We’re Home

We just got home a couple of hours ago.

Thankfully there was no sign of mice, no broken pipes, and nothing missing. It looked like we had just been gone a few days.

And the projects look a lot less daunting than I had built them up in my mind.

Sunny is ecstatic to be home.

Ron has gone to buy new batteries for the smoke detectors with instructions to bring home taco salads.

And we are so excited about our new goals of fulltiming and eventually buying a small home base in Florida.

Life is still good. :)

Home Tomorrow

Commitment and persistence.

Commitment and persistence.


I am trying to face going home tomorrow “with the grace of a woman, and not the grief of a child.”

Once we leave here tomorrow morning, we will be plunged into a maelstrom of tasks, chores, medical appointments, etc. and probably won’t even have time to think for a few days.

Then the real work starts.

I had planned to redo the bathrooms a year or so ago. My normal procedure is to research how to do projects, watch Youtube videos to learn techniques, then plunge in over my head and eventually end up with a decent job done.

That doesn’t work anymore. I learned I simply don’t have the physical strength to do carpentry and remodeling anymore.

So those projects remain undone. And if we are to sell the place, the kitchen counters also need to be redone.

So my job for the foreseeable future will be scheduling handymen to do the work as I can afford each project. I can’t afford to hire professionals. Hopefully I can find some gifted, reliable handymen.

But back to dreams of fulltiming…

Tinycamper laundry.  :)

Tinycamper laundry. :)

It has been rainy here, but yesterday we got a break in the weather long enough to do a little laundry with my Wonder Wash and spin dryer.

That was pure fun to me… and the wash smelled so fresh after drying in the sun and breeze.

But the real world calls, and we will answer tomorrow.

Spring!

Spring is following us north.

Spring is following us north.

I was seriously tempted to take some of the redbud flowers to make pancakes with, but decided I didn’t want to have to explain to a ranger why I was eating his trees!

Field garlic

Field garlic

So I settled for using a little field garlic in our dinner omelets this evening.

It’s fun watching spring start all over again after experiencing it in Florida.

Dandelions.  My favorite spring flowers.  Seriously!

Dandelions. My favorite spring flowers. Seriously!

We have had to take turns walking since Sunny can’t be left alone now. We went shopping in Valley yesterday, but had to take turns shopping, too. It was too hot to leave Sunny in the truck without air conditioning.

Lush clover.

Lush clover.

I thought I would always have a dog. But after being so constrained by Sunny and Sheba this trip, I think that when Sunny passes on, I may wait a while and see how I do without one.

Nature's lace.

Nature’s lace.

Another beauty.  Can anyone tell me what it is?

Another beauty.

Another cute COE safety sign.

Another cute COE safety sign.

Joy!

View from our site

View from our site. Can you see the small tree on the point? I bet it will be beautiful once it gets its leafy summer dress. :)

This morning as we were getting ready to hit the road I was flooded with happy anticipation, which changed to sheer joy once we were underway.

As I’ve said before, I am happier than I have ever been. Ron and I are both talking about “when” we fulltime — not if.

Yesterday, at Pine Island, I sat outside observing the activity around me. Coots bobbed up and down on the sparkling waves. An osprey flew overhead and landed on the sandy beach, picked up a long stick in its beak that looked too big for it to carry, then flew heavily to its treetop nest on the mid-lake island.

Our Casita at R. Schafer Heard campground.

Our Casita at R. Shaefer Heard campground.

Later that evening, as the sunset faded, I watched dozens of small, maybe 3 or 4 inch long fish jumping out of the shimmering, liquid copper colored surface of the water. They fully cleared the water with each jump and it looked like they were trying to fly.

On our previous visit to that lake 2 years ago, a fisherman told me they were carp when I asked him what kind of fish were jumping out of the water then.

Another view from our site.

Another view from our site.

I deliberately did not have my camera with me because I feel and observe so much more when I’m not distracted with trying to photograph my surroundings. I think I need to devote one day a week (at least) to doing that. When I do, the sights, sounds and scents are more deeply embedded in my memory.

So tonight we are at West Point Lake in the R. Shaefer Heard campground. This is another of our old favorites, and is only a little over an hour from home.

We plan to stay here 7 days, then this fantastic journey will end.

We did discover anotther swamp at our last campground.  Fortunate the area was hilly and the campground wasn't swampy at all.

We did discover another swamp at our last campground. Fortunately the area was hilly and the campground wasn’t swampy at all.

Just Pictures

It’s foggy and overcast this morning. But I have a good enough signal to upload photos, so I’ll post some from yesterday.

I love the COE's safety signs.

I love the COE’s safety signs.

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The alligators were getting out of hand the last time we camped here. One man told us that when he brought his boat into this canal after dark, the red, glowing eyes of the alligatos along this bank looked like Christmas lights.

This is the area where the young alligator chased baby Sheba.  it used to have all kinds of vegetation in the water and on the banks.  I'm sure that's why they've mowed the bank and trimmed the aquatic plants back.

This is the area where the young alligator chased baby Sheba. It used to have all kinds of vegetation in the water and on the banks. I’m sure that’s why they’ve mowed the bank and trimmed the aquatic plants back.

There are dug up areas along the road.  It's not bad enough to be feral hogs, so I think it's armadillos.  Here they were probably going for the young bull thistle's turnip tasting roots.

There are dug up areas along the road. It’s not bad enough to be feral hogs, so I think it’s armadillos. Here they were probably going for the young bull thistle’s turnip tasting roots.

Gorgeous little flowers.

Gorgeous little flowers.

Young 2nd year bull thistle beginning to send up celery tasting flower stalk.

Young 2nd year bull thistle beginning to send up celery tasting flower stalk.

This fallen pine tip looked like a still life to me.

This fallen pine tip looked like a still life to me.

Former lake denizens

Former lake denizens

Critter tracks

Critter tracks

Camping Heaven

Our Casita at Pine Island Campground

Our Casita at Pine Island Campground

Today is a glorious, breezy, sunshiny day with a high in the low 80’s. Weather like this makes us high, too! :)

There are many hugepines here.  Unfortunately, they show evidence of pine bark beetle damage.  I had Ron pose in front of one for scale.

There are many hugepines here. Unfortunately, they show evidence of pine bark beetle damage. I had Ron pose in front of one for scale.

Sunny is sleeping hard enough now that if we leave the trailer when he is napping, we can get nice walks in before he wakes up. That’s another good news, bad news situation. We love being able to get out for walks together, but are sad that he sleeps like the old dog that he is.

For several days rowing teams have been practicing for a competition (we suppose). There are 4 long boats with several rowers each, accompanied be an instructor in a motor boat with a bullhorn that sounds like a Parris Island drill instructor! It’s been fun to watch.

This afternoon the sun is sparkling on the lake like a million diamonds. The breeze is steady and cool — keeping the 83 degrees from feeling hot. It couldn’t possibly be more perfect.

I’m still phone blogging and editing my photos on the phone, so I have no idea how they look on a screen. Hope you can enjoy them.

p.s. I had a whole lot of photos to post, but my signal has dropped to 1x, so I can’t upload more.

Bummer!  :)

 

 

 

 

Real Life in a Casita

 

A storm moving in over the lake

A storm moving in over the lake

As our trip is winding down, Ron and I are in agreement that we are happier living in our Casita than we have ever been before in the 23 years that we’ve been married.

We love living on gorgeous lakes, in landscaped flower gardens with peacocks, and in quiet woods. We love the idea of leaving cold winters and hot summers in the rear view mirror. And we love the friendly people we meet in campgrounds.

In sad need of defrosting

In sad need of defrosting

I could be happy fulltiming in the Casita. But Ron feels that we would need a bigger rig.

At least we are beginning to look toward making it happen. First, our place needs a lot of work before we could think of selling it. We are hoping to get most of that done this summer.

And if we change our minds, the house would be nicer for us to live in after the repairs and improvements.

Anyway, it’s something fun to dream about at this point.

I had no idea the refrigerator fins were so iced.  I keep lunch meat in front and never bent down low enough to see this!

I had no idea the refrigerator fins were so iced. I keep lunch meat in front and never bent down low enough to see this!

As far as life in the real world, 4-1/2 months in humid Florida meant that we couldn’t wait until we get home to defrost our freezer. (Ron holding the door open while he tries to decide what he wants probably had something to do with it, too. :) ) It also was a great opportunuty to deep clean the refrigerator.

So I got it cleaned and cooled down. Then we headed to Eufaula to restock.

Good as new -- almost.

Good as new — almost.

I was surprised at how the refrigerator warmed up after putting refrigerated meat in the freezer and lots of fresh veggies in the refrigerator. For a while it got up to 60 degrees. It’s still in the mid 40’s now but should be at 40 soon. So tomorrow I’ll probably get rid of more foods I’m not confident will be safe.

Little Sunny is doing so much better than he was as far as his anxiety attacks. We left him in the truck while we grocery shopped. He was pacing when we got back, but exhibiting none of the hysterical yipping that I was afraid of.

No pretty photos today. It’s been overcast and raining.

Phone Blogging?

Tinycamper's laundromat at Pine Island Campground

Tinycamper’s laundromat at Pine Island Campground

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  Since I can’t blog on my computer, I decided to see how it would work on my phone.

The view from our awning last evening.

The view from our awning last evening.

The answer is, slow.  And I can’t see it the way it looks on a computer screen

But it works!

We are at the Cottonhill COE Park, Pine Island Campground, on Walter F. George Lake, on the southern part of the Georgia/Alabama border.  We have not camped in this particular campground before.  It is so much prettier than the other two.

I’m still loving my Wonder Wash and spin dryer.  I’m using it mostly for small things like wash cloths, dish cloths, socks and underwear.  It would work fine on jeans, shirts and sheets, but as long as Ron is willing to do the rest of the laundry, I keep it at play level.

My new Camping World treasures -- a mud and sand scraping mat and stair cover.  Love them!

My new Camping World treasures — a mud and sand scraping mat and step cover. Love them!

What is funny is that a big 5th wheel pulled in next to us this morning — and set up a laundry rack just like mine.

We stayed at Eagle’s Roost RV Park just over the FL/GA line for 4 days before coming here.  That’s our favorite place to change gears from going to Florida to leaving Florida.  There’s a lot of interstate noise there, but we like the park well enough that it doesn’t bother us.

We did notice that it’s not being maintained as well as it used to be.  Someone told me it’s because Camping World (across the interstate) bought it out.  I don’t know if it’s true.

Eagles Roost

Eagles Roost

I’ll close with a picture of Sunny’s eyes. They looked good when we left home in November. But my vet would only give me 2 bottles at a time of his eye drops, so he ran out. The insides of his eyelids looked like hamburger and the whites of his eyes looked bloody.  Scariest of all his pupils are red.  I have only seen that years ago before we got his medicine right.

I took him to a young know-it-all vet in Apopka who wouldn’t listen when I told her what we needed.

So she prescribed something different, and his condition continued to worsen. I finally found a wonderful vet near Newport who took us as walkins on a very busy day. He gave us what we needed, and Sunny is slowly improving. I will be so glad when his pupils are no longer red.

And I’m going to have words with my vet when we get home and make sure this never happens again!

Sunny's eye disease.

Sunny’s eye disease.

Meandering North & Computer Problems

I can’t upload photos tonight because my laptop died. I think it’s due to malware, but I’m not sure. My antivirus program won’t run and my download folder is empty — and I’m unable to download the antivirus program.

Also, the computer was very hot when I picked it up and something was running on it. There were transparent bubbles and vertical dashes flashing on the screen. And I’ve been seeing a translucent download arrow appear whenever I connected to the computer the last few days.

So I’m typing on my phone, and it is slow going.

We’re at Eagles Roost in Lake Park, Georgia for a few days. Then we plan to camp our way north for a couple of weeks on our way home.

It’s been the best winter of my life, except for the stress of rehoming Sheba.

Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, this is our plan for future winters.

Thanks so much for following along with us. :)

Last Sheba Post :)

I took my posts down about Sheba’s new home because I thought they smacked of hypocrisy — like they were presenting me as the saint/martyr who painfully gave up her dog solely for the dog’s own good.

I hate hypocrisy in anyone, and especially hate it in myself.

The fact is, Ron and I tried for 3 years to be good dog parents to Sheba.  We do very well with small lap dogs.  But we always knew we weren’t providing Sheba with the exercise and stimulation she needs.  And it was wearing us out in the process.

We finally reached the end of our ability to keep giving.  We kept her for 3 years because we truly do love her and want the best for her.  But the overriding consideration in our giving her up was our own well-being.

Ron is in his 70’s, I am in my late 60’s, and caring for Sheba was exhausting us.

Since she is in her new home, Ron and I are almost giddy with the freedom.  We are so much more relaxed.  The Casita feels huge.  And little Sunny is happier than we have seen him in a long time.  We have time to spend with him now, and he is petted and indulged and made to feel like a little king.  He’s our baby boy again.  :)

And Sheba — she is truly in doggie paradise.

I got a text today from the new owner and Sheba is sleeping with her daughter in bed now!

And I’ll repost the email I got from her the day after they adopted her:

Sheba was understandably confused when she got here and other than some hand treats, did not want to eat last night. We introduced her around and walked her all over the farm as well. She spent the night in the house although settled in an out of the way spot to sleep.

Today was much better for her and she played, ran, jumped, ate, drank, and was petted all day. She has barked at strange happenings appropriately and stopped as soon as she saw that we were there to investigate.

She loves the goats! But we have not allowed them free time in the same pen as yet. She longs to be at the stable with all the animals and activity with us and begs to go back when we get back to the house…lol.

I believe that she will settle in our little farm with no problems and that she will be happy here with us. I know she made each of us happy and we are very grateful to you for trusting us with her.

One more little tidbit…the puppy loves her and wants to play but she is not so sure about him as yet. To be safe with all of the animals (cats and chicken in particular) when she is with us in that part of the farm, we put a long line on her to be able to stop a chase if necessary, the pup has figured out that Sheba is attached to the line and he (about 9 weeks old) leads her around. In time, I believe those two will be the best of friends!

Have no concern for your sweet girl, she will be loved and well cared for.

I have experienced a couple of nights of deep depression at giving Sheba up.  But the overriding sense of freedom and knowing that Sheba is in doggie heaven is my overriding emotion.

And that’s the whole truth — no hypocrisy!  And I will be able to enjoy our new freedom even more since my sense of deception is off my chest!  I thought about it and realized I had originally posted fact, but I had not presented truth.  :)

 

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