Dry Falls, Highlands, NC

Dry Falls, Highlands, NC

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tornado Outbreak

What a horrible day of devastation and destruction across the south.  My heart goes out to all the people that were in the path of those deadly tornados.  Alabama and parts of northern Georgia got hit very, very hard. 

We are fine here, but did end up spending a little time in the Hidey Hole (tornado shelter).  I am sure going to miss that when we move!

Our local weather forecasters said we should be on the tail end of the bad weather and our chance of anything severe was slim.  However, we should stay on alert.

I get extremely nervous whenever any kind of weather is approaching and that is my greatest fear about our upcoming fulltiming lifestyle. 

About 7 this morning, suddenly things changed and there was a possible  tornado forming nearby.  We scooted down to the tornado shelter and sat there for awhile.  Nothing strong came and we headed back to the motor home.

As I type this, there is another tornado watch just south of us forming near Valdosta.  We’re getting some thunder and lightning.  I sure wish this would hurry and get over with. 

These tornado outbreaks we’ve had this week have confirmed my theory to stay out of the southeast during the spring months.  I believe we’ll stay in Florida until May.  The south is just too unpredictable  in the spring.

 

HOUSE SALE NEWS

Yesterday, I decided to rattle a few cages and see if I could get some info on the status of our house sale.  I know this is how these things work, but it’s very difficult trying to move if you don’t know if it’s happening or not.

I don’t know if they are just blowing smoke to shut me up, but the mortgage broker said she is expecting the paperwork to be out of underwriting today and then they will send the appraiser.  Of course I’ve heard that before. She is estimating our new closing date to be around May 20th.  I expected our original May 6 closing date to be delayed, so it was good to hear that I was right.  We can slow down a bit and take a breath.  Of course we’re having a garage sale tomorrow and Saturday, but after this week-end, we may take a day off!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Uh Oh…Part 2

Thanks for everyone offering suggestions for our black tank issue. 

We are careful to use the correct type of tp, we always fill the black tank up before we dump, and we try to use a lot of water, but we still found ourselves with a problem.

Despite all our care, and Al’s work,  apparently we  didn’t get the problem resolved as we thought.

After he cleaned it on Saturday, the tank drained and we thought the problem was solved, but it didn’t sound right when it was flushed.  It would gurgle and sometimes splash back up.  We kept running lots of water into it, but the noise and gurgling continued.

Monday, morning, it stopped up again.  We have one of those flush kits that hook onto a hose, so we gave it a good flush from the top.   It appears to be clog free now and it sounds normal again.

No more lobster dinners for Al though :)   One lobster dinner per black tank issue.

 

We’re getting frustrated with the house sale.  We are supposed to close in 8 days and they still haven’t ordered the appraisal.  Evidently there is a problem, but what it is, we don’t know.  We don’t believe the closing will happen on May 6th, and at this point, we’re wondering if it will happen at all.

We’re proceeding with our sales anyway.  If the deal falls through, we will just be that much further ahead next time.  We have already decided if it does fall through, we’re heading out for a trip somewhere fun!  There is nothing we can do about it, so we’re trying to stay focused and positive.

We have a little Carolina Wren (bird)  nesting in our garage. We call her Nancy.  Actually, we call all Carolina Wren’s Nancy.  The way the garage is built, she can fly in and out at will.   The nest is right by the side where Al’s tools are at,  and he’s trying to get them sorted without bothering her too much.  We should have removed nest when we first saw it, but we didn’t,  and now it’s too late.  She’s pretty tolerant of us though and stays put most of the time.  I tried to get a picture of her sitting in it, but it didn’t turn out well.  Maybe I’ll try again today.

We also have a new batch of Bluebird eggs by the motorhome.  Hopefully these will hatch.  We have another nest box of baby Bluebirds and they should be fledging soon.  Unfortunately, we’ve been too busy to enjoy all our birds this year.

We’re watching the weather.  Those nasty storms that hit Arkansas are heading our way, so it’s almost time for me to start getting nervous!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Uh Oh

We planned on relaxing yesterday, however, it didn’t start out too relaxing.

We went to dump the black water tank and discovered a problem.  Evidently we had a blockage and the tank wouldn’t drain. 

Al has a roto rooter tool that we thankfully hadn’t sold at the garage sale.  He was able to use that to open the pipe.  I’m still not sure that it’s completely unblocked  and today I guess we’ll have to flush the tank.  I guess that may be one more tool we’ll have to take with us.

Anyway, that little project delayed our trip to Tallahassee.

We made a stop at CVS Pharmacy to refill one of Squeaky’s  prescriptions, then to Petsmart for some kitty food. 

Next stop was to Home Depot for a box of Allure Flooring.

We removed all the carpet last year and put down Allure in it’s place.  The Allure pieces stick to each other and then just float on the floor.  It’s done real well, but when we had the leaky slide problem, we have had some issues with the edges coming up.  I had a few pieces left, but needed a few more to replace the bad pieces.  Fortunately Home Depot still had the same color, so we bought a box.  It matches perfectly, so sometime this week (hopefully) we’ll replace the few bad pieces. 

After we got our errands ran, we decided to have a nice dinner.  Al was determined he was getting a lobster.  I tried to talk him out of it, but he felt since he’s been working so hard, he deserved it.  I had to admit, he really has been working hard, so I relented!  We went to Red Lobster and he ordered a combo of Lobster, shrimp Scampi, fried shrimp, and King Crab!   It came with a ceasar salad and those fresh bisquits.  I couldn’t believe he was able to eat all that food!  I’m not big on sea food, so I had a maple grilled chicken breast with rice pilaf and broccoli.  It was very good. 

After lunch, we headed home just in time for a short nap!

Hope everyone had a nice relaxing Easter!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Two Tired Puppies

And I don’t mean our neighbor dog friends.

Our 2 days of garage sales are over (for the week), and we are both very, very tired. 

We had quite a few people show up at 7am (the signs said our sale started at 8am), and Al might have been a little grouchy :)   He told them to come back later, we weren’t ready.  At that time of day, after a sale the day before, he was in no mood to be rushed.

We got everything out and ready to go a little before 8am and people started coming in pretty steady.  There was a big yard sale at the church up the street and I think that may have brought us some business.  Al put signs up in their parking lot :)

We sold $607 worth of stuff and got rid of a lots of stuff that had been hanging around a while.  Our prices are coming down and we rarely refuse an offer. 

By 1  pm, we were tired, hungry and hot.  We went to lunch, then back home for our after garage sale nap!  That has become a nice ritual.

After a short nap, we were a bit rejuvenated.  I did some mowing, and Al did some trimming and hauling of branches.  We’ve neglected the yard and it’s starting to look a bit shaggy.

Today, we’re going to take it easy.  We plan to go into Tallahassee, have lunch, and pick up  a few necessities that we can’t get locally.   Who knows, another nap may be in our future this afternoon!

Happy Easter Everyone!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It’s Hot in South Georgia

It feels like summertime.  High temps, humidity and lots of mosquitoes!  It feels like summertime, except that it still cools down enough to turn off the a/c at night.

We were up early Saturday morning for the garage sale.  We had a pretty good sale and ended up making $281.  The best part is I unloaded :) one set of china!   One down, two to go!

Sweet Pea came over early in the  morning to help with the garage sale. She loves greeting all the people.  We were worried that she’d end up getting hit by a car with all the people coming and going.  Al took her back home 3 times and 3 times she came right back. 

The third time she came back, she brought her friend the Jack Russell Terrier, with her.  Between the two of them, we were constantly having to worry about them getting run over. We knew she wasn’t going to stay home with all the company at our house. so we decided to try “plan B.” 

We have two large animal cages.  We managed to coax Sweet Pea into the larger one and quickly shut the door!   She wasn’t real happy, but she behaved herself and was safe from getting hit by a car.  Then we decided to try the rambunctious little Jack Russell.   With a few bits of kitty food, she went right in and we locked the gate!

So now, we had two dogs trapped in cages in our garage.  Of course we had to explain to everyone that we weren’t being cruel to these two dogs.  We put a fan on them, so they were nice and cool.  They were so cute in their little jail.

The owners of  Bella, the Jack Russell came to get her later in the morning.  They had heard we had their dog and appreciated us keeping her safe.  One dog down, one to go :)

One reason we had hesitated about having garage sales at our house, is because we didn’t want people wandering around our property.  Yesterday about 4:30 in the afternoon, we had someone else come for the garage sale.  Our signs said the sale ended at 1 pm, but they ignored that.  That wasn’t the worse though.  Sometime after 8pm, we had another garage sale customer!  This lady looked at Al’s big tool box and said she’d bring her husband back.  Well he was working and didn’t get a chance to come back during the day, so they came by last night.  They didn’t buy  the tool box, but I think they’re coming back to get it.  They are interested in a few of the larger tools and maybe even the wood splitter, so we can’t complain too much.  But really….8 pm?

Today is another day and another garage sale.  I’m really not optimistic that closing will go as scheduled on May 6th, but if it does, we will only have 3 more sales here at the house.  We had way too much stuff and the guiltiest party is Al.  I never dreamed he had so many tools!

Time to get moving!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Getting Ready for ANOTHER Sale

We’re (hopefully) down to two more week-end garage sales.  We’ve been busy trying to sort stuff.  It’s the little things that will kill you!

We’ve been putting together boxes of little things to be sold all together.  That’s worked well on some of Al’s tools, so we’re doing it with other things, like cans of spray paint, insecticidal soap, garden tools, kitchen utensils, and any kind of thing that can be grouped together in a box.  I’m trying to keep like things together, but I usually end up throwing in whatever I find.    Most of this stuff isn’t worth much by itself, but it has some value to other people and I hate to just throw away good stuff.  This way, someone else gets the use of these items, and best of all…they take it with them and save us a trip to the dump!

I went through my kitchen drawers yesterday and for the life of me, I can’t understand why I have so much silverware….but not a complete set that matches!  How did that happen?  

We still haven’t heard anything on the buyers loan.  The last we heard is the bank wanted some additional financial info from them.  I guess the fact that they haven’t denied the loan is a good thing.

The Realtor said the buyers are interested in some furniture and once the loan gets approved, they would make arrangements to come see it again.   I guess that means they are in town?   The problem with that is, we don’t want to wait until the last minute to see what they want.  Of course if their loan doesn’t get approved, we won’t need to rush selling furniture.  There is a lot of furniture that we could easily live without, even if we need to move back into the house.  We want to give them the opportunity to buy the stuff, but we don’t want to pass up any sales.  It would certainly be easier for us if they bought the stuff…especially the heavy items.  I had intended on putting more items on Craig’s List this week-end….but now I don’t know.

This is getting old.  I want to be done!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Look What’s Parked at our House

IMG_3378

It looks pretty good parked there, huh?

It’s a 40 foot Newmar Dutch Star diesel pusher.

It has 2 slides, satellite and all the amenities. 

I’ll bet you thought we had been busy getting ready to move, huh?  

Well we have!

We’ve also been busy visiting with our friends Carol and John, who happen to be the owners of that beautiful motor home. 

No, unfortunately,  it isn’t our new motor home.   We like it real well though and have been looking at Dutch Star’s for a possible replacement.

We first met Carol and John in Tampa last winter and felt an immediate connection with these very nice people.  We tried all winter to get together for a kayaking trip, but never could seem to work it out.  They are on their way for a summer work camping job in Colorado, so they went out of their way to come visit with us.  Thanks Carol and John (and Jimmy) for coming to see us, and thanks for the wonderful dinner and great company!

They arrived Monday afternoon and after they got the motor home set up, we went out for a nice dinner. Thanks again Carol and John.

Their cute little dog Jimmy really enjoyed all the freedom and interesting smells on our property.  They were able to let him run loose without a leash and he really enjoyed that.

Jimmy Herr

They planned on leaving Tuesday morning, but we talked them into staying a little longer.  Carol wanted to try a grits cup for breakfast.  It’s basically a breakfast in a cup, with Grits, eggs, bacon and cheese all together in one cup.  A big of salt and pepper and yum… 

After breakfast we took them on a short tour of Thomasville and to see “The Big Oak.” 

Carol and John Herr at the Big Oak, Thomasville, Ga

The tree is 330 years old, with a 162 foot spread and a circumference of 24 feet.  It’s quite a beautiful tree.

After that we went to the Rose Garden. 

Thomasville is known as the Rose City and they are having their annual Rose Festival this week-end.  Carol was surprised the roses were blooming so early.

Carol and John Herr at Rose Garden

IMG_3361

Rose Garden

Unfortunately, they decided to head north Tuesday afternoon, so we said goodbye to them.  We’re hoping to talk them into wintering in Florida again next winter!

Goodbye Carol,John, and Jimmy  (and goodbye dream motor home)

Bye Carol and John

I have always heard that the people and friends you meet are the best part of the full timing life style.  With friends like these, we have to agree.  Thanks for stopping by!

After they left, we had a short rest then went back to our chores of sorting, purging and readying for another garage sale. 

Evidently the new buyers are wanting to buy some of our furniture.  Why they didn’t mention it when they were here, I don’t know.  The only problem with that is they don’t want to buy it unless their loan goes through.  We can certainly understand that, however if they agree to buy it (and don’t pay until closing) they could always change their mind and leave us with the furniture.  Oh, well, I guess it will all work out…eventually. 

Our weather is going to be sunny and warm the next few days with temperatures hitting the 90’s. We’re not looking forward to the heat, but at least no tornado’s or storms are predicted.

It was hazy Monday night and it caused the moon to look kind of orange.  I never  was able to capture it quite right, but here is the best I could do.  The higher it got in the sky, the less orange it became.

IMG_3353

Monday, April 18, 2011

Storage Shed

Yikes!  We have 18 days until the scheduled closing date of May 6th and we’re starting to feel the pressure.

We made some good progress yesterday and plan to stay at it today. 

When we first started talking seriously about full-timing, I was determined not  to have a storage shed for anything.  I had heard stories about people that paid for a storage unit for a year or two, then threw away all the stuff they had paid to store.  Al always was leaning towards a storage unit, but I was adamant we wouldn’t have one. 

As we are getting close to the end and have learned exactly how much room we have in the motor home, we’re realizing, we will need to have a storage unit.

Since we don’t have any children, or grand kids we don’t have anyone to give family treasures to., and some things just have to be kept.  Plus until we get that 40 foot motor home, we just don’t have enough room for all our toys.  We intend to have a permanent storage unit near Tampa, which will be our home base.  That way, we can put winter clothes there in the summer, dive gear and kayaks there in the winter, and still have room for the items we just can’t part with.

In the meantime, we are putting those types of things into our storage unit here in town.  I’m also putting photo albums, china and crystal in storage.  I figure down the road, I’ll start moving those albums and photos over to the computer and I can work on selling the china and crystal through Craig’s list when I have more time.  There isn’t too much interest in fine china here in rural Georgia.  So that’s the plan, for now at least.  Of course things can always change.

We feel the storage unit will take some pressure off of us now,  by just having a place to put things we can’t sell  before closing.  Since we can’t sell the mower or golf cart until we have a check in hand,  we will have a place to put them until we do.  We aren’t going to let go of those two items until we have a check in our hand!   The bad thing is that we will have to hang around here until they are gone.  We’ve had a lot of interest in the mower and golf cart, so hopefully when we’re ready to let them go, we’ll have a buyer.   The other items will need to be moved to a permanent storage unit closet to Tampa, at a later date.   Storage sheds are cheap here in Georgia.  We’re paying $55 a month for a 15 x 20 unit.  In Florida most places would charge over $200.  We’ve been looking around for some cheaper places, and may have to get one north of Tampa to keep the price down.   We won’t be paying $200 a month, that’s for sure!

We are going under the assumption that the sale will go through as scheduled, and  are trying to stay motivated!  I’d feel a little better if it would get out of underwriting so that we can get the appraiser out here.  Hurry up and wait  is our motto!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Visit From the Buyers

The buyers came by Friday morning, and seemed to really like the house and property.  They are older than us, and believe it or not have been living in their motor home since February.  I”m not exactly sure why, though.

They have a house and acreage in South Carolina, which they have listed for sale.  She previously had a farm in Florida and he had one in Arkansas, so I would imagine they have some money.   Hopefully if there are any problems with their loan they can throw some extra money down for a down payment.  The FHA loan only requires a 3.5% down payment….surprisingly!    I was able to find out that she is into gardening and he likes to feed the birds!  Yea!  They have 5 small dogs that they dearly love, so they are okay in my book. They still intend to travel in their motor home some. 

I gave him strict instructions on how to keep snakes out of our Bluebird nests.  I held back on telling him what kind of food the birds prefer :)  Maybe later.

One other reason they liked our place is that we have an Rv space with electric, water and sewer.  The water and septic tank were already  on the property,  but Al wanted to have the 50 amp electric hooked up.  So that $150 we spent on the electric, may have sold the house for us!

Anyway, I think they are committed to buying the place and they are doing what they can to get the financing approved.    We’re waiting for it to get out of underwriting so that an appraiser can come out.

Al got back home late Friday afternoon. He was tired, but had to immediately start preparing for the next garage sale. Poor Al…no rest. 

Friday night they were predicting the potential for some severe storms and maybe tornado’s.  

The storms weren’t due  to hit until early morning, so we went to bed early and got a few hours sleep, then up at  3:30 am to monitor the situation.  There were already numerous fatalities from this front, so we were a bit concerned. We  were under a tornado watch and severe thunderstorm alert, but nothing much happened, thankfully.

My biggest concern regarding living full time in the motor home, is that I worry a lot about severe weather.  So much so, that I insisted we install an underground tornado shelter on the property.  It’s going to be a challenge for me.  One thing we know is that we will not be heading north out of Florida during April.  It’s too early and the spring tornado season way too active.  Our travels will be directed to stay out of bad weather  as much as we possibly can.  I think Margie and Roger have the right idea this year…a June departure.

Our next problem was the garage sale Saturday morning.  We only had 3 more week-ends (hopefully) and we can’t afford a washout.  The weather cleared up quickly and we ended up having sunny skies for our sale.   We made about $150 and got rid of a lot of stuff.  Wouldn’t you think we would be about out of stuff by now?  Well we aren’t!

This week, we intend to hit it hard (after morning coffee and internet).  I’m going to see if I can’t get rid of my 3 sets of China (2 Noritake and 1 Sango) and the huge set of crystal glasses.  This is good quality stuff, but I just don’t think people are into fine china and crystal anymore.  It will be a monkey off my back when this is gone!   Wish us luck!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Busy Day

Today the buyers are coming to see the house for the first time.  I can’t understand how anyone would buy a house without having seen it, but they did.  Here’s hoping they like it, because even though they signed a contract,  I’m sure they could get out of it if they wanted.   The grass is all freshly mowed, the house is as clean as it can be during our moving process, and I can’t do anything else.

They will be here at 9am and then my day will be mine!

We have such a good bird viewing spot outside our bedroom window and I try to keep the feeders full.

That’s another nice thing about living in a motor home….lots of windows.

Here are a few shots I took in about three minutes time!  We have a very active feeder as you can see!

Cardinals

Female Cardinale

Cardinale

Red Breasted Woodpecker

Red Breasted Woodpecker

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

Blue Jay

Bluejay

Mr. Bluebird

Male Bluebird

Bluebird

Bluebird

He posed very nicely for me.  I’m sure going to miss these guys.  The Bluebirds on our property gave us over 40 babies last season and we enjoyed helping them to thrive.  I’m going to give the new owner a lesson in nest box maintenance so that they can continue to multiply!

Judy made a comment in her blog yesterday that there are no actual blue birds.  The color you see is just a reflection.  I trust her knowledge, but I’m still going to look for that blue feather!

And to end the blog in the fashion of Judy, and now Margie…… 

 

The end

Red Breasted Woodpecker

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Buyers are Coming

I got an e-mail from our Realtor that our buyers were going to be in town,  and want to come and look at the property on Friday morning. 

Of course they do!  Al is in Tampa and I have to get it ready all by myself :)

The buyers have never  seen the place, I want it to look as perfect as possible.  They bought it by just having their local relatives look at it for them.

Since we’ve been living in the motor home, the house is in pretty good shape.  We’ve been packing, sorting and tossing stuff, so we have messed things up somewhat.  They’ll just have to understand that we’re trying to move, so it doesn’t look quite like it did when we were showing it.  I neatened up the house some then went to work on the yard.  It needs some mowing with the little mower, but since I’ve never even started the little mower, it will just have to wait.

I jumped on the mower and flew around and got most of the yard mowed.    There were some dead tree branches down from the last storm, that had to be picked up first (not supposed to be my job), but I had to bite the bullet and do it! 

I was ready to stop for a while and when I started to park,  I noticed a little green thing right by the emergency brake (and my hand).  Oh please let it be a leaf.  Unfortunately it wasn’t a leaf, but  a little green tree frog.  Since I’m terrified of anything frog like, I barely got the engine stopped before I was off the mower and running away, screaming like a girl!

It had been just sitting there right beside me, looking up at me.  If I wasn’t so afraid of frogs, I might have thought it was cute!  I didn’t know what to do.  I’m too afraid to try to move it off the mower with a broom. Long story short, it was gone when I finally went back to the mower.   I was kind of nervous that it  was still on the mower somewhere,  hiding and waiting for me,  but I was brave and got back on the mower and did some more mowing before dark.  Hopefully he got off into a nice bush.

I’ve come to the conclusion that our refrigerator problem is the heating element, because it works find on gas, but not on electric. I did a test overnight and found the freezer compartment got  up to 31 degrees overnight on electric, where it had been down to 2 degrees on gas.  It’s much easier to find mobile rv  techs in Florida then here in the boondocks of Georgia.  I guess it can wait until we get back down to Florida.

Squeaky had a better day yesterday and was more like her normal self.  We’ve been giving her subcutaneous fluids and they may be helping remove some of the toxins.  Debbie, our house and kitty sitter has been coming by to administer the fluids.  She used to work at our veterinarian, so she knows how to do it.  Al and I have done it before, but I seem to have lost my nerve.  You just have to insert a needle under the skin behind their neck and let the fluids drip under the skin.  Socks and Squeaky are both getting them.  They cooperate much better when the vet or a stranger does it.  They fight us when Al and I try to do it.    So this works out better and I don’t have to stick them.

Today, I intend to work on the house and yard some more.  Al is coming home tomorrow and bringing Mom with him.  She’ll have a nice clean house to stay in…..and she better keep it clean :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It’s Always Something

I kept pretty busy yesterday, cleaning, doing laundry, and of course giving Squeaky her medications.  It’s a challenge to make sure she gets the meds properly spaced and enough food in between to keep her from getting sick from the medication.

By evening, I was very tired and looking forward to giving the last dosage of medication of the day, so that I could go to bed and watch a little tv and relax. 

Before I could get to bed, the Tivo quit working and then I found that my refrigerator wasn’t cooling! I knew the freezer was in bad need of a defrosting and I had intended on doing that very soon.   I sure didn’t plan on doing it last night,  but defrost I did.

I checked online on the Rv-Net forum.  It said sometimes the electric heating element can fail and the frig might still work in the gas mode.  I switched it over to gas and waited.  Since an RV refrigerator doesn’t work like a residential refrigerator, it doesn’t start to cool down quickly.  I kept going out and checking to see if it was cooling.  I thought it was but couldn’t be sure.  Then, I remembered I have an indoor/outdoor thermometer so I put the outside sensor in the freezer and the inside one by the side of the bed.  That way I could check the temp without having to get out of bed!   By this time, my Tivo had come back on, so I had tv.  All the meds were given and everyone was fed.  I was almost ready to watch tv in my comfy bed!   In just a few minutes I noticed the temperature of the freezer starting to cool down again.  Hallelujah!   I don’t know if the problem was because of heavy frost or the heating element was faulty, but it’s working now on gas, so I guess I’ll let Al figure it out when he gets home!  I guess I need to defrost the freezer a bit more often.  Something for Mom to look forward to seeing.

My Mom is coming back with Al, so we’ll have a houseguest for a little while.  She loves our property here in Georgia and hates that we’re trying to sell it.  She can stay in the house and have our bedroom and we’ll continue to stay in the motor home.  The spring bloom in Georgia is so much prettier than in Florida and she always enjoys coming here to see it. 

The next pictures are from last year and taken around town.

P1010034

P1010027

P4080107

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Delay

As expected, we have a delay on the house sale.

The financing was supposed to be complete by today, but the Realtor has requested an extension.  The underwriting is taking longer than expected.  I don’t know what that means.  We were concerned last week with all the talk of the federal government shutting down.  Maybe all that caused some delays.  I don’t imagine federal workers got much work done last week with all the talk of the shutdown.  Our Realtor says we’re still shooting for the May 6th closing date….but I have my doubts.

Yesterday morning,  I went out to check the Bluebird nest, expecting to find some newly hatched babies.  I was disappointed to find all the eggs were gone and there were no babies.  I don’t know what happened.  The male and female were busy at the nest yesterday morning going in and out, so I figured an egg had hatched.  I did notice them bringing in pine straw.  We have a baffle on the nest box to prevent snakes from getting in.  I checked it out and it looks secure.  I’m wondering if maybe the eggs weren’t viable and mom and dad removed them?  I know last year there were 5 eggs laid and only one hatched and they left those eggs in the box.  I sure hate to think a snake got them.  Al will have to do some work on the box in case that was the problem.  I sure felt bad about them.  I had looked forward to watching them from the comfort of the motor home.

The following are pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird.

Bluebird

Bluebird

I took a walk around the yard and took some pictures of all the pretty flowers.  I hope you like them.  Sometimes you just need to stop and smell the roses!

Fringe Tree

Rose Bush

rose

Knock out Roses

IMG_3265

IMG_3266

IMG_3277

Primrose

Weiglia

IMG_3283

A few Gold Finch feeding.

Goldfinch

As I’m sitting here typing, I see the male Bluebird sitting on a branch looking in the window at me.  I guess he’s trying to tell me to put out some birdseed!  I don’t know if they will lay some more eggs in this nest box or go somewhere else.  We have 5 nest boxes and I believe the others are all full!

A squall line came through last night bringing some rain with a cold front. Our day time temperatures are going to be in the low 80’s instead of 90!   We’ll have some 40’s at night.  Perfect weather!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Lazy Day

Al made it to Cedar Key yesterday,  and he thought it might be a place we would enjoy.  I guess we will put it on our list for places we want to go. 

I sure hope everything goes as planned on the house sale.  I’m ready to be done with all this purging and selling.  I think after Saturday’s sale, it might be a good time to make a run to Good Will and the dump.

Yesterday was a lazy day for me.  I never intended to  do much and I didn’t!   I stumbled on the mini-series “The Kennedy’s” and ended up watching it off and on all day long.  I had heard about the series, but didn’t really have any interest in watching it.  I thought I’d heard about as much about the Kennedy’s as I ever needed to hear or see.   Surprisingly, it was very interesting.  It didn’t portray the family badly, but it did show some flaws, which by now everyone knows about anyway.  I thought Greg Kinnear did a wonderful job of portraying JFK and even looked a lot like him. 

Today will be spent doing some dreaded paperwork and cleaning up the yard. Hopefully the FHA appraiser will get here this week! 

The weather has been pretty hot and I’ve had to run the a/c most of the day.  Thankfully, it’s still cooling down in the evenings so I can have open windows. 

We have two Bluebird nests in the yard, and one is right beside the motor home.  We have a really good view of the comings and goings of mom and dad.  I think maybe the eggs are starting to hatch because I’ve seen more activity lately.  I’m going to watch for them both to leave and then take a peek inside….with camera handy.   Hopefully tomorrow, I’ll have some babies to show you!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Al’s Going on Vacation!

Our Saturday garage sale was a little more successful than the one on Friday.  We got rid of a bunch of stuff and made about $150.

Afterwards, we did our normal garage sale routine of picking up signs, having lunch and then a short nap!

Squeaky had a good day yesterday.  I finally managed to get the  order and timing of the meds figured out so that she wasn’t nauseous.  She ate well and actually purred and “talked” to me for the first time in a while. 

After our nap, we worked around the house and yard,and Al got ready for his monthly trip to Tampa to do his remaining pest control customers.  I think he’s looking forward to going,  so that he can rest! 

He asked me to remove the old pictures from the memory card on his camera.  When I asked why, and where was he planning on going, he mentioned he may stop in Cedar Key on his way down to Tampa.  Poor me, I have to stay home and work :(  That’s okay, he just plans to take his time going to Tampa and do some sightseeing on the way down. He doesn’t have any accounts to do until tomorrow, so he’s going to enjoy his trip today.

We’ve been to Cedar Key many years ago, but at that time we were only interested in scuba diving and weren’t too impressed with the area. I think maybe we’d like it better now.  Anyway, he’ll go check it out,  and maybe we’ll make a visit there someday soon.

My plans for today are to clean the motor home up a bit.  We’ve been so busy with garage sales and sick cats that things have gotten to be a mess around here and I can’t stand it anymore.  After that, I plan to take it easy too!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Four Dollars

Four dollars was the grand total of our sales for today’s garage sale!  We had two people come by in the four hours we were open.

We’re trying again tomorrow, and hopefully we’ll have more people.

We’ve still  having problems with our little Squeaky.  She’s not feeling well at all.  We have her two different types of antibiotics as well as several other meds.  It turns out the Clavamox antibiotic she took last time, with no problem, is making her sick to her stomach this time.  I got some anti- nausea medicine but it doesn’t seem to be helping as much as we’d like.   It’s been a struggle getting her to eat.  I feel terrible every time I give her the Clavamox knowing it is making her sick.

We are having to give her meds 9 different times a day.  I have a chart to keep track so that she gets the right medicine at the right time.  Socks also gets meds twice a day, so that makes 11 times a day we’re forcing something into one mouth or the other.  Poor babies.

Al is getting ready to head to Tampa on Sunday, so we’re trying to get everything done around here before he leaves.   We’re hoping the FHA appraiser will come by next week, but if the government shuts down, it may delay things there too.

I’m starting to get a little nervous about the sale.  It could all fall apart very quickly.  We’re anxious to get out of dodge and go somewhere fun! 

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Update on our Sea Eagle Kayaks

Since “inquiring minds” have asked about the status of our Sea Eagle boats, I thought I’d let you know the latest.

You may remember, we had a problem with the first two kayaks,  and  Tim and Crystal from Inflatable Boats 4 Less immediately had two replacements shipped out.

When we took the second two out, one kayak had a leak in the exact same spot as one of the first boats.  It’s evidently an area that requires a bit more adhesive.  This is not an area that would make the boat sink, it just allows water between the keel and the hull.  Not a major issue and I’m sure we could have repaired them ourselves.

As expected, Tim and Crystal responded immediately and worked on getting the issue resolved.  We never had a doubt that they would make it right, but it was a bit aggravating that we had the problem once again.  They  were quite concerned and decided to let the owner of Sea Eagle know what was happening because evidently there was a problem.

It turns out that this is a new model boat and it’s been very popular, so they cranked up production.

Evidently were making them a bit too fast and quality suffered.  Plus, they were having  some issues just because of the new design.  After they got our first two boats back they checked them out and decided on a few design changes.

They were going to make the changes on a new run of boats.  Tim asked if we could wait until the end of the month for our replacements.  That’s no problem because kayaking isn’t in our immediate future, but we still had the old boats, just in case we needed them.

Even though we found no problems with one of the last two boats, I asked if we could replace that one as well, since it came from the same run.  No problem…they would replace both boats.

Last Saturday, boats number 5 and 6 came.  We still have 3 and 4 and just need to box them up.  Tim asked that we let him know when we had them ready and they would send Fed Ex to pick them up.  No hassle, no expense.  We will get them boxed up in the next day or two.

Of course we haven’t had a chance to try out the new boats, but we are confident they will either be right, or they will be replaced.

Even though it’s been a bit of a hassle, Sea Eagle stepped up and did the right thing.  We would have no problem recommending these boats or this company.  We really liked the kayaks the few times we have actually used them.  They are easy to inflate and they paddle quite nicely.  They track straight and they are comfortable.  The only issue is deflating them and packing them back up, and that’s mainly because you have to dry them off first and try to get all the sand and dirt off of them.  That part takes more time, for sure.  The 385 Fast Track boats we have have an inflatable floor (that you can actually stand on to paddle).  We really like that feature, but you splash water inside the boat getting in and just paddling, so that water ends up underneath the floor.  You have to take the floor out to dry it and it takes a bit of time.    We may carry them on kayak racks on the roof and dry them back at the campsite.  These kayaks are sturdy enough that you can actually transport them on the roof of your vehicle.

Anyway, that’s where we are on these boats. 

Yesterday in about a 3 minute time frame I saw quite a variety of birds in the bird feeder.  Al put this feeder by the back window so the kitties could bird watch.

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

Male Northern Cardinal

Male Northern Cardinal

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Red Bellied Woodpecker

White Breasted Nuthatch

White Breasted Nuthatch

It was a busy feeder.  I also saw a Brown Thrasher and a Bluebird, but I couldn’t get any pictures.  We have two Bluebird nests, each with 5 eggs. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Update on House Sale

A couple people have requested a status report on where we are in the sale process of the house.

It seems like it’s moving very slowly and there is really nothing new.

According to the Realtor the buyers credit looks good.  I’m not exactly sure what she means about that though as I’m sure she isn’t privy to their credit information.

I spoke with our Realtor yesterday and she said it’s in underwriting now and when that part if finished, they will send the appraiser.  She said there is  no way to know what the status is, or to hurry them up.   This is just the way it is. She suggested we don’t sell all of our furniture at this point.

In the meantime, we’re continuing to sell what we don’t need and assume everything will work out like we hope.

We’ve had a busy few days.  Monday night  some severe storms were heading our way with the possibility of some tornado’s.  We’re still living in the motor home.    We didn’t have any strong winds  or hail at our house, but the next morning when we went into town, we noticed a house right up the street with the roof  peeled right off.  We saw a few pine trees that were split like tooth picks, and a large oak down on driveway.  We feel sure there were a few tornado’s and we’re very thankful we didn’t have any issues.  We did spend an hour or so in our tornado shelter though!

The guy  picked up the boat yesterday and someone is coming to look at the wood splitter today. 

Hopefully we can get rid of most of the big things before the end of the month.  Slowly but surely and one step at a time.

Our little storm brought a cool front and we awoke to a temperature of 39 degrees!  I was so glad I decided to put the electric blanket back on the bed last night!  It felt so good this morning.

Today we’ll take Squeaky back to the vet and then hopefully we’ll get back to bringing more things out for the garage sale.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

No More Moving Sales…for now

Our garage sale yesterday was fairly successful.  We sold quite a bit of stuff and made about $180.  It wasn’t as much as we would have liked, but we’re getting there. 

We had a lot of traffic and by about 11 am, we  both exhausted and done!  We stuck it out until 1pm since we’d advertised it until then.  Next week, noon is going to be the end.  We were starved and tired so we planned on going out for some lunch.  On the way out, we got a call from a guy that was coming to look at the boat from Panama City. Long story short, he gave us a deposit and said he’d be back to pick up up by Wednesday.   We finally got our lunch, then came back home and had a nap!

The neighbor hood dogs helped us yesterday.  We have three that frequently come to visit.  One is a Golden Retriever, another is a Whippet (we think) and the third is a Jack Russell.   Our favorite is “Red Dog aka Sweet Pea”… We’re falling in love with her.   Can’t you tell?

IMG_3204

She greeted every customer we had yesterday, then walked them to their cars when they left.

Towards the end of the day, the other two dogs showed up.  The two little ones are  wild little things and they played and played!

I can’t get the pictures to upload that I took on the Droid, but they were wild yesterday!

All of these dogs have homes, but they let them run.  We don’t believe in that and we worry about them.  We picked up “Sweet Pea” from across the road this morning and brought her home. Anyone want a wonderful dog?

IMG_3212

She might be slightly “hot”, but she’s free!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Successful Moving Sale

Well today was a pretty good sale day.  We had people coming in at 7:30 for the sale that was to start at 8:00 am! 

We had a lot of people and they kept us busy, so the time passed pretty quickly.  We ended up making about $280, so it was worthwhile for a Friday sale. 

We’ll be back at it bright and early in the morning.

We met a lot of nice people and had some enjoyable conversations with them.  We never had the first problem with anyone stealing anything from the prior sales we had here in Georgia…until today.  This evening when getting ready for tomorrows sale,  Al noticed some tools were missing.  Nothing overly valuable, but it makes you angry.  We are now thinking a few things may have walked away last week-end, so now we’re going to be watching more closely and looking for those  repeat customers.  We’ll be especially watching the men!

We’ve been very lax in watching the stuff because we’re in a small town with a very low crime rate and most of the people seem to be good and decent people.  Obviously some one is not so good or decent.  Lesson learned.

Dean and Shirley, our old neighbors and kayaking buddies in Zephyrhills,  just got themselves a new toy.  Check our their blog and see their new Cricket golf cart.  Wish we could get one, but I don’t know where we would put it.

Dean and Shirley are full timers.  Dean is a retired Pastor.  They spent the last two winters in Zephyrhills and the summers in Iowa to be nearby family.  They may spend next winter in Texas, but we’re hoping to see them back in Tampa next fall!

Before we left, Shirley asked me to help her set up a blog, so one morning we spent a whole 10 minutes getting her started and you can see she’s running with it.  Blogger sure makes it easy!

Tomorrow is another early day and along with our moving sale, we’re expecting number 5 and 6 Sea Eagle kayaks to arrive :)   More on that later.