Friday, December 31, 2010

Wanda and 2011

Stix n Brix
Clayton, NC

Wanda didn't stay at the shop for long.  We picked her up about 24 hours after we had dropped her off.  I'm happy with Gregory Poole.  When they did the brake recall work a few weeks ago, I got the impression that they were a professional organization.  Remember that noise in the right front wheel?  Well John took her for a couple of test drives and determined that "the wheel simulator needed to be repositioned."  Translation..."the hubcap was put on wrong."  No charge for that, and the charge for the oil change was reasonable.  If we're still in the area next year, I'll go back to them for service.

I never have understood why people celebrate so much on New Year's Eve.  I know it's a time of retrospection and anticipation, but what does that have to do with over-indulging?  I like a nice quiet welcome of the New Year myself.  Other than starting this blog and solidifying our full-timing plans at the RV-Dreams Rally last April, 2010 doesn't seem that eventful.  We have taken a few baby steps towards that goal but 2011 should be a really big year if all goes as planned.  After the rally this coming April, We'll sell the waverunners, Miata, furniture, and have a couple more yard sales.  The rest will be donated or thrown away.  We hope to do all this by July.  The house will go on the market in May or June after it gets cleaned up a bit.  The biggest event planned for us in 2011 is my retirement on August 1.  Shortly thereafter, we'll hit the road and hope the house sells soon so we can put some miles under our belts.

I guess when I think about it, we do have some reasons to celebrate.  It'll just be a quiet "Happy New Year" and early to bed.  I have to get up at 4:00am to get ready for another day at work.  Let me take this time to wish everyone a Safe and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Stix n Brix
Clayton, NC

It's a good thing that we celebrated Christmas a little early with the family because it snowed a lot Christmas night.  It was my last working Christmas and it was memorable.  Depending on where you took the measurement, it was 8-10 inches of the white stuff in Raleigh.  It never crusted over with sleet like most of the snows here.  I still packed an overnight bag just in case it was too bad to drive home.  I have a feeling that we will get a couple more measurable snows this winter.

We had noticed a noise in the right front wheel of the MH on our way home from our last trip around Thanksgiving and wanted to have Gregory Poole take a look at it since they did the brake recall work on it.  We took it to them this morning.  They'll go ahead and do the oil change on her while she's there also.  We had discussed the possibility of getting some new shocks but decided against it.  We're planning to get some new tires next month and that will probably make for a smoother ride.

Something else happened during that last trip also.  The computer server messed up.  Gin's has been working on it off and on ever since we got back.  She's not having much luck.  It's all over my head.  She can see that the raid is there but just can't get to it.  Huh?  She had a lot of movies, books, pictures and music stored in there that she can't retrieve right now.  She had backed up the books and pictures, but it died before she could get to the music and movies.  She'll figure it out.  If not, she'll start another collection.

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life's journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Stix n Brix
Clayton, NC

When we had our yard sale this past fall, we sold all our Christmas decorations except for one thing.  We almost kept the 2 feet tall Christmas tree with lights, but thought that it would be a bit cumbersome to pack in the MH.  This Nativity Scene fits nicely on our mantle this year and will fit just right on our dashboard next year.  In the meantime, it’ll pack nicely in it’s box under the dinette.  We will add Santa hats to Wanda’s ears (mirrors) and a string of lights around the windshield to be more festive.  We like the minimal amount of decorating because it’s less to take down.

We plan to spend Wednesday with Mom.  It’s her 83rd Birthday.  We’ll spend Thursday with Gin’s folks and then I’ll work Friday (Christmas Eve) night.  I’ve worked the Holiday most of my career so some of the sparkle is gone.  It’s a very special day and we honor the true meaning now more than celebrate the over commercialization.

I want to take this time to wish everyone in the blogosphere a 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  
Everyone travel safe and take the time to reflect upon the
"Reason for the Season."

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Stix n Brix, NC

It's going to be a long winter.  We spent some time yesterday doing a few things around the house.  I finally got the mower started and cut up the leaves that fell last week while we were gone.  Now I can see the brown grass again.  I hate raking leaves.  I did my fair share of it as a kid and I decided long ago that I had outgrown raking. 

While I was outside, Gin was inside going through some stuff in the office.  It was nice to get a big bag of stuff to throw away and another bag to shred.  I never thought of us as pack rats, but it's amazing what paperwork she found.  Yes, I finally threw away my report cards from elementary school through college.  And there were some rough drafts of job resumes from 28 years ago.  Pack-rats?  Not us!  It did catch us by surprise how many things had our name and social security number on them.  That's going in the shredder of course.  The heaviest bag went to the garbage dump today along with a load of other stuff that's not really needed.  That felt good.  If we can throw out a load like that every few weeks, we'll have an empty house to put on the market in the spring.

I may not post that often this winter, but I will keep reading the blogs that I follow.  Of course we will do some daydreaming and planning of our not so distant future.  Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life's journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wanda's Last Winter

Stix n Brix
Clayton, NC

Just a quick post to say we made it back to the house Thursday.  I was expecting a lot of traffic on the road since it was Thanksgiving, but I guess everyone was where they wanted to be.  The roads weren't crowded at all.  I like pulling in to a gas station when no one is there.  The credit card pumps stay on 24/7.  We unloaded the rig and had some good leftover turkey and fixin's.  Friday we winterized the MH.  OK...Gin did it...I helped by holding the toilet flush open while she blew air though the lines with the air-compressor.  We don't use the rv anti-freeze.  It was a cold winter last year, but there was no problem.  We leave a little ceramic space heater on low inside.  I put the tire covers on and gave Wanda a hug.  She'll sleep good knowing that this should be the last time we winterize her.  Oh well, for the next 3 or 4 months, we'll be "all work and no play".

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life's journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Relaxing Day

Huntington Beach State Park site #111
Murrell’s Inlet, SC

This was our last full day here so we spent it relaxing around the campsite.  We were recuperating a little from yesterday’s long walk actually.  We did still take a bike ride through the CG to look at all the nice sites here.  They are definitely filling up for the long holiday week end.  This is our site #111.


It’s pretty private although the fire pit area is opened to the next campsite.  We prefer a site surrounded by plants and trees as long as the satellite dish receiver works.  Generally the sites on the right-hand side of the road have a more private patio area.  These folks are definitely set up for the holiday.  They have friends and family staying at several other sites here like a family reunion.


I know turkeys are the symbol of Thanksgiving, but I’ve grown accustomed to the beautiful birds of the marsh here.  The egrets and herons, although the mosquitoes have been almost as big and most plentiful.

IMG_0175 IMG_0187 IMG_0194

We enjoyed the afternoon and evening sitting by the campfire.  Maybe it’s just me, but I can get a little testy on our last day at a beautiful place.  I know I hate leaving here.  I think full-timing will be quite a bit different because I’ll look forward to going to  another nice place.  We’ll be on the road tomorrow along with a lot of people so I’ll wish you all a…


(Chalk drawing provided by kids in the CG)

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bike the Neck

Huntington Beach State Park site #111
Murrell’s Inlet, SC

Today we decided to Bike the Neck.  It’s a very nice paved bike path that runs from Murrell’s Inlet, past the CG, and on down to Pawley’s Island.  As we were leaving the CG, I saw this beautiful egret in the tree.  I love the Spanish moss.


We first rode up to Murrell’s Inlet.  When we went out to eat Friday evening at the Hot Fish Club, Bill and Nancy mentioned that you can launch your kayaks from the park right next door so we had to check it out.


It’s the Morse Park Landing.  There are a couple of picnic tables and a bench under a tree and a few places to park.  There’s also a memorial to those who were lost at sea.  Murrell’s Inlet honors it’s fishing village heritage.

IMG_0160  IMG_0157

After looking out over the marsh a bit, we decided to take the bike path south.  It goes on down to Pawley’s Island, but we didn’t go that far.  We stopped in Litchfield.  We were getting hungry and it was about lunchtime.  This is really a great bike path.  I forgot to check the e-bike odometer before we left, but I think we went a total of about 15 miles.  I pedaled most of it since it’s pretty flat.


As we crossed the causeway over the lagoon, I spotted two alligators basking in the warm sun 10 feet from the sidewalk.  They were about 8-10 feet long.  Glad the camera has a nice zoom because they are the top of the food chain.

IMG_0165 IMG_0170

After lunch and an afternoon nap, we decided to take Smudge for a walk on the shore again.  She enjoyed barking at the birds.  She is over 13 years old but she walked like a puppy today.  We went out at one boardwalk and walked down to the jetty boardwalk to come back on the paved road.  That was about 4 miles of walking.  Smudge walked about 3.5 miles of it.

IMG_0201-1 IMG_0202

We will all sleep late tomorrow.  As a matter of fact, I think we will just hang around the campsite most of the time.  If we got this much exercise on a regular basis, we’d feel younger in the long run.  I just love the birds here.  These were right on the causeway across from the alligators.

IMG_0182 IMG_0196

We got back from the long walk just in time for me to step out on the marsh boardwalk for a sunset shot.  Nice way to wrap up another day in Sylville.


Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Smudge’s Day

Huntington Beach State Park site #111
Murrell’s Inlet, SC

We had planned to spend the morning on the bikes but Smudge had other plans.  She has separation anxiety and hasn’t eaten much the last couple of days.  She had an upset stomach so we knew we needed to be with her instead.  We decided to take her to the shore since there is a lot of hard sand there.  A poodle doesn’t do good in the soft sand…gritty.  She barked at a bird and stared at it.

IMG_0115 IMG_0112

But mostly, she barked at me to pick her up.  We should have named her Velcro because she sticks to me and she looks like velcro.

IMG_0105 IMG_0108IMG_0110

She really doesn’t care for the beach like some dogs.  That’s ok because I can’t imagine all that sand and salt water in her fur.  I’m not sure if the tide was coming in or out, but this was a nice tidal pool flowing.


After we all had a nice stroll on the beach, we went back to camp to enjoy a lunch of delicious left-overs.  Since Smudge was feeling better, Gin and I took a few minutes to ride the bikes around in the CG.  This place stays pretty full.  Some of the Thanksgiving crowd is already arriving.  We now have neighbors on one side of us.  Gin got a nice campfire going while Smudge curled up in my lap.  We cooked some brats and marshmallows for supper.  Don’t worry.  We had our veggies for lunch.

A few folks asked about the roaster so Gin took some shots to show how we have it set up.  Notice the reflection of the bikes in the freshly waxed MH.

IMG_0147 IMG_0149

We sit one of those disposable aluminum pans in the roaster pan so that clean up is easier.  For storage, we put the lid in the styrofoam packaging that it came in.  We also kept the box and reinforced it with duct tape and cut out a little spot for the handles.  There is enough room in our basement to put our Baby-Q grill on top of it.  We plan to take it with us when we finally hit the road.

IMG_0151 IMG_0152

We’ve enjoyed the wonderful weather here this week.  Maybe it’ll hold up for us so we can enjoy the bikeway.  Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another Perfect Day

Huntington Beach State Park site #111
Murrell’s Inlet, SC

We slowly welcomed the day and took our e-bikes for a nice little ride around the CG.  There is a nice Education Center at the marsh boardwalk that was opened so we went in for a look around.  There were a few aquariums and terrariums inside.  I didn’t get a good shot of the fish since they were constantly moving but this terrapin was nibbling on a piece of shrimp.


This young alligator didn’t like the way Gin looked at him but he seemed to practically smile at me.

IMG_0085  IMG_0090

We rode further down the paved park road to a parking lot and walked the boardwalk to the beach.  It’s nice that they have several boardwalks here to get over the dunes.  It’s much better for the dunes, and it’s much better for folks that have difficulty walking in the soft sand like Gin.  She enjoys the ocean and she was just trying to soak it all in since it will probably be quite a while before we get back here.


I can understand why Sherry doesn’t mind running so much when she runs along the shore here.  It’s just beautiful and not many people this time of year.


We were enjoying our walk back to our e-bikes on the boardwalk when this little fella jumped out at us.  He was a little slow so we just enjoyed looking at each other.


After our excursion, we sat outside to watch the Panthers lose another game.  I’ve always said that your team is only as good as your back-ups because there will be injuries throughout the season.  While the game was on, Gin got the turkey in the GE Roaster so that we could eat our Thanksgiving meal early.  We give thanks every day so why not.  The roaster cooks a good turkey.  We’ve also cooked a roast in it.  We set it outside on the grill table so that the interior of the MH won’t get so hot and we don’t use LP.  We had cooked a couple of sweet potatoes over the campfire the night before and Gin fixed the cranberry relish before we left the house.  The dressing and spinach was cooked fresh in the MH.  We’ll be eating leftovers for a few days but we enjoy a quick, good meal.


I wanted to get a shot of the full moon when I took the trash out but it was too cloudy.  I think tomorrow will be another beautiful day.  Maybe we can ride the great paved bikeway they have here that runs beside Hwy 17.  We take one day at a time and enjoy what comes our way.

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Huntington Beach State Park site #111
Murrell’s Inlet, SC

We visited with Sherry and David a few precious minutes this morning before they headed north to their house in Va to take care of some things.  It was wonderful visiting with them.  They are good people.  We’ll see them again in April at the RV-Dreams rally.

I rode my e-bike around a little bit taking pictures with our new camera.  It’s a Canon PowerShot SX30 IS much like Karen uses for her blog. Wow! It really does have a super zoom feature!  Our other two cameras are also Canon’s.  One is a small powershot that we take when we paddle and the other is an EOS Rebel T1i with a 250mm zoom.  It takes great pictures, but we always seem to have the wrong lens on it.  The new camera is versatile.  I like the fact that you only have one lens so you are always ready.  You do have to hold your breath to get that real tight zoom.  Here’s a few shots to see what you think.  I was still sitting on the e-bike and the end of the boardwalk to the beach for this shot.  No sand in my shoes.  (Remember that all the pictures will enlarge if you click on them.)


I rode over to one of the observation boardwalks over the marsh for a few more shots.  This flock of birds just looked like specks on the water and I could hardly see what this cormorant was doing on the post.

IMG_0051 IMG_0049

I enjoyed watching this pelican from a “close” distance, and this great egret was enjoying the sun on the causeway.

IMG_0052   IMG_0057

While I was on the causeway, a gentleman with a tripod, camera, and a huge zoom lens walked by.  Some other folks had told me that a rare Bald Eagle had been perched high in a tree for a while.  I spoke with this guy and he was kind enough to point him out to me.  He had been waiting all morning for him to fly but had to leave.  I’m sure he got some nice shots but this one is quite nice and much easier.


While the chicken wings were cooking on the grill, we sat back and watched the NC State-UNC football game on the outdoor tv.  State won.  It’s been a tough year for the NFL Panthers so we have to enjoy the ole college team.

IMG_0061   IMG_0063 

This cute little marsh wren kept boppin’ around and on top of the MH tire.  It was interesting to watch.


As the game wound down, Gin got a nice fire going while I walked to the visitor’s center boardwalk to see if I could get a decent picture of the sunset.  I love these two Wilson's plovers reflecting on their day.


As the sun set to the west, the full moon rose in the east.  It was another wonderful Sylville, and Ginville, kind of day.

IMG_0065   IMG_0069

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Surprise Visitors

Huntington Beach State Park site #111
Murrell’s Inlet, SC

We hit the road this morning a little before 8:30 so that we could get to one of our favorite places by 12:30.  It was nice to be on the road again.  We both grew up traveling I95.  One of the landmark icons is South of the Border just as you enter SC from NC.  It has recently been refurbished a bit and has knew paint on all their buildings.  I hear that they have a decent CG for overnight stops somewhere in the complex.  Pedro’s hat is pretty big!


We were on our way to spend a few days at Huntington Beach and visit with some rv friends, Sherry and David and Nancy and Bill.  Nancy and Bill have a nice house in Murrell’s Inlet that is on the market.  They have been full-timers before but never relaxed from the fast paced “vacation mode”.  They want to try it again at a more comfortable pace.  They moved to 150 cg’s in one year.  That’s too much.  Sherry and David have a Brave just about like ours so we feel a certain closeness to them because they have such good taste.  They have been traveling for a bit but are on their way back to their house in Va to take care of the furnace before the cold winter sets in.  They stayed in the cg a day or so extra so that we could visit.

And visit we did!!  At 2:00, N&B pulled up to our site while I was on the roof moving the vu-cube.  They got out of their SUV and their back doors opened.  I was expecting S&D but was so surprised to see Howard and Linda of RV-Dreams step out!  We all got our hugs in and they went over to surprise S&D while we finished setting up.  H&L are camping at Cheraw State Park which is a couple of hours from here.  N&B had emailed them and encouraged them to visit.  I’m glad they did.  We got the chairs out and sat around our “unfire” fire pit and talked for a few hours.


Here’s Howard, David, Gin, Sherry, Bill, Linda, and Nancy.  Smudge had to protect me from all these people.  Nancy was kind enough to make reservations at a nice local restaurant,  Hot Fish Camp, so that we could enjoy each others company a little longer.  I wish them all safe travels.  It was a wonderful day!!

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.