Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting Wet

Jordan Lake State Park
Poplar Point CG site #E95
Apex, NC

The week end was not that busy here.  I think next week end will be the last hoorah with Labor Day.  On Sunday, we all went on a pontoon boat ride.  We had to get Smudge cooled off before getting in the boat.  She is amazingly trusting.  She never paddled while in our arms.  We did let her swim a few inches between us.


Gin’s folks have enjoyed their boat but it is about time for them to let it go.  It can be a lot to take care of when you have so much other things going on in life.


It was an absolutely beautiful day to be on the water.


On Monday, Gin and I got out on the water with the waverunners.  We rode up to the dam and found a nice sandy beach to land and get out to float a while.  We rode some more and floated some more.  It was a great morning.

Her nephew Nick and his friend Chris joined us in the afternoon.  We took the boat and waverunners to the sandy beach near the swimming area and let them ride around a bit.  They enjoyed the speed on the lake.  Since it was Monday, there was almost no one else on the lake at all.  The water was like glass.  After an early supper of ribs and fixin’s, we all went on a boat ride to the dam.  Nick and Chris left before they locked the gate at 9:00.  It was another nice day in Sylville, but we are tired.

I did set up a hummingbird feeder on our first day here.  There are two females that perch in the pine tree and then feed from the feeder.  I did see one more deer today.  I went to the nearby convenience store to fill the gas cans and a deer was in the middle of the road just a few sites from our campsite.  She sauntered into the woods.  I just happened to have a camera and took a shot out the open window.  They hide on the week ends.


Saturday, August 28, 2010


Jordan Lake State Park
Poplar Point CG site #E95
Apex, NC

We finally got all the boats in the water late in the afternoon on Friday.  The pontoon boat was easy and then came the waverunners.  Gin’s cranked up on the first try but my battery was as dead as a frog flattened by a MH.  We left it on the trailer at the campsite and drove to Wally World to get the last battery they had in the proper size.  After it got charged, we all took a boat ride to a favorite sandy beach for a nice dip in the water.  When we got back, Gin put the battery in and we launched it.  Here’s the big boy toys all lined up together at our campsite.


Gin’s folks went back home today for a few hours since family was up from Florida so we took a ride on our waverunners.  The water wasn’t rough but the swells from the weekend boat traffic made for some splashy bumps.  This is probably our last week of riding them.  They will go on craigslist before long.  We’ll definitely sell them next summer.  Each year we can tell that we get sore a little more easily than the year before.

As we rode around, I was thinking of my history with personal watercraft.  My family had a nice lot and boathouse with a pier on Lake Gaston when I was a kid.  It’s still in the family and will always be a special place.  When I was about 12 years old, the owner of the local Kawasaki dealership rode by on a very early model.  This was around 1973.  He offered to let me take a little ride by myself.  I didn’t go far but my heart was in love.  It was only about 4 feet long and was a stand up model with a very small bench with little cushion.  Of course I asked Dad to get one for the family.  He just said you can get one when you grow up.  So I did.  Gin and I had a pair in the latter 90’s for a couple of years.  We sold them when she lost her eyesight in one eye and had mobility issues.  We missed them, so when the timing and health was right, we got this pair in 2007.  Now when we sell these, it will be on our terms and we will feel satisfied about that.

Sorry I rambled on about that.  It has been a great day in Sylville.  We relaxed around the campsite a lot while the weekenders enjoyed their time in the water and finished it up with a game of Canasta with Odie and Judy.  More good times ahead.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lake Jordan

Jordan Lake State Park
Poplar Point CG site #E95
Apex, NC

We made it to the lake on Thursday.  After we dropped by the boat launch parking lot, I saw a doe and her two fawns.  Gin’s folks finally are taking a vacation and have brought their MH and pontoon boat with them.  We are very lucky to have neighboring waterfront sites since you can’t reserve in loop E this year.


I think it’s going to be a quiet week end since school has started.  The next week end is Labor Day and that will certainly be busy.  We brought our bicycles and waverunners.  We’ll get all the boats in the water this morning.

I took Smudge for a walk at dusk last night and got a couple of pictures.  This doe was 50 yards away and I didn’t have the zoom lens on (of course).  I saw the rest of the herd, all 5, as she scampered off.  That’s a total of 8 deer today.


The camp sites are in a cove but you can still look out onto the main lake to get a nice view.  This was at dusk.  We took it easy the rest of the day.  It’s good to be here.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Much Better

Stix n Brix, NC

Thanks to those of you who left comments about Smudge's well-being.  I know there are many folks out there who know how we feel about our dog because they share in those feelings with their pets.  Smudge is doing fine.  We had to stay home with her on Sunday to make sure she didn't have a flareup.  When the vet called,  we told her that she was eating good (can food) and  she had a real poop today.  No more table food or pinches of pizza crust.  That will be difficult but she'll get spoiled with the can food instead.

I want to give a shout out to our newest followers, Pinon and Me and My Dog.  It's neat how many people out there follow each others journey to the dream of full-time rving.  It looks like we will get a glimpse of it by going to the lake in a few days for a week of fun and relaxation.  I can hardly wait.  Waiting...that reminds me...11 months until retirement.  :)  But who's counting...

Friday, August 20, 2010


Stix n Brix, NC

Smudge didn’t have surgery today.  The last time she ate anything was Monday.  She started throwing up on Tuesday.  That’s not all that unusual because she has a sensitive digestive tract.  She still didn’t eat on Wednesday and was still sick so I canceled the surgery and got a can of Science Diet thinking that she might like it.  Thursday afternoon she started with the bloody diarrhea so we took her to the vet this morning.  She has pancreatitis.  They kept her for a couple of hours to give her an IV catheterization with anti nausea and pain medicines.  We’ll take her back first thing in the morning for more of the same.

IMG_0954 IMG_0956

She’s alert so the doc thinks she’ll be ok in a few days.  She acted like she wanted to eat something while I was in the kitchen, but she’s not suppose to have anything.  We are planning to go to Jordan Lake State Park on Thursday to stay a week.  Hopefully she’ll be ready.  That’s where the saying “our plans are set in jello” apply.  She’s not a friendly dog, but we love her.  She’s our furbaby.

Just a reminder to folks to not take the little things in life for granted.  Stay safe.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Surge Guard and Sourdough

Stix n Brix, NC

I want to say “Hi!” to the recent additions to the list of followers, Mike & Gerri and Charley & Sherry.  It’s so nice to share in each others journeys.  Each of these couples are fulltimers so they know what trials await us during the next year as we get rid of “stuff” so we can start our new life.  Our subdivision is having a neighborhood yard sale in September so we’ll put a few things in the driveway.  I’ll soon get estimates for power washing and painting our house.  It’s a 1900 sq. ft. brick ranch with a pond in the back yard.  We’ve never really been packrats, but we know that it’s going to be a pile of “stuff” to throw out next spring.

This past week has been too hot to do much of anything.  I’ve been at work of course while Gin has been catching up with things in the house.  One evening it cooled off enough so that she could install a Surge Guard to our MH.  I’m so glad she knows what she is doing.  One of these days, I’ll do a post about all the customizations that she has done.  I can’t explain how she does them, but it sure is nice to have them.
IMG_0950  IMG_0951

One thing that I have enjoyed doing lately is making sourdough bread.  My SIL Carla gave me some starter a few weeks ago and I have made some every week.  I even made a batch in the MH while at Gin’s folks.  It sure smells good and yeasty when the dough is rising and the bread is baking.  I’ve just about got it figured out.

Gin had her IV yesterday.  Another patient fainted in the chair.  She is very nervous when it comes to needles.  That’s not a good thing if you have MS.  Gin told her that she will get used to it so it’ll be easier.

We are taking Smudge in for surgery on Friday to have a big (nickel sized) wart removed from her leg and a teeth cleaning.  She’s been licking and gnawing on it so it must be bothering her some.  It has doubled in size in the past few months also.  She’ll be out of it for a while after that.

Time to close for now.  Everybody stay safe and enjoy your journey.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cabinets Done

Stix n Brix, NC

I’m on night shift for a few more nights but wanted to share the progress made last week on the remodel.  It was nice to have our MH there to relax a few minutes before going to sleep and even nicer in the morning when we ate our cereal at the dinette.  We had the blind open and all we saw was the woods just a couple of feet from us.  We finished Thursday morning by cutting the counter top and fitting the kitchen sink in there.  Now Odie can call the plumber and electrician to finish their work.

Here’s some shots of the work.  There is still much trim work to be done along with the baseboard.  I’m sorry we couldn’t get to that but Nick and Becca recently went their separate ways so the deadline date fluctuates.  Most people have a watch dog but this grasshopper is guarding the back door also.

Smudge liked to help by telling me to pick her up all the time.  By the end of the week, she was one dog-tired poodle.

Here’s a look at the flooring in the bathroom.  There will be a threshold strip between rooms and of course, more trim work.

Gin and her Pop did a lot of the work while I was there for moral support.  Sometimes three people were too many but I was there to give a hand when I could.  They worked well together because they are two peas in a pod.

This is what the kitchen looked like when we left.  The range will be moved over to be under the microwave and a washer/dryer will be under the window to the right.  A fridge will go beside the range.  The building is 20x24 feet so it’s a nice size small getaway.

We have about caught up on our sleep, and Gin’s thumb is better.  The nail is black and all the dead skin has peeled off.  It’s still quite sensitive so I imagine the bone was chipped.  She’s able to play video games now so it’s not too bad.

Well, I’ve got to hurry off to work tonight so everyone be safe and enjoy your day.  Later…

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Rocky Mount, NC

So the over-the-counter microwave was harder than we first thought.  We finished working on it Monday.  We thought we had enough support added to the mounting bracket and we hung it on the wall.  Since it stayed up, Gin and I started working on it's vent.  She was on the ladder and I was standing next to her when the microwave fell on her.  She took a lot of the weight on her front bumpers which knocked her off the ladder.  Luckily her back bumper softened the blow as she fell on to the cabinet that was next to be installed.  My right hand caught the microwave against the ladder.  We were lucky that no one was really hurt and no property was damaged.  After we recouped, two more braces were attached to the studs along with two more band-aids for Gin's fingers (she's running out of digits).  That sucka ain't goin' nowhere now!

Today we put in the last cabinets while her father did the trim work on the sliding door to the bathroom.  We got the counter tops from Lowes and placed them on the cabinets.  They look nice.  Tomorrow we plan to install them.  :)  Hope it goes smoothly.  If we have time and energy left, we might get to put in the baseboards.  That would be great but it would be a big day.  One thing at a time.

Time to let Smudge out and get in bed.  We'll see how we feel at sunrise.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Rocky Mount, NC

We're kinda tired but we have made progress on the remodel.  We got here Friday and set up our MH.  It felt like we forgot something since we didn't pack groceries and didn't pull the Suki.  We quickly started back on the flooring and found our rhythm.  We got almost all of it done.  Saturday morning we finished the floor and went to Lowes to get some cabinets for the kitchen.  After putting up the corner cabinet, Gin did some calculations to see what other ones we needed.  We all piled in their suki and off to Lowes we went with a utility trailer behind.  After filling up three of their flat carts with more cabinets, we went to the checkout.  That's when Odie (Gin's dad) realized he had forgotten his wallet.  Guess who else had left the house without theirs?  That's right, all of us.  Senior moment times four.  Judy (Gin's mom) drove home to get the credit card while the other three stooges stood outside the store.  We took it all in stride.  Today we have worked on the putting in the cabinets.  It is a detailed job and slow going.  They are putting a microwave over the stove and it is so heavy that the mounting bracket is having a hard time holding it.  I think they have it figured out so tomorrow we should finish installing the cabinets.

When I woke up today, I realized that it is sort of a milestone date for us.  My official retirement is 12 months from today.  That is, if I don't get sick and nothing else pops up.  I know we won't start full-timing exactly on that date but hopefully it won't be too many weeks after that.  We're planning to put the house on the market a few weeks before then.  I don't know what the housing market will be like then, but I hope we break even.  We built the house in 2000 as our forever home.  It's a nice place but we don't want to be tied down to a place anymore.

Well it's time for these brittle bones and moaning muscles to hold down the bed.  Tomorrow we do more cabinet work.  Wish us luck.