Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Update & An Intruder

What a difference a day makes, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, it amazes me how in a year our sphere of friends has grown over the last year, there is of course the friend we have known for years-most of our lives but in the last year we have added a few new circles to our lives there is the friends we have made through this blog, some of whom we've had the pleasure of meeting the rest we hope to someday somewhere. Then there is our Gulf Waters RV Resort (GWRVR) family that we have become friends with, many of them we keep in touch through Facebook and many of them live in the IL area, some of them have offered up places in their S&B's or some have offered hookups at their homes for our rigs. We got more than just a lot when we bought our lot this year, we have  All of the outpouring of care and concern has been greatly appreciated, thank you one and all. 
part of our new GWRVR family

Friday early evening Mom called, Dad is doing better and the immediate danger has passed, water is being drained off the heart. Test are to run to figure out why an infection is lingering and what damage has been done to the heart, I did talk with both of them and both said for me to stay put, we shall see what the happens over the next few days. I was working the evening shift when Mom called today so she left a message, it seems Dad has an enlarged heart and of course awaiting still more test results. So for now I'll stay home and wait to see what is needed.

Today didn't go quite the way it was planned, Dave left as usual for work bright and early, I settled in for some computer time. All was going well until I caught a movement in my peripheral vision, earlier I thought I had seen a movement but had chalked it up to a reflection or such,  I looked and saw a little furry body with big eyes looking at me then turning scurring back under the slide. I let out a surprised sound (read scream) that I'm surprised no one heard, thankfully the little body had a stripe so I was pretty sure it was the chipmunk hanging around here, but I don't like furry little things in my home. Time for a back story here, in February 2012 to escape the winter depression of VT we headed to the FL Keys for a few weeks, upon returning we found our bedroom had had mice taking advantage of our absence. For days and weeks we were finding birdseed piles throughout our closet and dressers, but by far the worst part that evening after a long day of driving as we were going to bed we found abundant evidence that the mice had been in our bed while we were gone. Needless to say I have no love for small furry rodents who find their way into my house, but mice trap setting doesn't fall into any of my job categories. Dave was called and told to get some thing to take care of this problem, we're still with out a second legal vehicle right now.

My Facebook post;
  Dave has come to rescue me from the chipmunk that found it's way inside the RV

Dave's Facebook post;
 Had to come home from work early today after getting a frantic phone call from my Queen saying she was being attack by a HUGE chick muck in the RV. So I drove the 50 minute home, on the way I picked up beer and mouse traps. I pulled up to the RV to find the Queen sitting on the deck with the door wide open hoping the critter would come out on it's own. The first thing I did was to comfort my Queen who shaking and in partial shock from her dramatic experience with the creature that was still in the RV, possible in her bed. After calming her and telling what the cost was gonna be for saving her, I started in on the dirty deed. I peaked in the door, scanning the terrain for any kind of unwanted intruders that my be lurking in the shadows. I check the whole RV and found nothing. So I set two traps and put a repelling shield around the RV that only lets in the desirables. I gave the Queen the high sign that her palace has been purged of the beast that was trying to harm her and of the protective measures I took to keep her safe. Now I want payment!!!!!!

Since it was such nice day Dave decided to not go back to work and enjoy some of the beers he picked up. While I went to work Dave took a slow stroll around the park and let the seasonal folks know about my traumatic morning, tonight was pot luck dinner night. Guess who took a lot of ribbing at dinner. 

The only place Dave saw that the chipmunk could have come in is through the seals, looks like some one got more that they expected.

So for now we will wait to hear what my folks need and hopefully we'll have no little new friends.

Until next time...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Just waiting

I know I haven't blogged recently but not much is really going on, hanging with friends and working. Well today I planned to do a blog catch up and on thoughts from our winter but it looks like that will wait, I've received news my dad is in the hospital once again. He has never completely recovered from his hernia surgery we had when we all were in Nashville. The last time we talked he was still having to use a catheter and he was having some trouble breathing, last night he was taken by ambulance to the local emergency room in Effingham IL. Today he is being transferred to Springfield where there are heart specialist, my cousin Dennis is taking Mom to Springfield and getting her in a hotel she can taxi to and from the hospital.With out my cousin Dennis and his wonderful wife Nancy living in the same area I would worry more about my folks. I am not sure at this point but am considering I may be leaving Sunday for IL. Looked at the cost of flying, cheapest was $700 one way, think I'll be getting some more seat time in the Ridgeline. 

My Dad has been a strong supporter of our life style change, once we told him our plans he and my mom were behind us 100+% even though this would mean a whole change to their lives. My folks retired in VT because we lived there, this was 1999, we had lived in VT for 6 years and at that time retirement and our wants in it seemed a long way off. Once we left while they would have good friends there would be no family there, our sons and my brother all live in very large cities and they did not want to live or drive in a large city they wanted a small town. They have chosen to move back to IL to my mom's hometown, my cousin (my mom's nephew) has welcomed them into their immediate family and includes them in all the holidays. Because of this it makes our lives on the road less stressful, we know someone is keeping one eye on them. I used to spend summer days hanging out at cousin Dennis' house, he had three younger brothers who were nearer my age who always let their cousin from out of town hang out with them. On our travels prior to the rv if we were going to by anywhere near the area we would stop for a day or two and spend it with whatever family was available, many times it was with my cousins folks, everyone else would be working and we would see them for a dinner usually. We are planning on going through the IL area at least once a year, either going north to summer some where or south to the warmth.

We have spent many vacations with my folks over the years, because they lived so far away they usually came to see us for 2-3 weeks at a time, Mom would even come on her own each year for a few weeks, usually in the spring and we got my gardens in with the help of two young grandsons. Later years would find three generations going on a road trip, along with my brother and his family we would spend a great two weeks exploring CO and the 4 Corners area. This year my folks are thinking of spending time in Port Aransas, where we will be this winter, during the holidays prior to their heading to Englewood FL where they hope to spend a few months with my aunt.
2004 3 generations
So for now my heads not into doing any other blogging, just waiting on phone calls. I have to work this afternoon, it's shouldn't be too busy, thank goodness I just don't feel like being around too many people right now.

my folks at our wedding-1985

my folks Oct '13

Until next time...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Settling In

One weekend involved lots of Switchback

As it rains I'm trying to figure out where the last 11 days have gone. We've entertained our friends, smoking a few things and drinking some local beers.

some really good smoked ribs

smoked chicken

Note to Dave-always take a second photo

We've reconnected with our original neighbors in VT, Doug and Dianne Zybrands were going to be in the area for a conference they were attending. Thanks to Facebook we stay in touch but we hadn't seen them a few years and they wanted to check out our new lifestyle. Our older sons had been good friends back in elementary school, our younger son Tom had a hard time saying their last names and always called them Mr & Mrs Eyebrows. We enjoyed the few hours we could spend with them.

Dave has been wearing his boot for most of the day and he does take it off at night though the doc said he should wear it to bed.  His heel does feel better but of course there are the side effects of walking unevenly. Other than working, getting plants planted and a few things done around the site Dave has been taking it easy as he should.

I have been getting a serious reading fix in, I was asked what I like to read, for the most part I read fiction-mystery, female authors with a female protagonist. Light hearted authors like Janet Evanovich, Sarah Graves and Diane Mott Davidson to J D Robb, Kathie Reichs and Dana Stabenow and lots others. I read for total enjoyment and escapism, I grew up with out a tv so I've been a member of one library or another all my life. Time to go get restocked.

my commute
I've spent some time working in the store over the past few weeks, some days there is just nothing going on, I always take a book with me to help make those days go by a little quicker. The campground has been quiet the first two weekends, only one or two sites occupied and the seasonal sites were slowly filling up. All that will change on Friday, we are booked solid for the holiday weekend and the weather doesn't look like it wants to play nice.We have just a few sites left for 4th of July and that's just because of cancellations, Labor Day weekend all of the best sites are spoken for and for the rest of the weekends we look to be busier than last year. We have a number of groups that have made reservations for various weekends, then with some of the special activities that are planned things look to be shaping up for a decent year.

their site just behind the bird bath

Talked with our friends from GA whom we visited back in March, they will be heading this way on Tuesday and should be here on Friday. Their site is just down the hill behind us, not too far to go for an afternoon adult beverages or two.

Grass is growing

Spring has come to Vermont, the leaves have come out and the grass is starting to grow. We've had a mix of rainy days mixed with days in the 70's, night time temps are staying above freezing and we haven't seen any white flakes coming out of the sky.

Got our first reservations made for the fall, we'll be spending a few nights in October at Comlara Park with our friends Mark & Nancy who live in northern IL. Our boys are planning visits to TX to see us this winter so we won't be putting on the miles like last year, we are also not getting to leave as early so once we leave IL we'll be heading southward, no westward states this winter.

Dave and I are off for the weekend but we'll be around the campground in case we are needed, our only plans are for Saturday evening when some of our friends come out for dinner and cards, I'm sure some of local brews will find a way to our table.

We hope everyone has a safe Memorial Day.

Until next time...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Where Did The Weeks Go, Much Less The Year

We have had a crazy few weeks getting settled in and catching up with a few friends. There has been rain just about every day since we arrived, they don't call VT the Green Mountain state for nothing, grass is finally starting to turn green, but the days have been cool and somewhat dreary.

Tuesday before we headed into Burlington we stopped at the Johnson Library so I could check out some real books, while here I will let my Kindle rest. Dave needed to stop at work to check in and make sure he had all the access he needed. mail needed to be picked up, a vehicle to get inspected and dinner with friends. We had a great evening catching up with our friends, made the start of some fun summer plans.

Found out neither the truck nor rv got registered correctly, both were to have the existing VT plates transferred to the new vehicles. One the paper work wasn't filled out properly and the other just ordered new plates, hopefully before to long we'll have the paper work fixed, always something, so for now we are down to one truck that is legally registered.

Wednesday we moved onto our seasonal site, they have just put down new pad material and some grass seed where some regrading took place, so the site will be a work in progress for a while.

Thursday was Dave's meeting with Heather, our own sweet hairdresser, she has been taking care of our family for 15 years. Dave only got his hair cut once this past winter, needless to say there was quite the deposit of hair on the floor when she got done with him. We stopped by Home Depot to pick up some tomato and herb plants, a stop at the grocery store, where we found we hadn't been forgotten. The afternoon was spent figuring out how our yard would look this summer, we have friends coming out with tents, with all the changes the site has undergone we get to choose the positioning of the fire pit. So hopefully the new grass in the yard will grow good and be coming in really nice in a few months when our visitors are here.

Thursday was also the first anniversary of our new lifestyle. When I pointed this out to Dave his first comment was where did the year go, we are so thankful we've been able to make such a life altering change at our ages. We have received so many words of encouragement from the folks we meet as we travel, most wish they had started earlier.

Friday was Dave's first day back to work, I got up bright and early too and rode in with him. It was almost like he was off to school for the first day, just wish he had a better sandbox to play in. My girlfriend Carol and I met for breakfast at the Parkway Diner in Burlington then we headed out for some shopping and errand running, after some serious dents to the wallet I ended up back at Carol's house visiting with her and her husband Mike until it was time to pick Dave up from work.

Saturday and Sunday had been rainy days here in VT, a small break in the early afternoons has allowed for some time finessing the placement of the containers for our soon to be garden. Some of the seasonal folks have started coming in, so many new ones this year but seems like a good bunch of folks. There appears there will be more people in the park during the weekdays, last year there were more younger seasonals who were only here on the weekends, with the amount here this summer we might have a bit more folks interested in some mid week gatherings. 

Monday, a dentist appointment for 3/4 crown for me, Dave going in for some OT, a little running around (returns from Fridays outing) and then a visit with my girlfriend Deb and her husband Les until time to pick Dave up.

Tuesday was the long awaited surgeon visit for Dave, only two options open to him, wear a boot for 6 weeks and see if it's better or major surgery and be off his feet for 6-8 weeks. He chose the lesser of the evils to start with, we show know in a few weeks if this is helping at all. After lunch I had to go back to the dentist, 45 min trip one way, the temporary crown the gave me came out.

Wednesday and Thursday Dave worked and I've been spending some time helping get the grounds and store ready for this weekends opening. We now have a few folks coming in this weekend, we have some friends coming out for visits and we have to get a few more things done around our site.

So I really don't know where the time has gone, if we're home and not working or outside I've been enjoying reading real books again. Catching up on all of my favorite novelists, it takes forever to get new books through our e-library and I've always been too cheap to buy books so I'm soaking in all the reading time I can. Since Dave is working and gone 14 or so hours on his work days I have plenty time to enjoy some serious reading.

Until next time...

West Branch State Park to VT

Thursday we moved on up to north east Ohio to West Branch State Park for a few nights, we are leaving early Sunday morning for two days of power driving to VT. West Branch State Park is another nice Ohio campground and will be our last state park until the fall when we get back on the road. This time of the year not all sites are open yet, there is also some FHU sites, our Verizon and Dish signals were all good.  There don't appear to be any trails here but the park is located on a lake with boating and fishing. The town of Ravena is just down the road with grocery, gas and a Walmart, it has been a good place to position ourselves before heading across NY.

Friday was a rainy day so we stayed inside with our computers and the television, in the evening we headed into Ravena to Emma Marie's Italiano restaurant for dinner to celebrate the 25th anniversary of my 29th birthday. I have been craving some good Italian food, our meals of veal parmigiana and gnocchi did not disappoint us. If we were to be around much longer I'd be heading back to try some of their other meals, if you ever here and looking for a good Italian meal I'd strongly recommend them.

Saturday was a beautiful day, a walk around the park in the morning and a bike ride in the afternoon, both time talking with some nice folks, Mike and Jane from Stow, OH. Maybe next time we're in the area we can camp with them at one of the state parks. A campfire made for the end of an enjoyable day and the end, for awhile to some wonderful state parks.

Sunday we were on the road by 8am, we had 370+ miles ahead of us, fortunately the trip was uneventful and we arrived on schedule in Verona NY around 2:30. Our trip along I-90 was long but uneventful, while busy the Buffalo NY traffic didn't take us long to get through. Spent the night at The Villages at Turning Stone Casino, it was one of the only places that was open, the NY state parks weren't open yet. A pull through made for a quick departure once again by 8am on Monday morning, after a while longer on I-90 we headed north on to I-87 till the Lake George NY. While only 275 or so miles Monday was going to be just as long as Sunday, so much of the drive is on two lane highways, at least for us this was well know roads we've traveled for many years. Since we knew the area and roads so much we decided to forgo listening to our GPS, the route we chose took us right through our former hometown and in front of some good friends home, we decided we just had to stop for a few minutes. Nothing like hugs from good friends you hadn't seen in awhile.

So after two days of hard driving we arrived at Maplewoods Campground in Johnson VT by 2:30 Monday afternoon, our site wasn't ready yet so we had to hunker down in another site for a few nights.

Until next time...