Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tomorrow is Centerline Photo Day!!

Remember my post, ABCD - Will You Take Part? Tomorrow is the day....time to take your centerline photo and submit it. Just a reminder.....

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Friday, April 29, 2011

A different view of the storms....

I found these two links in a blog I was reading this morning, a closer view of going through the tornado warnings in an RV and far away from your loved ones. I promise you they are worth reading and sharing with others.

They are both written by Don Barone. Here is a quote from the RV Insights blog:

Don lives in Connecticut. Don is one of those incredible writers that makes words jump off the page/screen - words that tug at your heart strings - words that turn on a faucet of tears as he draws you into the middle of the stories he writes and introduces you to the people he writes about.

Don is an unconventional RVer, drawn into our lifestyle by his frustration with dirty hotels, lousy restaurants, and the pain associated with air travel as he traveled the country writing about fishing and the pro anglers of the Bassmaster Elite Series and other competitive fishing events.

Don bought his RV without ever having seen it or knowing what to do with it - he just knew there was a better way to travel and work than what he had been accustomed to.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Severe weather survived....

We were woken at 7 am with a severe weather advisory. We knew it was moving in but didn't expect the turmoil that attacked the southeast. We were under not only a tornado watch until midnight but a watch for long track tornadoes, something I had never heard of.

We got rain, a little hail, less wind than we expected but other parts of the south didn't fare as well. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by the weather...too many deaths, too much destruction.

Today Stu headed out early to get his bike serviced in Cookeville. I stayed home with Sadie, finishing up some little chores and working with my family on making plans to head to Rochester, NY next week for the memorial services for my stepson.

When Stu got home we headed off to the property where our contractor had been busy today, putting down the layer of rock crush to our driveway. You can see the details and photos here.

Sadie had WAY too much energy after being cooped up in the RV all day yesterday so she REALLY enjoyed her hour playing with her BFF, Keta. LOL!

Okay, need some help identifying this little wildflower. We seen it several times on our property, looks like some type of iris maybe?

The next few days will be hectic while we work on plans to head to Rochester, make doctor appointments, talk to the power company....will blog as time allows (and interesting topics come to mind....LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Where to begin?

Lots has happened since the last blog...not sure where to begin, with the good or the bad. Let's get the bad out of the way. I heard this morning that may stepson, Tim, passed away last night. After the immediate feelings of grief, the anger set was a drug overdose. But the more I thought about it...I just had to write this blog. The family on all sides is devastated...but we will persevere. Sigh...

Okay, better news. We did get an estimate for the finish (we hope) gravel for our driveway. I also wrote a blog about the beginnings of our decision to purchase land, how/why we decided, and the steps we took.

When we went to our property, we were surprised with Sadie's buddy, Keta, meeting us down the road when she heard our truck. Once again, they had a blast. Sadie will be blogging but for those interested, here are the video links I uploaded.

Afterward we took a nice drive up to the Kentucky border to check out another shed company. I took a bunch of photos out of the window.

The other photos of the day will be in Sadie's blog and the Fire Lily Base Camp blog. You can see all the photos in these SmugMug albums:

We're supposed to get some severe weather tomorrow so Stu canceled his bike service appointment and took mine on Thursday. My bike is less than 1000 miles from my 5k service, so we'll wait until I get another 500 or so miles on it and then reschedule.
Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

PS> Remember, hug your loved ones and let them know you care!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wow...where did that week go?

I've blogged several times but not about "us" and our time here in Jamestown. It hasn't been overly exciting but we've stayed busy. We've moved more stuff to storage, still have a few totes to go (the storage facility was closed for the 3 day holiday weekend).

We've done a few chores, visited the land a couple of times, gone shopping, ate out, ate in...yup, all the everyday ordinary stuff. Have had rainy weather, cloudy weather, stormy weather...but on Saturday, we had SUN!!!

Saturday started out cloudy but by 11ish the sun was peeking out. We loaded up Sadie and headed out on the motorcycles. We took back roads over to Livingston and down to Cookeville where we visited our HD Dealer, Boswell's. We set up service appointments for both our bikes, then headed to Cracker Barrel for a late lunch (they had shade for Sadie).

From there we took back roads to Sparta, encountering an unexpected but well marked detour. We passed my old house and went on my personal demon road. By the time we got home we had ridden 135 miles over 5 hours. I was TIRED and achy....LOL! We need to do more riding to get in shape for longer rides. It was a perfect day for riding...great weather, wonderfully twisting mountain roads and very little traffic.

Today I sat outside and read until the clouds finally drove me inside.

Tomorrow morning we meet up with our contractor to talk about the next steps that are needed for the RV site. More on that later in the week in our Fire Lily Base Camp blog.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

The roller coaster of life....

We all get wrapped up in our lives...dealing with day to day issues, family issues, traveling issues, work issues and more. Sometimes we just need a kick in the butt to realize that what we are dealing with is so much smaller than what others have in their current life.

Yesterday very good friends of mine found out that their son was killed while serving OUR country in Afghanistan. He was the light of their life and they were very proud of his choice ot duty/work. My heart breaks for them....

Today I discovered that a good online RVing friend (only online because we haven't met yet) that I have known several years is not only dealing with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, but without any medical insurance. Talk about a double whammy! My close friends Nick and Terry understand this type of difficulty very well and have conquered and survived. Other good friends are still battling cancer and giving it a good battle! Hoping Marcie will be able to do the same.

Today I am sad but I know that life is a roller coaster and must go on but sometimes the dips are very hard to deal with. Kiss your loved ones and let them know how you is too short!!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Friday, April 22, 2011

A true minimalist trailer....

Designed for scooters, just think of the possibilities!

The QTvan is the world’s smallest caravan and is so named because it caters to three peculiarly British obsessions: queuing, tea and caravans.

As well as a 19” television on which to watch the ceremony highlights, and a drinks cabinet with which to toast the happy couple, the tiny caravan boasts tea-making facilities – essential for a royal day out.

If any extra provisions are needed, the caravan is so compact it can be towed inside a supermarket.

The Environmental Transport Association (ETA) developed the QTvan to highlight the estimated 220,000 people who use a mobility scooter without breakdown cover and face the prospect of a very long wait should they suffer a mechanical fault or their battery runs flat.

The ETA warns that the QTvan is best-suited to local trips. If it is used to venture further afield, extra time should be allowed. For example, a trip from London to a popular caravanning destination like the New Forest would take 2 days, while a journey to Whitby would take one week.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

For Kindle Owners or soon-to-be's

Some good news for Kindle owners or prospective owners....

SEATTLE, Apr 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

(NASDAQ: AMZN)-- Amazon today announced Kindle Library Lending, a new feature launching later this year that will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 libraries in the United States. Kindle Library Lending will be available for all generations of Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps.

"We're excited that millions of Kindle customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from their local libraries," said Jay Marine, Director, Amazon Kindle. "Customers tell us they love Kindle for its Pearl e-ink display that is easy to read even in bright sunlight, up to a month of battery life, and Whispersync technology that synchronizes notes, highlights and last page read between their Kindle and free Kindle apps."

Read the full article....

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

First day back in Jamestown...

Just a short blog here...most of the details about today are in our Fire Lily Base Camp blog and some side notes from Sadie over in Sadie Speaks. LOL! For those who are newer followers, you can see all the work done on our land in the Fire Lily blog as well as our SmugMug album.

I did snap a few photos in the campground this morning, the other dogwood photos you can see in the Fire Lily blog...hope you'll take a peek.

After doing all our running around for the day, we stopped at McDonald's for a cup of coffee and an ice cream. Then we walked over to Tractor Supply...we always find something interesting there. They still had some peeps and I just had to snap a few shots.

We got home and started watching a movie we had recorded. Sadie was whipped from her playtime but decided she was awake enough to enjoy the bone we bought at Tractor Supply.

Suddenly my phone vibrated and showed that I had missed a call from Stu. Huh? He was sitting next to me. I asked him if he had butt dialed me and he said he wasn't even wearing his phone, maybe it was an old call. Nope, the time was current. He headed up to the bedroom, thinking maybe the phone had fallen to the floor and dialed me. Nope. No phone.

So I called him back...well, his phone back...but it went immediately to voice mail. Hmmm.... Then I get a call from his youngest daughter back in Maryland. She had gotten a call from the Jamestown McDonald's where he had left his phone. LOL! Got to love small towns....if it had been in a big city, I have no doubt it would have disappeared. He headed out to pick up the phone and all is well except he needs a different case. This is twice this week that it's fallen off the clip.

Not much else new...I'll be working on sorting through stuff for storage and then I'll be going through all the storage stuff, taking photos and packing like stuff with like. We also will be squeezing in some doctor appointments, meals with friends and service appointments for both motorcycles in addition to working on the property. Busy couple of months to be spent here in Tennesse...

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Was I wearing a "Kick Me" sign?

Yesterday was one of those days when everyone I seemed to deal with had something irritating to say. Early in the day I found the top radiator hose at the Freightliner parts warehouse, told the guy to set it aside and that I would be there in about an hour or so.

On my way out of the Cartersville KOA I made the horrible mistake of driving through one of the empty sites in order to make the turn to the driveway leaving the park. Apparently this is a deadly sin and the manager came out of the office to take issue with me about it.

Now to be fair, it is one of the rules that you shouldn't do this and frankly I don't read every rule for every park that we go to. So getting called out for it was not a big deal. But, after some fairly sarcastic comments from the manager/owner, I told him I understood.

But that wasn't enough for him. He proceeded to berate me using some very foul and offensive language. I raised my voice and said "you made your point" three times. His last comment was "If you don't like the f***ing rules, then hook up and leave." We did.

I still can't believe that this guy's business is doing so great that he would abuse a regular customer in such a way. He knew were repeat customers (multiple times in the past three years) by mentioning that fact in between his cuss words.

When this current recession started, Donna and I noticed a vast increase in customer service in many stores/restaurants we visited. Obviously these businesses had made a conscious effort to get and keep customers. We rather enjoyed the increased attention and returned to many of these places to shop and eat.

Not sure what this clown's issue was and I really don't care. I will not do business there in the future. Not sure I will go to any KOAs anywhere, they gave this one the "President's Award" last year...hmmmm, wonder what they had to do to get that?

So next, when we arrived in the Cookeville, TN area, we made a stop at Sam's Club for some things we needed. I usually park the rig on the edge of a parking lot where there is usually a lot of room and I am not interfering with the flow of traffic etc. When finished with our shopping I always push the cart to one on the corrals. The last thing I want is to be responsible for a wayward card damaging someones car.

Imagine my surprise when putting the cart in amongst others that I committed the second deadly sin of the day. I actually put the cart with a group of damaged carts. This seems to set up some sort of "matter/anti-matter" reaction that will affect all life as we know it. Al least according to the cart guy in the parking lot.

He was whistling and shouting, waving his arms while telling me "That is not where that cart should be placed, those are the one's that need repair".. I asked "Where the sign that say's that"? He repeated his previous statement. I did what I do best: gave him a dumb look and said "Oh that's interesting, how am I supposed to know that and why do you need to know that now"? We left the parking lot before the "time/space continuum" sucked us in the the eternal vortex.

Oh well, no permanent damage done. Just some annoying folks that really need to reevaluate their current career choices. I just hope they do that before I run into them again.

Till next time....

Last few days roundup of news.....

Okay, here goes!
  • Left Wally World in Valdosta and headed to the KOA in Cartersville, GA
  • Stopped in Perry GA so Sadie could play in the dog park (photos in her blog)
  • Stopped at Camping World in Byron, GA and picked up a few things
  • Got in early evening, set up and headed out to Cracker Barrel for dinner
  • Visited grandkids on Sunday...they WORE SADIE OUT!!!!
  • Had dinner with daughter on Sunday night
  • Stu headed into Atlanta on Monday morning and picked up the upper radiator hose (two lower hoses ordered online and being shipped to us)
  • Arrived at Maple Hill RV Campground in Jamestown, TN late Monday
No photos...sorry! We did notice how much greener it was in Georgia than it was in Florida. Then in north Georgia and all the way northerly in Tennessee, we got to see all the dogwoods blooming. Gorgeous! I'll get some photos today around the park and local area.

We picked up my storage totes in Georgia and have to take them to our storage unit today. Sometime this week we will have more to take there and I need to organize it all again, taking photos of the McNicol China and various pitchers that I am collecting. Also need to list all the state license plates we have collected so that we don't duplicate too many. LOL!

Will visit the property today as well, hoping Sadie's friend Keta will still be there and they can play. Lots to get done while we are here...bikes into our Harley dealer (separate days), meals with friends, working on the land, organizing/storing extra stuff in the storage unit, and doctor appointments.

Promise photos of the area in the next few days...hoping it doesn't rain as much as the forecast says....LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Friday, April 15, 2011

...and I thought I wouldn't have anything to blog about.

Today was moving day...figured there wouldn't much to blog about. WRONG!! What a day...

Started out on a really good note...we both slept well with Sadie sleeping in till 8:30 herself. We ate a leisurely breakfast and slowly finished packing up to move. Stu pulled the rig out to load the bikes while I filled in the holes to China that Sadie dug under the rig. She watched us from the truck to be sure we both did a good job!

We were on the road by 11:45 am and headed over to the Escapee park, Sumter Oaks, over in Bushnell. I had a large bag of things to donate to their CARE table and didn't want to carry them to TN with us. This side trip took us through some pretty back roads, dropping us close to I-75 for the ride north.

The ride was uneventful until about 20 minutes after we stopped at Pilot for a coffee fix. (Okay, so I had to get "my" road food...Twizzlers and Pringles....LOL!) We even saw a Freightliner shop as we pulled out and I jokingly asked Stu if he needed anything. Ladies, NEVER do that....

We were tooling down the road when suddenly the engine fan started roaring away and Stu looks down at the gauges to see that we are overheating. Looking for a safe place to pull over, we can see the steam rising from the hood and then the overheated alarm started blaring.

We get pulled over and Stu opens the hood to find a cracked radiator hose (upper). At first he thinks he can tape it with his Monster Tape but on second thought he opted to cut off the end (fortunately the crack was close to the end) and refasten the hose in the opposite direction. It worked...

Then he dumped back the little bit of anti-freeze he had on hand and then another 4+ gallons of water. We always carry two old Arizona Tea gallon jugs in the bathroom...great for boondocking flushing (take up less room than milk jugs due to their shape). Once filled and running, we then used the water to wash the anti-freeze off the steps and side of the truck (my side). That stuff is SLICK!

Back on the road, we were just south of Gainesville where we knew there was a Ring Power/CAT dealer just outside Gainesville, we used them when our serpentine belt broke last year or the year before. Anyway, we called them...nope, no hose in stock. The engine temp was holding so we continued on our way.

As we approached Valdosta, GA we saw a billboard for a Freightliner dealer. We found them online and saw they were open till 6 pm. A quick detour....still no hose, but he did come out with the part numbers for both the upper and lower hose which will make it easier to locate them once we get to the Atlanta area.

So off to the Wally World just down the road for a night of Wally-docking. We had a double header...we're parked between Wally World and Sam's Club. Stu got more anti-freeze at Sam's and I found a couple of bargains at Wally World.

We ran the generator for the first couple of hours till it got cool enough to not have the A/C running. Currently on the inverter...working fine! We have maybe 5 hours to do tomorrow so we can sleep in and not have to rush off.

See? Never a dull moment.....LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Leaving Florida...

It's finally time to move northerly...heading to our land in Tennessee. I'm excited about cooler weather...been pretty hot here lately. Stu is excited about getting the RV site finalized so we can park there anytime we want or need. We're both excited about seeing the land in spring bloom. We know there are a lot of old rhododendrons and they should be gorgeous...we hope.

Speaking of spring blooms....the final verdict on the flowering bush here in Florida is Jasmine. There are many different varieties from night-blooming to primrose. But that is definitely what it is. Thanks to everyone for your help.

We have been pretty laid back since the Bike Fest ended on Sunday. We went to the movies and saw "The Lincoln Lawyer" and really enjoyed it. Lots of twists and turns...and the chemistry between Marisa Tomei and Mathew McConaughey....oh my! Last week we saw "Hanna"...another interesting movie, ripe for a sequel.

We've both done a few chores each day, watched some TV and just generally relaxed. The inverter is back in and seems to be doing fine. We'll see how it works tomorrow night when we stop to asphalt park for the night.

Last evening we rode down to Disney Marketplace so I could get another frog visor...I get so many compliments on it (and photos taken). I ended up picking up two, one to stay on the bike and one to save for when the current one wears out. LOL! The marketplace was packed!!! Took us 10 minutes or more to find a parking spot. So dinner there was out...we headed back towards home and found a Five Guys. YUM!! We did snap a few photos of one of the fire stations and a sunset shot in the parking lot.

Most of our de-oozing is done...we will load the bikes after pulling out of our spot. Why? Remember the unloading? LOL! I also have to stay behind to fill in the Sadie holes under the rig...wonder if we can teach her how to do it? Hmmmm....

Not sure where we will spend the night tomorrow, just depends on how far we make it. Saturday and Sunday will find us at the KOA in Cartersville where we will try to catch up with my youngest daughter and her family. We'll make it to TN on Monday where we will stay at Maple Hill RV Campground for the first month. Hopefully the RV site will be ready for us to move to after that....time will tell.

Oh, here are the shots taken of us back at Bike Week as we visited Daytona Harley, before any of our recent custom work was done.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Florida Bush Identification

So, know someone out there will know the name of this flowering bush. It's in full bloom all around central Florida and the smell is sweetly delicious. I took this photo in Leesburg during the Bike Fest. Yesterday we smelled them as we passed by another section along the highway - we were on the motorcycles.

So, what is it?

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ABCD - Will You Take Part?

Our friend Gary France from the UK, who we met in Sturgis last summer while he was touring the US, has laid out the following challenge...will you take it?


A Bloggers Centerline Day, or ABCD, will take place on Sunday 1st May 2011.

The plan is to inspire as many bloggers as possible to go outside and take a photograph of themselves on this day, wherever they are in the world. The photo can be creative, arty, contain more than one person, be in any type of location and can contain anything else you like. It must however contain the centerline of a road and at least part of you, the blogger.

There are 5 rules....

Rule 1 - the picture must be taken on 1st May 2011.

Rule 2 - the picture must be of yourself, and you must be a person that publishes a blog. You can include whatever else you like in the picture, including other people if you wish.

Rule 3 - the picture must include the centerline of a road.

Rule 4 – you should publish the picture on your blog on 1st May 2011, along with a few words about the picture and why you chose that location or pose.

Rule 5 - when you have posted the picture on your own blog, put a comment on and include in that comment the address of your own blog post containing your own picture. 

Gary France will then pick his favourite photos and publish these as being the winners. There will be a prize of $100 awarded to the overall single winner, as chosen by Gary.

In order to get this event known as widely as possible, please copy and paste this posting onto your own blog, including the title. Please do that today!

As a reminder to yourself to take the photo and post it, put an entry into your diary for 1st May 2011.

Let’s see if we can get as any people to join in as possible.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!

Two years ago today, Stu and I were married in a double ceremony with Stu's best friend and his new bride. We had planned to marry in Cabo but couldn't work out the details (we had already planned the vacation and invited our soon-to-be newly married friends along).

They invited us to join them and get married at the same was planned as a surprise to all our friends who were going to be there. It also meant we could invite a few of our more local family...we ended up with my son and youngest daughter as well as Stu's oldest daughter and stepdaughter (and all the assorted kids).

We had a wonderful time except for a couple of the usual buggaboos....I was sick with what we thought was a bad cold (ended up one step away from pneumonia, got meds before the honeymoon in Cabo, fortunately) and Stu had a black eye from a wrench that dropped while he was on his back working overhead on the brakes on the motorhome of a good RVing friend who was there for the wedding). Always makes things interesting...LOL!

The wedding was amazing...our friends all dressed up and us in Hawaiian shirts and khaki pants (as we had planned for in Cabo). Here are some pics from the day...

You can see all the photos (not in any order and probably with duplicates...LOL!) HERE.

For those that don't know our story, Stu and I met in July 2008 at the Escapade in Gillette, WY. We were both widowed, Stu very unexpectedly and me after a two year battle with cancer. We immediately clicked and found we had much in common (RVs, full-timing, motorcycles) and also had a lot of similarities (losing our soul-mates after 19 year marriages, being the same age as the respective spouses which meant losing our spouses at the same age, having the same age difference between us & our spouses although in reverse).

We traveled together in two rigs for the rest of July and part of August until Stu went back to Maryland for the birth of our youngest grandbaby, Jesse. In September I put my rig in storage in Colorado Springs and flew out to travel with Stu (after shipping him 36 boxes of my "stuff"). We did some hectic traveling to meet and greet all our family and close friends. In 2009 we decided to get married and sell the surplus RVs (yup, we had two of them).

The rest, as they say, is history!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

PS> Be sure to read my other blog today: Prompt & Photo Challenge: Day 30


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