for them…thank goodness.

We had the others boxed up and took them to a Fed Ex drop off to send back to Sea Eagle.  It was a bit of a pain in the neck, but we wanted to make sure they were picked up and we weren’t responsible for them anymore.

We never even took the new ones out of the box..hopefully they will be okay, but I’m sure Sea Eagle will stand by them if they are not.

After that we decided to head south for a possible kayak trip, if it warmed up and if we found a great place.

Unfortunately the wind was blowing pretty good and it was a bit cooler (mid 60’s) so we never got the boats out of the truck.

We went down to Blowing Rocks Preserve.  It’s just north of Jupiter, Florida. The beach is lined with large rocks and when the surf comes in strong enough, you get water spewing up through holes in the rocks.  It’s quite pretty.  We were there years ago and got to see the blowing rocks, but today, the tide was out by the time we got there so no blowing.

Blowing Rocks Preserve - Cost $2 each

beach at Blowing Rocks, Jupiter Florida

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The water was pretty though and we saw this interesting bamboo bicycle.

bamboo bicycle

bamboo bicycle

Coconut Palm trees, with coconuts.

coconut palm

coconuts

Dog walking, Florida style.  It’s a little hard to see, but that’s a yellow Lab.  They just kept walking up and down this dock while the Lab swam.

Dog walking, Jensen Beach style

White Pelicans at roost

White Pelicans

Pretty scenery along highway A1a…high dollar real estate on Jupiter Island.  Al said Tiger Woods is building a new house here on the 3 ocean front lots he purchased for 40 million.

canopy road

The Atlantic Ocean is off to the left, but the landscaping is so thick that unless you own one of these houses, you won’t see it.

driving along A1A - pricey real estate

A drawbridge on Jenson beach causeway.  They have to raise the drawbridge anytime a larger boat wants to go under.  The boat owner pays nothing for this service and the people on land had to wait 15 or 20 minutes while 2 boats went through.

Jensen Beach drawbridge

This was the first boat that went through…a sail boat with a very tall mast.

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We never did get the kayaks wet yesterday, but spent a day exploring the sites.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rain and Cooler Weather

Sunshine Travel Rv Park, Vero Beach, Florida

Yesterday a storm front passed through Florida and went through the entire state…including here in Vero Beach.  There were tornado warnings in the Florida panhandle, Louisiana and Mississippi, but nothing severe here.

We got a good amount of rain and we heard lightning one time.  I’m kind of a coward when it comes to storms and I hate lightning and thunder, so I was real glad it didn’t last.  It’s so much louder in the motor home than in a house.  I remember how violent the summer thunderstorms can be in Florida.  I don’t want to be in the lightning capital of the world (Tampa) in the summer.

Anyway, the rain finally quit by mid afternoon so we decided to do some laundry.  The dryers here give you an hour of drying time so I can actually get my clothes dry.  The dryers at the last place didn’t run long enough to even get t-shirts dry. 

The new replacement kayaks are in Melbourne now, which is just 30-40 miles away, so hopefully we won’t have to sit around all day waiting for them.

We don’t have to send the old ones back until we get the new ones, so we could actually take a paddle today, if we Fed-Ex comes early enough.

The rain brought a cool front and it was 45 degrees when we got up this morning.  We hadn’t had any cool weather for quite a while.  It’s only going to get up to 66 today and then 39 tonight, but  I’m sure it will warm up quickly.  My wrist is feeling much better after a few days of heavy doses of Ibuprofen, ice and wrapping it.  I’ve tried to avoid using it and Al has been helping me do what I cannot do.  It’s amazing how much you need your wrist in every day chores. 

When we kayaked the other day, we did it at Sebastian Inlet State Park.  They have a campground but the only pictures I got of the campground were from the water.  Here are a few of those pictures.  It’s definitely not our favorite state park, but they do have campsites on the water.

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The sites are small and the campground is kind of junky looking.  The park is nice, and you can go out on the fishing pier and fish or just watch the surfers.  The beach is across the inlet from the campground.

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A better campground (in my opinion) is Long Point Park.  It’s just north of the Sebastian Inlet.  There are lots of waterfront sites, but not directly on the ocean.  They are in the mangrove areas, it’s still waterfront but it looks more like a lake.  They also have some full hook-up sites (sewer).   This was the first place we ever camped when we first bought our pop-up trailer.  We were so new to camping that we hadn’t yet learned about raccoons.   We ended up  accidentally feeding them some very nice steaks, marshmallows and grapes.  Hey…they got a nice balanced meal!  I’ll try to get back there and take some pictures. 

I have a question for all you bloggers.

When you want to leave a comment and they have the word verification turned on, do you sometimes, just skip leaving the comment?  If you type in the wrong letters and have to re-type a new word, do you sometimes, just forget about leaving the comment?

I do.  Sometimes my comment doesn’t seem important enough to bother, or I’m in a hurry and don’t want to take the time.  On some blogs, you may not realize the word verification is there because it pops up on a later screen and by then I’ve clicked on a new page.

Just wondering, if others do this also.

I finally decided to let my comments go through without me moderating them.  The only reason I moderated them, was because I wanted to make sure I saw all the comments and they were sent to my email address.  I realized that they are still sent to my email address even if I let them go without me moderating them.  It’s working out well…Google seems to catch the spam and I still get emails of all the comments.

Our thoughts and prayers are going out today for the victims of the earthquake and tsunamis. I lived in Japan for 3 years and found the people to be wonderful.  I’m sure there will be a tremendous loss of life. We’re also concerned about how our old stomping ground of  Guam will handle the tsunami. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Sea Eagle Saga

Since we didn’t get the new kayaks from Fed Ex until 8pm, we decided to wait until the morning to unbox them.

They came packaged in 4 boxes.

2 new Sea Eagle Fast Track 385 kayaks

The following picture is a 12 1/2 foot kayak in a carrying case!

boat in a box

We quickly read through the directions and got it inflated in just a few minutes.

the rolled up kayak

the unrolled kayak, waiting for air

kayak accessories

inflated boat

It has a drop stitch floor which is also inflated. It makes the floor hard and firm enough that you can stand up to fish or paddle.  We thought that would be kind of fun.

The next photo shows 2 scupper holes in the stern of the boat.  You can open them up to allow water to run out.  It’s mostly recommended for  use if you do any white water kayaking (not likely).

2 scuppers to let water self bail from bottom of boat

fully inflated kayak with inflated floor

I was pleasantly to find the boats are a light grey.  I thought they were white and those white boats give my camera fits trying to compensate for all that white.

kayak with skeg

In the next picture Al is holding onto the front keel.  It’s supposed to help keep the boat stable and track straight.  It also keeps it more rigid than some of the other model Sea Eagle kayaks.

bottom of kayak showing keel

The skeg in the rear will also help with stability and tracking.

skeg

There are 2 sets of paddles and 2 inflatable chairs.  I forgot to get a picture of the chairs.

After we inflated one boat at home, we decided to head out and give them a water test at Sebastian Inlet State Park.

We went out on the pier for a while to watch the surfers.  A lot of people were having good luck catching fish.

view from pier of Sebastian inlet

Seabird avoiding the waves

people fishing on pier

surfer

surfers

We put the kayaks in by the campground and headed towards the calm waters.  The tide was slack, the wind was light and it was warm and sunny.  A perfect day to kayak.

They inflated fairly quickly now that we had one practice session under our belts.   We put them in the water, being mindful of that skeg sticking out.

I immediately noticed a big difference in the feel of the boat.  I could actually feel the waves splashing underneath me.  It was a different feeling, but it felt very stable and a little wider than the old boat. 

I was concerned about “yaw,”  which is where the boat will go left when you paddle left and then right when you paddle right.  It wasn’t a problem in this boat at all.  It  tracked very straight and handled nicely.

We didn’t go too far but enjoyed a family of pelicans fishing together.  I don’t know if mama was teaching them, but they would all fly up at the same time, then dive down together and hit the water.  It was fun to watch.

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We saw lots of birds and we think even a manatee, but we never got a good enough look to be sure.

A Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Limpkin

Limpkin

Not sure what these birds were but I thought they were cute.

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It was getting late so we decided to head in.

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Now the fun part.  Getting sand and salt water off the boats, deflating them and folding them up and getting them back in their carrying case!

We decided we need some kind of mat to put the boats on when inflating and deflating.  Something just like the camping rugs we just sold at the yard sale :)

We removed the flooring in order to dry underneath it.  That’s one little extra step we have with this boat that we wouldn’t with another boat.  It is more work, but we feel it is worth it to have that nice firm floor.

We found a problem with the bracket that holds on the skeg on one kayak.  It was coming loose.  It would just need to be glued on, but it was annoying that our brand new boat was already coming apart.

Another thing was there was a hole in the inflatable footrest.  No big deal, but we would need another foot rest.

We made sure each boat was completely dry inside and out and then deflated them and folded them back up.

The first boat went back in the carrying case very easily.

The second boat gave us some problems.  We just couldn’t seem to get all the air out and get it folded up tight enough.  When we rolled it up water kept coming out.  We finally decided there may be a leak and water was being forced out when it was rolled up.

So this morning, we inflated the boat again at the campground and were able to find a small leak in the area where the keel was glued on.

We notified Crystal and Tim from Inflatable Boats 4 less, of our problems with these boats.  They responded quickly and requested pictures of the problem areas.  No problem, you know I always take pictures!

Chrystal called me right away and said Sea Eagle would send us 2 new hulls.  She said they do have occasional problems because these are inflatable boats and sometimes they can spring a leak in one of the seams, but that it was very rare that we would have problems with both boats.  They are sending the new hulls 2nd day air, so we should get them  on Friday.  We will keep the old boats  until the new ones come in, so at least we can do some kayaking….  It looks like Sea Eagle will stand behind their product.  A good thing.

When we came home from kayaking, out of the blue I started having some pain in my right wrist.  It kept getting worse until it got to the point I didn’t know if I could even sleep.  I finally found an ace bandage and some Joint Flex pain cream and it felt a little better.  I have no idea what I did to it.  I don’t think it was from too much kayaking, because we had an easy paddle.   It seemed to just start hurting out of the blue, but I must have sprained it somehow during the day.

I don’t see me kayaking until it gets better….however,  these kayaks are tandem kayaks, so I guess I could go along for the ride and Al could paddle me around :)