Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Stix n Brix
Clayton, NC

We had a visitor Monday afternoon.  A hummingbird hovered at our big window at the breakfast nook.  I think she was trying to tell us something because I hadn't put the feeder out.  Is it possible that she remembered the feeder from last year?  Needless to say, I stopped what I was doing and got the feeder ready.

We've been a little busy the past couple of days getting some things ready for Saturday's yard sale.  We even gathered up two big bags of "stuff" to throw away.  It's a nice feeling to make progress even if it's just small steps.  Gin has also put our waverunners on Craigslist.  I hope whoever buys them enjoys them as much as we did.  It's a good time of year to sell them so wish us luck.

While gathering up some junk to throw out, I found a few fortunes from fortune cookies.  Let me share them.  "Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just having money or things."  "The most important things in life aren't things."  And the one that we really need to remember during the next few months, "All the effort you are making will ultimately pay off."

I want to welcome two recent additions to the list of followers.  Ruth who was at the rally and David & Maxine who were also at the RV-Dreams rally.  That was a great time in the Smokies and we are looking forward to going to another one.

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Home Again

Stix n Brix
Clayton, NC

We got a nice early start in the rain leaving the park at 8:45am for our 370 mile trip.  It was a steady rain for the first couple of hours and then it slowly cleared up.  We pulled into the driveway at 4:30pm after making a couple of pit stops and a gas stop.  We take it slow especially in the rainy mountains.  After getting the essentials in the house, I washed a couple loads of clothes.  I told Gin that the first trip to the laundromat would be the day we become official fulltimers.  Tomorrow we'll do a few household things and then I'll work night shift this week end.  Next week we plan to organize some things for a yard sale.  It's all about getting rid of stuff.  Craigslist awaits us also.

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Good Byes

River Plantation RV Park site #435
Sevierville, Tn

Don’t worry.  I noticed the recent new followers who were all at the rally and appreciate y’all joining in.  That’s Laura and Bruce, Dan and Tricia, and the happy Laurie and George who got an offer on her house while they were at the rally!

While looking through some of the photos taken here, I found a few couples that I hadn’t posted.  Here’s Wayne and Renea after a party. They are from Louisiana and were also at the rally last year in SC.


Here’s Deborah and Phil as they prepared to leave Sunday.  They are in their little View until their 5er arrives.


And here’s the international couple, Gander and Goose from Canada.  They liked to hang around the RV Park.


There were a few more people who hit the road on Tuesday.  We got some shots of folks at their rigs.  Here’s Gail and Rick at their Tiffin Allegro Bus.


Mike and Terri at their Excel 5er.


Sherry and David in front of Winnona (Wanda’s slightly longer twin).


And Lee and Martha at their Cameo 5er.  They had planned to leave Monday morning.  It turns out that they are having trouble with a slide and have called a mobile rv tech to rescue them.  They are headed to Texas to workcamp at a KOA.


After saying so long to our rv friends, we joined Howard and Linda for brunch at FlapJacks which was just down the road from the RV Park.  I had a good omelet and Gin enjoyed her Caribbean pancakes.  We chatted with H&L for quite a while.  They are a great couple and grateful for the freedom that the fulltime life offers.  Kudos to them for carrying on with their great website RV-Dreams.  It has brought together many people and has added to our lives in many ways.

We relaxed in the afternoon and got things packed away outside.  We plan to leave early in the morning.  Early to us is 9:00.  It should take us at least 7 hours to go about 360 miles since we stop to walk Smudge a couple of times.  This was my last vacation and it was a great one.  We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us during the next few months.  Wish us well and thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life’s journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cades Cove and Bear Butt

River Plantation RV Park site #435
Sevierville, Tn

Many Rally attendees left on Sunday after the farewell breakfast.  The park really emptied out.  We stayed around and relaxed joining the remainder of the rv-dreamers in a campfire at Howard and Linda’s site in the evening.  It’s sad but we know that we will meet many of them on the road and stay in touch by following blogs and such.  It’s a great community of like minded people.

After saying good-bye to several more friends on Monday morning, we decided to go to Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains for the afternoon.  It’s a beautiful, long relaxing ride up the mountain.  There’s a bubbling mountain river right beside the road most of the way up.  We had to pull off a couple of times to just soak it in.  We love the mountains.  It’s a Sylville kind of place.


A guy was enjoying his kayak in the cool mountain rapids.  Don’t worry.  We have no intentions of white water yakking.


We enjoyed a cone of soft-serve ice cream at the store just before entering Cades Cove.  This is a park dedicated to preserving the lifestyle of a mountain farming community from days gone by.  It is an 11 mile one way auto-tour that has about 80 buildings and several trails to enjoy.  The first building we came upon was the John Oliver Place which was built in the early 1820’s.  This shot was taken from about a quarter mile away (nice zoom).


There were many other people out enjoying this beautiful day.  The next building was the Primitive Baptist Church which was built in 1887.  All of the churches are right beside the road so I got out to walk around.  My grandparents were active in their own Primitive Baptist Church many years ago so I couldn’t help but to think of them.

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Next came the Methodist Church built in 1902 by JD McCampbell.  It was built in 115 days at a cost of $115.  If you are into genealogy, it would be interesting to check out old cemeteries like these.

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The next church is the Missionary Baptist Church.  This building dates from 1915.  It was only a small cemetery there.

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The next place that we stopped at in the loop was the Cable Mill Historic Area.  Gin was pretty exhausted so she didn’t get out of the car so I took a quick shot of some of the buildings.  It is an area devoted to show how life was lived back then.  We sure do take a lot for granted now.  Click on any picture to enlarge.

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Our next stop was at the Dan Lawson Place which was built in 1856.


This area must have been what Pigeon Forge and Sevierville looked like many years ago before it was overly commercialized.

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The next homestead was the Tipton Place.  Traffic was backing up so we didn’t know what to expect.  There were barns on one side of the road and the house and barns on the other side.


I guess the bumper to bumper traffic was about a half mile long.  Then we realized why.  A black bear was 15 feet from the road.  We slowed down like everyone else and tried to take a picture.  I didn’t want to stop entirely so this is the best shot of a bear’s butt peaking out from behind a tree.


A little further ahead, the traffic slowed a little bit because there were three white tailed deer right beside the road.  They still have thick winter fir.


After driving the Cades Cove loop, we enjoyed our ride back down to present day living.  We did have to stop at a pull-out to soak up a little more time in Sylville.  It is soo relaxing and peaceful by a mountain waterfall.

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

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rally Day 5

River Plantation RV Park site #435
Sevierville, Tn

Saturday was a full day of activity for us.  We went to a few seminars in the morning (boondocking, packing for fulltime, and Alaska).  While there, Gin mentioned an interesting item she recently saw at Walgreens for maintaining your medical information on you at all times.  It’s the Care Bracelet.  It’s not only a good way to alert emergency medical personnel of allergies, but you can put your doctor’s info on it too.

In the afternoon, there was an open house rig walk through.  Many rally attendees opened their homes for others to see how they are set up.  Now we are really confused as to what DP to get next Spring.  So many choices.  We went back to our rig at 4:00 and turned on the Weather Channel to find out that Raleigh, NC had just had a tornado touch down in downtown.  We realized that some folks here have family in that area so we let them know to contact their relatives to see if everything was ok.  All was well in that respect.

After enjoying a catered dinner of ribs, chicken, and fixin's, we had a ‘70’s themed dance.  Bill and Linda surprised Howard and Linda with a “hug jug” from many of the attendees first.  They were truly surprised and touched.


The dance was a blast from the past with so much tie-die and peace signs all around.  It’s funny how you can go several years without hearing a song but yet sing along to every word.  Why can’t we remember what we did just a couple of days ago?  Anyway, here’s a few smiles to share with everyone. 
Nancy and Bill and Sherry and David ready to enjoy the night.

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Mike and Terri and David and Maxine

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Catherine and JoBeth and Deborah

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Jim and Linda and Denny and Char

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Wayne and Sherry, and I love the sign that Penny brought with her.

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Here’s a couple of shots of some of the fun that was going on.  Everyone agrees that there were a few pictures taken so that someone could be blackmailed later.  Dana sang with George as Sonny and Cher and Gin played the air drums.

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And here’s the couple who is responsible for putting this rally together, Howard and Linda.  If you ever get a chance to go to one of their rallies, it’s well worth it.  They are great people, and everyone here shares the love for life that they do.  Remember that they are in character for the ‘70’s party!


Sunday morning was the rally wrap up breakfast with hugs all around since many of the people left shortly thereafter.  We hope to see everyone “down the road”.  I think there may be a campfire at H&L’s tonight but that’ll wrap it up for now.

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

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rally Day 4-Flowbee and a Show

River Plantation RV Park site #435
Sevierville, Tn

Friday was a nice “free day”.  A few people went golfing with Howard while quite a few did the local “zip line” with Linda.  Since they went as a large group, they got a nice discount.  Not us.  I don’t care for heights.  We slept in and at 11:00, Gin used Sherry’s Flowbee to do a hair cutting demonstration.  About 8-10 folks watched as Sherry got her head vacuumed.  I’m not sure if any one will purchase one, but at least they got a chance to see how it works.

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It was a beautiful but windy day.  There are many friendly robins here and there are three Mallards that seem to like it here also.  I think some folks may have even fed them cat food or bread.  I’ve seen an Egret and Heron but didn’t get a shot of them.

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Thursday night, Linda had announced that the Grand Majestic Theater was offering a very reduced rate to us as a group for Friday’s show if there was enough interest.  We rode with Denny and Char to Five Guys to indulge ourselves before the show.  There were about 85 RV-Dreamers there.  I think that was the best five bucks I’ve ever spent on entertainment since it was definitely worth full price.  We called it a night soon after getting back to the rig.  We brought in our slide-outs since it was a heavy rain and high wind warning for the night.  This storm cell later spawned a tornado in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon.

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

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rally Day 3

River Plantation RV Park site #435
Sevierville, Tn

I don’t know how we managed to make it to all the seminars last year along with the evening socializing.  It’s just so much to do and fun to be had when you’re at a rally.  On Thursday, we slept late and just hung around the cg.  The evening was devoted to the potluck dinner and Family Feud.  We had fixed NC Barbeque and coleslaw.  Gin really was the cook but I warmed it up and put it in the crockpot.  We shared a table with some fellow North Carolinians and they enjoyed it although the couple from NJ didn’t quite “get it”.

While we all cleared away the leftovers and waited for the Family Feud to be set up, Gin went around and took some pictures.  Here’s Selene and Hank enjoying the evening and Anita and Sterling Payne (Howard’s parents) who have been to every rally.

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Sherry, Nancy and Bill up to their usual antics and Linda Kendall and Jim.

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Dan and Tricia who enjoyed the BBQ and Martha and Lee going head-to-head in Family Feud.  The game can be a bit long if your team isn’t still playing, but it’s fun to hear the answers.  Gin was on the winning team, the Fine Nines.

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Today is the off day with no seminars planned.  I guess we are supposed to rest some but we plan to have some more fun.  Stay tuned…

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