Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rv Modification – Bathroom Backsplash


Wesley Chapel, Florida  (high 77, low 57)

A cold front is heading our way, so we’re waiting for the rain and squall line.  We are supposed to get some heavy rain off and on throughout the day ahead of the cold front. There has been rain all around us, but nothing here so far.  It looks like a good day to hang around home and watch movies.  (Too bad it’s football day)

Yesterday was cloudy all day, so I finally got motivated to complete a project that I had been planning for quite some time.

I first thought of this project probably two years ago.  I wanted to replace the mirrored back splash in our kitchen, and also put a back splash over the bathroom sinks.  I bought some of the glass tile sheets, but procrastinated long enough to discover the new Smart Tiles.

I was a bit concerned the glass tiles would fall off as we bounce down the road.  I figured if they did, they would crack my floor tile and cause a big problem.  The Smart Tiles are much lighter than the glass tiles, and although we don’t have an overweight issue thanks to our MH chassis 6219 pound cargo carrying capacity, we always like to keep the weight down as much as possible.   Plus, I figured the Smart tiles would be much easier to install.  :)

So when I discovered Smart Tiles, I did a little research and found another blogger who had installed (and liked) them. They looked very nice in her kitchen but I can’t for the life of me remember who that blogger was.  :)

Smart Tiles are made of a gel like substance and look much like real tile. They have a sticky backing, and you don’t need to grout them.   I was concerned they might look cheap looking installed, but I finally figured I could always remove them if I didn’t like them.

Anyway, yesterday was the day I thought I’d give my first project a try.  We have a mirrored back splash in the kitchen, which is old fashioned, and I don’t like, so that’s on my list for another project.   Getting the mirrored tiles down without breaking them might be a little tricky.

We have a toilet room with a sink and mirror.  Under the mirror was just wood, and I thought a tile back splash might look nice.

Here is the picture when I had the first two tiles up.


I am not fond of the gold faucet, and it’s also on my to do list……one of these days.

Here is the finished project.  It’s hard to get a good picture since the room is so small.   I think it turned out nice, but I need to get used to it.   The other bathroom sink is in the open area by the shower.  It has a beige “wallpaper”  behind the sink.  I’m trying to decide if I should keep the same tile there.  There were previously two different backsplashes, so I guess I can use two different tiles there again.   I might like a little less “busy” design.


The following picture is what I am considering for the kitchen backsplash.   Our kitchen has similar colored cabinets and counter top, so it helps me to see what it will look like.

Subway Sand Mosaik   Peel   Stick Wall Tiles   Smart Tiles

That’s a project for another day.

Saturday, December 28, 2013



Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 81, low 67)

We had a nice Christmas with my Mom and brother, but we are glad it’s over for another year and things are slowing down again.

Our weather is going to be a little rainy the next few days, so while it’s warm, it is certainly not good beach weather.  We have some projects around the house that we hope to complete.

The past few days, we’ve been resting from the hectic Christmas schedule and are watching the recent season of the TV show “Homeland.”   It’s nice being lazy.

Just a reminder to everyone, to be extra careful entering and exiting these RV’s.   Last year a Canadian neighbor fell on her motor home steps and broke her ankle.  Two days ago, our neighbor Ron, fell down the steps while carrying a platter of cooking items (including sharp knives).  He went from the bottom step inside the motor home, right onto the concrete, bypassing the three outside steps.  Fortunately nothing was broken, but he is quite sore.

A few weeks ago, I almost tripped on our steps as well, so it’s something to watch.   I’ve heard of many people falling on their RV steps.


The title of my blog is technology.  I love technology and despite the fact that we may give up some of our privacy, I wouldn’t change a thing.  I love the fact that my phone can direct me to the nearest restaurants, banks, rv parks, and wherever, despite the fact that I’m in different cities all the time.  I love the fact that my Weatherbug App, keeps me up on the weather around the country and always knows exactly where I am at all times.

Yesterday, I found something new that I really appreciated.   We went to Chili’s for a late lunch.   We sat down and noticed a little computer type gadget on the table. While we were waiting for our meal, I checked it out and found you could play games (for $.99) read the USA Today, or order additional items.

When we finished our meal, I noticed you could also pay your bill on the gadget.  Normally, when I finish my meal, I am ready to leave right then and HATE waiting around the waitress to bring the bill, come back to collect the debit card, then wait again for her to come back for you to sign.   We also don’t like handing someone our debit card for her to walk away and process it.

This new gadget allows you to pay your bill anytime you want.  The bill shows up on the computer monitor, you can swipe your card, add a tip, and print a receipt. There was a survey too, so that’s nice it you want to complain.   Right at your table!   LOVE love, love it!   No more waiting for the bill.  Now I can dine and dash….and not get arrested.  This is the first time I’ve seen this, but I’ll get it will become more and more common.


My second bit of technology came this morning.  I got an email saying someone might be trying to unlock my mobile device.  It was from “Lookout Security.”   I was hesitant to open the email, but since I do have Lookout installed on my cell phone, I thought it might be legitimate, so I opened the email.

It said that someone had tried to unlock my cell phone 5 times and they even took a picture of the culprit!    Can you believe that?   I scrolled down and saw a very bad  picture of myself!     Now that’s scary…. my phone is taking pictures of me when I don’t know it?  Yikes.    It could be real handy if my phone was ever stolen or lost though.

What happened was that I set my phone up so that I have to use a pattern to unlock it.  It automatically locks when I don’t use the phone for a few minutes. I want to turn off this locking feature, but somehow, it’s now set up so that only the “administrator” can remove this locking feature, and it doesn’t have me as the administrator.  I’m not sure how that happened, but if any of you have any suggestions, please let me know.  It’s a Droid Razr Maxx.  I can’t find anything where I can change it back with me as the administrator.


We’re getting anxious to head back to the Keys so we’ve been looking at a lot of our old pictures, and I came across this one.  How about these dolphin? They were a long way from me, but how cute was that pose?


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas


Wesley Chapel, Florida  (high 72, low 54)


Merry Christmas to you all.   We spent Christmas Eve with my Mom and brother, and had a nice time eating home made pizza, and opening presents. 

We got home late, fed the crazies, turned on the electric blanket and went to bed. It got down into the 40’s overnight.  Crazy weather here, record breaking 86 degrees the other day and low 40’s last night.   The cooler weather actually felt pretty good, and it looks like it’s going to be cooler for the rest of the week with temps only into the low 70’s.  Yea!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Christmas.   Looking around our campground, it would appear all the snowbirds have arrived already, but I know many will be heading south tomorrow.  It’s fun to drive on I-75 or I-95 and count rv’s this time of year.  You can see hundreds an hour.   I often wonder if Florida will sink in the winter with all the snowbirds and tourists.  So far, so good.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Target Shopper?


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 85, low 64)


I’ve been watching the weather reports around the country and feel for those folks who are dealing with all the heavy rain,  snow and ice.  I haven’t heard of any tornados overnight, so hopefully the predicted severe tornado outbreak didn’t happen.    They are expecting heavy rain at our lot in Georgia.  I hope the cabin and hot tub  don’t float away.  I’m glad we’re not up there.

After the beautiful kayaking trip on Thursday, things here have gone down hill.   We had hoped to get in another kayaking trip before Christmas, but that’s not looking promising.   Too much to do before Christmas, and we haven’t finished our Christmas shopping.  It’s just too hard to buy for my Mother and brother.

On Friday, despite the terrible traffic, but Al wanted to drive over to Clearwater to Don’s Marine Salvage, to pick up a ladder for our boat.  He called the guy and was assured they had what he was looking for.   We could have ordered it online, which would have been easier, but we needed to see the ladder in person to make sure it would work.  So after getting stranded on the Howard Franklin Bridge due to a traffic accident, we finally got there after probably a 2 hour drive.

I borrowed the following picture from the internet, but you can see what we were dealing with.  This is exactly how bad the traffic was.   Oh well, at least it was a pretty day to be stuck on a bridge.


howard franklin bridge   Yahoo Search Results

When we got to the marine salvage place, we discovered the ladder we went for was not the correct one.   It figures. 

Before we went to Clearwater, we went to the gym then decided to stop by our local Bank of America to discuss the hacking of debit and credit cards in Target stores.  If any of you have been living in outer space and haven’t heard of the issue here it is.  Debit and credit cards used at Target stores from Black Friday through mid December  could have been hacked.   It seems the information from some 40 million cards was stolen, including the account number, pin and three digit number on the back.  That information could allow them to shop online pretty much anywhere.

Since, we had used our debit cards in Target during the time the hacking occurred,  we were a little concerned.  

Everything I heard about it just told you to monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity.   Of course, they also said if your information was stolen, that it could be months or years before the information was used.   I wasn’t comfortable having a possible ticking time bomb out there, and my gut feeling was telling me to cancel our debit cards and get new ones.  I never saw anything written or mentioned on TV about canceling the cards, but it seemed to me to be the smartest option not to wait for something to happen but to be proactive and then not have to worry about
“suspicious activity.”

We needed cash anyway, so we decided to drop by the bank and ask them what they thought.  There was a man there to check us in and the first thing he said was, “ I bet I can guess why you’re here.”   We asked about canceling our cards and he confirmed that is the safest thing to do.  We had to wait about 20 minutes for an available person to help us, but it was pretty quick after that.  She cut up our old cards, and gave us temporary cards until our new ones arrived in the mail.  It was easy, and now we feel much better. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Kayaking With Manatees


Wesley Chapel, Florida  (high 82, low 62)


We have been wanting to do some kayaking, and yesterday was the day.  We wanted to paddle on one of the crystal clear rivers in the area, and we chose to go to Crystal River, Florida.

We were hoping now too many tourists would be there this close to Christmas.  Florida draws tourists from all over the world and it seems everybody wants to swim with the manatees.

Crystal River, is about 60 miles north of us and an easy drive up the Suncoast Expressway.  It was a bit chilly in the morning and we were wondering if it would be too cool to be on the water.  We wore shorts, but brought jackets, just in case.

We have a favorite place to launch the kayaks, which gets you very close to the beautiful  Three Sisters Springs, with minimal paddling.  It’s not that we don’t like to paddle, but we just don’t care much for Crystal River.   In our opinion, it’s not the prettiest or most exciting river in Florida, except for the springs.


Map picture


There are a lot of places to launch boats in the area.  Manatee swims are very, very popular, so if you want to swim with them, or just take a boat ride to see them, there are numerous places to do so.  You can rent snorkel or scuba gear, kayaks or boats.

Our favorite place to launch is  “A Crystal River Kayak Company.”    It’s right off of the highway at 1332 SE Hwy 19, in Crystal River, Florida.

To look at the place, you would never know there is river access right behind their shop.


They charge $5.00 per kayak to launch, which is a fair price.

We went inside to pay and saw this pretty red inflatable kayak.


We have Sea Eagle Fastrack 385 kayaks, which we love, but we were attracted to this pretty red color.  It would show up nicely in my photos, don’t you think?

We checked it out, because people are always asking us about our Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks.  They are nice, but pricey. I believe they are well over $900 now.   They have redesigned our 385 model and just looking at pictures online, the new ones seem a little too low in the water to me. 

You can get less expensive Sea Eagles for about $300.00, but to us, they are not sturdy enough for serious kayaking. We paddled one, but were not happy with the way they handled. A lot of people love them, but they wouldn’t work for our needs.

Our 385 Fast Track kayaks have a rigid keel,  with a skeg for control and steering, and a hard floor which you can actually stand up in if you want to paddleboard.   If you are interested in the Sea Eagle 385 FT kayaks, click here for my review when we first got our boats a couple years ago. 

If you are interested, we bought our kayaks from Inflatable Boats 4 Less, and have been real happy with the service we received from them. 


If you are looking for an inflatable that is a little less expensive, this Cayman II might be something to consider.

It looked to be made very well and was very similar to our Sea Eagles.  If we were in the market for a kayak this would certainly have been up for serious consideration.

inflatable kayak

It has a rigid bottom like ours, as well as a skeg. 


I asked the lady at the shop about them.  She said she just got it and would be able to sell them at $549.  I explained that we get a lot of questions about our boats and that I write a blog and would post information on the blog, if she wanted me to.

She said she could order the boat and have them shipped anywhere in the country.


We didn’t take the boat for a paddle, so I can’t confirm how it handles, but I would imagine it would be very similar to ours, as it was a very similar style.   The shop website is here.  You can rent kayaks from them also.


The down side to an inflatable kayak is that they need to be de-flated after use, which means drying them out and folding them back up after you deflate them.  Since ours has a separate floor (unlike some models) it makes getting them dried off a little more trouble.  The inflation process is pretty quick and much quicker than  the deflation process.


Okay, enough about kayaks, and on to the beautiful river.

We launched behind the shop.  You can park very close, so you don’t have to carry the boats very far.

It is set up for ease of getting in and out of the boats.


Since the river flows into the gulf, it is affected by the ocean tides.  (hope I got the effect/affect correct)  Yesterday, it was extreme low tide because of the full moon and I thought we would have to carry our boats in several different areas.  Fortunately, we managed to float over all the low areas, which looked to be 3-4 inches deep.

Once you launch, you have to go down a shallow canal, then underneath a culvert to more canals.

The next picture is deceiving, because of the reflection.  You are actually seeing the complete reflection of the bridge.  We actually paddled right through the center of what looks to be the oval shape of the culvert.




Out the other side to another canal.


You can actually see fall foliage, Florida style, as we approach the main part of the river.


Once you get into the main river, it isn’t far until you can see the manatee hangout area near the entrance to the Three Sisters Springs.


Motor boats can’t enter the spring area, so they anchor right outside, anchor and drop off their snorkelers.


There are a lot of manatee in this area during the winter months.  In the summer, manatee stay out in the gulf and Atlantic, but when the ocean waters start getting cold they migrate to the “warm” waters of the springs.   Florida springs are a year round temperature of about 72 degrees.   Some people (like Sherry) might think that’s warm, but let me tell you, it’s pretty chilly to us!    We think 72 degree water calls for a full wetsuit!

There are quite a few boats outside the springs, but they are all very, very cautious and you don’t see any speeding.   Planes fly overhead to keep an eye on both the boaters and the snorkelers.   Harass a manatee and get a ticket.

On the Gulf Coast, they are much less strict than they are on the east coast of Florida.  When we kayaked at Blue Springs (east coast), we got yelled at from a ranger because we stopped to take a picture, and there weren’t even any manatee nearby.   You can’t even stop and “smell the roses.”   I also got yelled at when a manatee swam over to my boat.  I couldn’t back up because there was nowhere to go.   I am all for protecting manatee, but they carry it too far.   Manatee seem to like to interact with people and will frequently come up to your boat, stick their nose out of the water and look at you.  When I’ve been in the water with them, I’ve frequently had them come right up to me like they wanted a belly rub.

You can see from the next picture, that they have a roped off area where people and boats are not allowed.  The manatee can go there to get away from people and take a nap.


The brown shapes you see are manatee.  It was pretty warm out by this time, so many of them were in the river.




We decided to head into the springs.  You can see how they prevent boats from entering.  We could barely squeeze in our kayaks.


Once you get past the barricade, you enter a narrow tunnel like area.


The water is very shallow and very clear.  It’s beautiful.


Then it opens up to a large “room” like area which is where one of the springs is located.




We take our time and enjoy the beauty.


After a while, we head over  to the other two spring areas.  Each is a little different, but each is beautiful.




We do more sitting than paddling.


You can see Al really gets comfy.


Most of the manatee seem to hang out outside of the spring area, but you can find an occasional straggler inside.

Yesterday this baby was there.  I worried because I didn’t see his mother anywhere.

This guy from the wild life service, was taking photos.  I assume he will be looking out for this little guy, if he is an orphan.  Manatee are highly endangered and very much loved and cared for in this area. 



We hung out in the spring area for a couple hours, then paddled back out into the river and hung around there for a while longer.

This kid had his own private manatee who seemed to enjoy interacting with him.  



He was careful not to touch the manatee, but it was difficult  because the youngster kept swimming right up to him.


The weather was very nice and warm, but when we noticed it starting to get a little cooler, we decided to head back.

It was a lovely day.


the end


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Making Plans to Head South


Wesley Chapel, Florida  (high 71, low 41)


I forgot to give an update on our malfunctioning Progressive Industries Surge/Voltage Protector.  When we got back to Florida, Al plugged the surge protector in as always to confirm that our power post was okay.  It gave him a high voltage error, which as it turned out was not because of the power pedestal, but a malfunctioning surge protector.

We called Progressive Industries (on a Sunday afternoon) and were told to send it back.  They would check it out and either repair, or replace the unit and send it back to us at no charge.

We reluctantly plugged the coach into the pedestal with no surge guard and hoped for the best.  The next morning, we shipped the old unit back. It was right before Thanksgiving, so it took a little longer than we had hoped, but in about 10-12 days we had a brand new surge/voltage guard.   :)



It’s nice to deal with a company that has such great customer service, and I wanted to give them a little plug.   I’ve heard nothing but good about this company, so if you’re looking for a surge protector, we can recommend Progressive Industries.


Christmas has sneaked up on us (as usual) and we find ourselves trying to get our shopping done at the last minute.  Thank goodness for Amazon, Omaha Steaks, and Florida Citrus.   Everything that needs to get shipped is taken care of, so now we only have to find things for my Mom and brother, and they are both difficult to buy for.  Al and I aren’t exchanging gifts since already bought ourselves a lot of gifts all year long.


Our other project we’ve been working on is to downsize our storage shed.  We like having one where we can keep our scuba gear and stuff like that, but it’s time to get rid of a lot of the crap treasures.  We have finally come to the conclusion that Al’s collection of Life magazines are not worth enough money to keep, so those are gone.  It looks like old records aren’t going to make us rich either, so we’re going to take them somewhere and sell them for whatever we can get.  Now, to unload a huge collection of crystal stemware and a set of Sango china.  


We like to spend time in the Florida Keys in the winter and yesterday, we made reservations. I was a little worried that we would be unable to get a reservation, but we did.  This will be our third year.  We will stay in Tampa until after the big Rv show and get to the Keys on January 28th.  Yea!   We love it there and it’s started to feel a lot like “home.”    Our little boat is there waiting for our return.   (hope it still runs)


We had hoped to go down there and purchase a luxury Rv lot, but unfortunately, we didn’t win the 600 million dollar Mega Million Lottery last night, so we won’t be able to buy our dream lot at Bluewater Key.  We picked out a very nice site for a mere $849,000.   I guess we’ll be back at Sunshine Key Rv Resort, instead.  Oh well.

(click on the above link to see pictures of this gorgeous place)

Bluewater Key Rv Resort is quite nice.  Most sites have pavers, tiki huts with complete outdoor kitchens and beautiful docks.   The lots are all privately owned, but you can rent them out.  The rental rates start out at $130 per night in the high (winter) season, but drop to only $60 during the summer.     If we owned a lot there along with our Georgia lot, I don’t know if we’d ever want to go anywhere else.

Bluewater Key  Gallery

Wow    Review of Bluewater Key RV Resort  Florida Keys  FL   TripAdvisor

It’s off to the gym today, then over to Mom’s to celebrate her 84th birthday.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Rain, and a Cold Front


Wesley Chapel, Florida  (high 73, low 42-  what???  did I read that correctly?)


The cold front that is bringing a blizzard to the northeast, brought us some rain early this morning.   It rained hard for a few minutes, then it was gone.  That’s the kind of storm I like.

I always like to start my blog with our location and temperature.  When I checked my Weatherbug app this morning for a weather report,  I was sure surprised to see a predicted low tonight of 42 degrees.   I had to remind myself that we are tough now that we survived 17 degrees in the mountains!

I like knowing the weather when I read other blogs, because I want to know when to stay away from certain parts of the country!   When they say they are having beautiful warm weather in February, and I find out it’s only 50 degrees and that’s the norm, then I know I don’t want to winter there!  I also like being able to look back on my blog and remember what the temperature was on a certain date.

I always list our location  for readers who may not read my blog regularly and have no clue where we are located.  I find it frustrating when I read a blog in which they mention some great place to see or a wonderful campground, and I have no idea what state they are in.  I find myself scrolling back blog post after blog post to get my answer.  Or….sometimes, I give up.

Anyway…. we’re supposed to have a few days of cooler weather but after tomorrow we’ll be back in the 70’s during the daytime.  We’re planning a trip up to Crystal River to do a paddle in Three Sisters Springs.  It’s a beautiful, beautiful spring and the manatee should be there to make it even better.

We were there a year or so ago and have been wanting to go back ever since.  I would provide the link to my previous blog post, but I can’t remember exactly when we were there and it seems that the “search my blog” feature isn’t working (as usual).


Thanks for all the comments regarding my strange request the other day.  I removed that blog from my blogroll.  It’s too bad because I found there was some good information on her blog, and I probably won’t remember to read it, since it’s not showing on my blogroll anymore.

I often add blogs to my blogroll when I see a comment they have made on either mine or someone else’s blog.  If I  discover they also have a blog, I try to add them to my blogroll.   Unfortunately, not all people who have blogs have it linked to their profile and I cannot always find your blog.

Before Google+,  it seemed like most people used Blogger and it they left a comment, you could click on their name and it would automatically pop up their blog.    That was nice.


With many blogs, you get their profile page, which shows their blog and you could just click to go to their blog.  That’s nice too. 

Blogger  User Profile  Sherry

If you click the comment on a blog like Rick’s, in which he only allows comments from from people with Google +, you get this:

Rick has set up his Google+ account so that it also shows his blog.  Many haven't’ done that and it makes it hard to find their blogs.  

Rick Doyle   Google

I want my blog to be found by as many people as I can, so when I noticed when I commented on Ricks blog, my name and photo came up, but my blog didn’t.   I think I fixed that.

Anyway, if you write a blog and read and comment on others, have you checked to see if yours can be found easily when people click on your name in the comment section?   








Saturday, December 14, 2013

Strange Request


Wesley Chapel, Florida  (high 83, low 67)


I got an email yesterday with a really strange request.  It was sent as a separate e-mail, verses through a comment.

Maybe I’m missing something here.   I list all the blogs that I follow on the side of my blog in my “blogroll.”   That way, when ever any of you write a new post, I will be alerted to it and I won’t miss anything.  Many of you do the same.

Here is the request I got.   I won’t show who it was that sent it, but I will honor her request and  will remove the blog from my blogroll as soon as I finish here.


Hi there --

Thank you for listing my website on your blogroll.  I really appreciate it.  :) 
Because it is on every single page of your blog, it is bringing a LOT of links into my website. And this doesn't look good to Google and the other search engines.

I request that you please leave the link to my website on only ONE page and remove me from your blogroll.


My blogroll is on the main page of my blog, and if you read the post today, or last years post, you will see the exact same blogroll.   Is that what she means about it being on every single page?    I do NOT have her blog information anywhere else but on the blogroll and am not advertising her blog (which is a vegan blog)

Am I missing something about Google having a problem with this?    Maybe I’m being dumb, but I would have thought if my blog was bringing “a LOT of links into her website” that would have been a good thing?

No, I have not asked her what she meant and don’t intend to do so.  I will just take her blog off my blogroll and move on. 

Do any of you have a problem being on my blogroll?  Do you understand her problem with Google?





Friday, December 13, 2013

Pat Made Me Tell on Myself


Wesley Chapel, Florida  (high 75, low 58)

Our above average temperatures have been replaced with more seasonable temperatures.  It’s down right chilly this morning at 50 degrees.  For some reason, 50 degrees always seems to feel colder here in Florida.  It’s supposed to warm up fast and it looks like it’s going to be a pretty and sunny day in the mid 70’s.

I never hesitate telling stories about dumb things other people do, but I do not post unflattering pictures of anybody. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for some of my blog friends!

What I don’t normally do is tell stories on myself.  Hey…it’s my blog, I can write or NOT write what I want to, right?

The other night our friends and neighbors, Pat and Ron came over for a campfire.  

I wasn’t going to tell this story, but Pat keeps prodding me to put it on the blog.

So here goes…..

When Pat and Ron came over, we were unfolding our chairs, and setting them up so that we could sit by the fire and chat.

When I unfolded one chair I felt something odd hit my left leg.   I looked down, and to my horror, there was a lizard stuck to my calf.   Anybody who knows me, knows I am deathly afraid of frogs and toads, and only slightly less afraid of lizards.

As soon as I saw the lizard stuck to my leg, I started screaming and jumping around like a crazy person.   Poor Baxter was outside in his cage and he didn’t know what was going on.   I wanted it off, but was too afraid to brush it off with my hand.    Al was busy unfolding another chair and couldn’t rescue me quite as quickly as normal.    Pat and Ron had no idea what was happening, and they didn’t rescue me either.  

I was jumping up and down trying to dislodge the lizard from my leg, screaming all the while.  I could feel his little claws holding onto my leg, and he wouldn’t budge.  I couldn’t find anything to brush him off and I certainly wasn’t going to use my hand.   All this time, I was screaming to the top of my lungs and jumping up and down.   I wonder what the other neighbors thought?   I’m surprised nobody called the police.  After what seemed like minutes, the lizard finally fell off due to my leg shaking and jumping. 

Once he was gone, it still felt like his claws were on my leg, until I wiped my leg with a rag.   Yuck……..  

I would have thought the poor little lizard was scared to death, but two more times in the next few minutes, that same darn lizard tried to climb on my chair.   The second time, Al chased him away.  If we see him again, he will be escorted to someone else’s campsite…..a long, long distance from us.

So Pat….here it is.  I told on myself.  Happy now?

And to get you back, I’m going to do what I never do.  I’m going to post an unflattering picture of someone.  Here’s the one of you I took the other day.



Nothing much else happening around here.  We wanted to get back to finish up our zoo visit, but I’ve been having trouble with my contact lens irritating my eye.  I hate to go anywhere without my contact because I can’t see, so we’ve stayed close by until my irritated eye gets better.

We did get our order from Amazon with our waterproof under coach LED lights.   As soon as Al figures out how to permanently attach them to the coach frame, I will take some photos.  We also ordered some bulbs for the interior lights.  I had resisted changing to LED’s  because of their cost. It seems like they have come down in price recently, so we took the plunge and purchased some from Amazon.  We replaced the lights on the entry steps, and the new led’s are much brighter, which is what we wanted.  We also replaced bulbs over the couch where Al reads in the mornings.  These are also much brighter, but I think a little too “cool” white.  I think I’ll put  them elsewhere, and get some warmer bulbs.  Al thinks they look okay….but what does he know.  :)

We got a LED for the the porch light, and we were anxious to see if it was brighter.  Unfortunately, our porch light seems to have quit working.

We had been considering installing a new LED motion sensor light, like the following.

Starlights Smart Light 1000   Black   AP 016 SL1000B   LED Lighting   Camping World

I guess we’ll go ahead and order it.  Pat and Ron put one on their coach last year and like it real well, and said it was an  easy installation.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Not Quite the Day We Expected


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 82, low 60)


We’ve been back in Florida about two weeks and yesterday was the first time we’ve gotten back to the gym.   I don’t know why we couldn’t seem to drag ourselves there before, but at least now we’re back.    It felt good, and we especially liked the therapy pool with it’s nice warm water. 

After we left the gym, we  found that we had worked up an appetite, so we decided to go and get a pressed Cuban sandwich.  Just what we needed after burning off all those calories.     Of course it’s not the most vegan place to go!

After lunch, we decided to head over to the Lowry Park Zoo.  We bought annual passes last summer when they had a newly born elephant that we wanted to see.

The following picture is the baby and his older cousin.  Weren’t they adorable?


The last time we were there it was mid August and extremely hot, so we didn’t see much besides the elephants.

Our plan yesterday was to meander around towards the elephants.

We saw some pretty interesting critters.



How about these singing dogs that climb trees?


The only thing we saw them doing was napping.  Too much tree climbing, I guess.


The kids seemed to prefer the water features over the animals.


We discovered a train that took you around the areas where the larger animals were kept.  We decided it would be fun to ride it,  and at the time, it wasn’t very crowded.  We jumped into the back seat and had it all to ourselves.  They waited a few more minutes and before we knew it, the train was getting full and two people sat down beside us.  Unfortunately, they apparently were smokers and reeked of cigarette smoke. I wanted to jump off immediately, but not knowing when the train was going to start moving kept me in my seat. I knew I couldn’t sit next to Mr. and Mrs. Stinky for the entire train ride.  They smelled like they had bathed in cigarette butts.  We sat there a minute contemplating what to do, when my phone rang.

It was Mom.  She was having trouble with her CPAP machine (sleep apnea).  She said the night before it was burning her nose and eyes when she tried to use it.   Long story short, we did manage to exit the train before it started to move, and had a loooooong drive in Tampa traffic over to Mom’s to pick up her machine and then over to the place that provides these machines.  They said they would have to send her machine out for repair, but they would provide a loaner.  

Once we got there, we had to wait for the manager to get back to the office.  He hooked up her machine and found it to be working properly, except for a strong odor of vinegar.     No wonder it burned her nose.   Grrrrrrr…..   She swears she only used distilled water in the machine.  When we got the machine back to her house, we noticed a jug of vinegar sitting right next to the jug of distilled water.  ??

So…..after about 4 hours between picking the machine up, driving to the place to exchange it, and driving home in rush hour traffic, back to Mom’s house in the dark and then home…..we arrived back home.   Not exactly how we planned on spending our day, but hopefully the machine is working better now that we rinsed it out carefully.  I’m almost afraid to call her…..


We haven’t decided what to do today, but our day has already started out nice when we saw some otters swimming behind our site.  It’s the first time we’ve seen them since we’ve been back.

We might go back to the zoo.    (al says to leave my cell phone home)

Monday, December 09, 2013

A Beach Day


Wesley Chapel, Florida  (high 84, low 62)


It was another nice day yesterday, so we started our day outside for our coffee and computer time.

Baxter got to come  too.  



He is such a flea magnet, that we put his cage on top of the table, so that he’s further away from the ground and the fleas.

He likes it outside, but if we happen to walk away from the patio and leave him by himself for a minute two, he cries until he sees one of us again.


We  hadn’t seen any ocean water in months, so we decided to take a drive south over the Sunshine Skyway toward the gulf beaches.

Map picture


There is a nice fishing pier where the old Skyway used to be. The old Sunshine Skyway was knocked down by a large freighter during a bad storm in May of 1980.  It was a terrible tragedy with 35 people  killed when their vehicles went over the bridge when the span collapsed into the water.  Imagine driving over a bridge in a bad storm, and the bridge is gone, and your vehicle falls down into the ocean waters.  

Six cars, one truck and a Greyhound bus went off the bridge after a freighter struck a support on the bridge causing one span to collapse. 

The next pictures was taken from the newspaper.  It was a sad day in the Tampa Bay area and one I will never forget.

This first picture is one view of this car.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge   Wikipedia  the free encyclopedia

  Check out the other view of the same car.  You can see here how high the bridge was and how horrifying it must have been for the people that drove over the edge.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge Disaster  May 9  1980   Metro Jacksonville

The new bridge is much nicer than the old one, and not nearly as scary to drive over.  It’s a lovely drive on a sunny day like yesterday.



They saved some of the old bridge span to make a fishing pier.  It’s very popular and people seem to catch a lot of fish.


We just puttered around yesterday, with no particular plans on where to go.

We just needed to see the Gulf of Mexico.  Neither Al or I like to go to the beach and just sit, so we just took a walk on the beach.   If we’re sitting in a boat right offshore, we’re happy,  and can sit there for hours.  For some reason, neither of us can sit in a beach chair for very long.



The air was warm, the water was clear, but a tad chilly for us Floridians.    

Of course people like David and Sherry would have been swimming!



We ended up near where Jeannie and Eldy live, but we didn’t see them since we hadn’t planned ahead on being in their neck of the woods, and didn’t want to spring our visit on them. Next time we get that way, we’ll make plans to get together.  They know all the best places in the area. 

It looks like we have a couple more sunny days then it’s supposed to be a little cooler.  I won’t mind, after all it’s December.