So Very Happy!

at magnolia park

I can’t remember when I have been so happy and felt so contented.  It’s so beautiful here at Magnolia Park.  It’s been in the 70’s, but a cold front is moving in so it will be in the 60’s for a while.

One of several large fire pits for youth groups.

One of several large fire pits for youth groups.

I checked the weather at Salt Springs (where we will be heading Monday) and today it’s the same temperature as here.  It is feeling like a perfect, endless spring to me.

No exciting news.  We shop.  We do laundry.  Walk the dogs.  Eat.  Sleep.  And I’ve been catching up on hand sewing in the evenings.  I had to hem the shower curtain yesterday because it dragged the bathroom floor a little — just enough to bother me.  And I’ve hemmed two pairs of Ron’s new jeans with only one more to go.

So peaceful!

So peaceful!

I was talking to Mom this morning about the miracle of Ron and I being in a 17′ trailer with two dogs for going on three months — and still liking each other.  🙂

Sunny has made a dramatic improvement. I am astounded.  If we take him out to go to the bathroom after 10:30 p.m. he is making it through till morning without accidents.  He has only had a couple of mild anxiety attacks.  I was really shocked when I took him to the vet to get more eye medicine and he trotted into the vet’s office without a qualm.  Then on the way home in the truck, instead of hyperventilating and shaking, he fell asleep on the truck’s floor.

Sunny asleep on the truck floor.

Sunny asleep on the truck floor.

He can even enjoy short walks again with us.

I think camping is very good for him.

Sheba is okay, but being tied up while we are not walking her is not something she enjoys.  But she seems to be tolerating it pretty well.

One more cool thing — I found the cutest mini colander for the Casita.  It’s just 6″ in diameter and it will come in handy for so many things.  I can also put it in a larger pot to make a steamer.

But the main reason I bought it was simply that it is so cute!  🙂

The cute little mini colander

The cute little mini colander





Still Beautiful; Still Hot

Our sunset last night.  The color was not enhanced -- it really was this gorgeous.

Our sunset last night. The color was not enhanced — it really was this gorgeous.

Although it’s 8 degrees hotter here than it is at home, we are managing to enjoy it.  There’s usually a nice breeze off the lake.

There is water across the street behind us, too.  We are surrounded on three sides by water.

There is water across the street behind us, too. We are surrounded on three sides by water.

Yesterday I sat outside under the awning doing crosswords and admiring the million scintillating sun sparkles on the blue water.  Waves gurgled onto shore and slapped up against the rocks.  A few brave birds, ignoring the heat of the day, sang in the deep woods around me.

Although this is a man made lake, I dreamed of Indians centuries ago paddling their canoes around the point.  The deep woods on the far shore beckoned mysteriously.

As evening fell, a lone, far-away whipporwill called.

Sheba.  The sun is giving her black fur red highlights.

Sheba. The sun is giving her black fur red highlights.

We spend a couple of hours in the hottest part of the day inside in the air conditioning doing crosswords, surfing, reading or napping.  We can’t do anything too energetic or we will overheat, so we mosey around — and when we get too hot, we head inside and cool off for a while.

In case any of you northerners ever wondered why southerners move and talk more slowly  sometimes that’s why.  It’s an adaptation to the extreme heat and humidity.  It was a lot more pronounced before everyone got air conditioning.

My precious little aging Sunny.  He is having enough trouble going on walks that I will have to get him a doggie stroller soon.

My precious little aging Sunny. He is having enough trouble going on walks that I will have to get him a doggie stroller soon.

So I can’t say that our trip is exciting.  It’s not.  But it’s beautiful and we are glad we are here.

Modoc, SC in the Hot, Hot Summertime

Looking toward the left from under our awning

Looking toward the left from under our awning

When we were planning this camping trip, we originally wanted to go to Black Rock Mountain State Park in the NE Georgia mountains.  It’s a lot cooler there.

But we are not experienced mountain drivers.  And there is a winding, twisting 2 mile gravel road to the park at a steep grade.  The park’s website says that only those who are experienced at driving narrow mountain roads should attempt it.

Looking toward the right from under our awning

Looking toward the right from under our awning

So that scared us off.

Next, I had wanted to go to Vogel State Park at the base of Blood Mountain.  I wanted to climb the mountain again and see how much harder it was than when I did it in 2003.  I remember it being an easy climb.  I also thought it would be so much fun to see Neel’s Gap again, which was my first supply stop on my Appalachian Trail attempt back then.

But Vogel did not have reservations available for the time I wanted.

The water seems to go on forever.

The water seems to go on forever.

So we scrambled around for a substitute destination.  We had camped here at Modoc when we first got our Aliner 8 years ago.  I remembered it being beautiful.  I also knew that South Carolina in June would be hot and humid — and is it ever!

Modoc COE is an older park. All of the sites are pull-thrus.  But, at least in our loop, they were designed for the size rigs that were popular when the campground was built.  Our truck and Casita are a perfect fit for them.  Big rigs would be out of luck — at least on this loop.

We are having to take precautions due to the extreme heat here.  Yesterday after we got set up, my face was beet red.  Then my head started throbbing.  The dogs desperately needed a walk, so I took them on a short stroll on the shady side of the road.

When I got back my head was pounding with a splitting headache.  I went inside and took something for the headache and slept for a couple of hours.

A huge luna moth on our back door the night before we left.

A huge luna moth on our back door the night before we left.

Since then, we are moving slowly.  I bring the dogs in every hour for a half hour or so to cool down.  Then it’s gentle, easy movements to keep from getting overheated.

Thunderstorms are predicted later in the week.  Although they will raise the humidity, the clouds will obscure the sun which should help keep us from being steamed quite so badly.

But it is STILL a LOT better than being at home!


Lake Seminole at Eastbank is GORGEOUS!

I remembered the lakefront sites as having no trees or privacy when I was here before.  WOW!  Can't believe how badly I mis-remembered it!

I remembered the lakefront sites as having no trees or privacy when I was here before. WOW! Can’t believe how badly I mis-remembered it!

Today there was a light overcast all day which kept the temperatures down and also made it possible to take photos at midday.

eastbank3When we were here before, all I remembered was that we had absolutely no privacy and that we felt we were on-stage in full view of several RVs in the next loop.  And our patio area had no shade.  We were camped between two groups who were camping together and who constantly called and walked across our site.  I couldn’t wait to leave.eastbank4

When I walked through the park today I was stunned.  It looked exactly as it did before, but what a difference in my perspective!  Maybe I didn’t feel well during our previous stay here.  Or maybe I wasn’t in a great mood.  In any case, this place is stunningly beautiful!

I’m sure we’ll be back sometime, but next time I’ll choose a lakefront site again.  Just not the one we had before.  🙂

Walkway from road to Loop A

Walkway from road to Loop A

But for the time being, our site tucked way back in the corner is marvelous for us.  I am reveling in the privacy of being able to read and lounge outside without feeling like I’m being watched — even though our front site is clearly visible from two other RV’s across the loop, it just FEELS private.

I was even able to let the dogs off leash for a while today.  Sunny always instantly obeys voice commands (except for Don’t Bark!).  Sheba usually obeys if it suits her.  But today, every time she would wander away from the campsite, I’d whistle and she would instantly come.  One time she went behind the truck and decided to take off down the street.  I called her, and she hesitated for a second, deciding whether to obey or not.  Then she decided to keep going.  But the instant I whistled, she raced back toward me.

Part of Loop A

Part of Loop A

I gave her a big treat… and then tied her up again for a while.  🙂

I found my first edible mushrooms of the season this afternoon — spring agaricus.  They are white mushrooms with free gills, with a sheath-like ring.  The gills turn from pink to brown as the mushroom matures, and leave a dark chocolate brown spore print.  They have a pleasant mushroomy scent, and there is no yellow at the base of the stem and they do not bruise yellow.  I kept them and took a spore print, just to be absolutely sure of my identification.  But I didn’t eat them because the grass was so green.  I figured the lawn had probably been fertilized and I didn’t want to eat fertilizer.  But it was a thrill to find my first good mushrooms of the season!

Flowers along the bank between the boat launch and the campground

Flowers along the bank between the boat launch and the campground

We took Sheba down to the boat launch and let her play in the water.  She wanted to go out deeper, so Ron waded out, shoes and all, with her.  One of our camping neighbors told us he took his dog down there and threw sticks way out for him to retrieve.  If I weren’t paranoid about alligators this far south, I’d do the same.  But that will have to wait until we are farther north out of alligator habitat.

It’s been a gorgeous day.  I’m so glad we decided to come here!

Sheba at the boat launch

Sheba at the boat launch

Tent sites by the boat launch

Tent sites by the boat launch

Spring agaricus

Spring agaricus

Spider hunting ants under mushroom cap.

Spider hunting ants under mushroom cap.

A larger spring agaricus

A larger spring agaricus

Maybe he's enforcing the No Wake rule? :)

Maybe he’s enforcing the No Wake rule? 🙂

Sunset from our campsite

Sunset from our campsite

Tatting Christmas Cards

A tatted Christmas card

I’ve been working on various tatted motifs and trim that would look Christmassy done in red, green and white.

This evening I went to Hobby Lobby looking for shiny little sequins, bells, beads and ribbons to make the cards look more festive.  But when I got home and started arranging the motifs and edging on cards, I realized that, at least to my eyes, the plain tatting is more beautiful.  Adding shiny things to it seems to detract from rather than enhance it.

Pictured is one motif and edging that I especially like.  I’ve done others that I’m not as pleased with.  So I will probably do more of this design, then do some Christmas tree patterns.

It was 100 degrees again today.  Summer isn’t giving up easily.  Making Christmas cards in an air conditioned house helps put me in a delicious crisp weather frame of mind!  🙂


The New Mainland Ukulele

My beautiful new Mainland ukulele

My ukulele arrived today, and it’s more beautiful than I expected.  I had thought the ropework was a solid color, but it actually looks like thin layers of wood sandwiched together.

The gloss finish is beautiful!  I can’t find any imperfections in it.  And Mike at Mainland Ukes set it up perfectly for me.  The intonation is perfect.

I’m thrilled.  But I have a LOT of work ahead of me to make it sing like the guy playing Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head in my previous post!  🙂

Beautiful gloss finish!

Mainland Uke head

Closeup of rope inlay

Nice low action

Reed Bingham State Park, Adel, GA


We’re camped at Reed Bingham State Park in Adel, GA this evening.  It’s beautiful and peaceful here.  And our site was so level, we could just pull through and leave the trailer hitched to the truck for an easy get away in the morning.

This park is perfect for overnighting.  Although it has trails and a lake, it doesn’t strike me as a destination park–maybe because the land is so flat.  So we’re enjoying it this evening and will head north to Indian Springs State Park tomorrow for a few days.

The lake. I do love the spanish moss.

Geese at the lake

Spring wildflowers at the lake's edge

The geese were frisky today. I was lucky enough to capture this attack with my camera.

Another goose preparing to attack

Ron and Sunny leaving the lake area and heading back to the campground

Tall Pines RV Park, Shreveport, LA

We got to Tall Pines RV Park in Shreveport around 4:00.  What a great place to overnight!  Clean, quiet, extremely friendly office staff, and a small, well-behaved office dog.   Well behaved dogs are welcome.  They even have a fenced area where dogs can run free off leash.  Badly behaved children are not welcome.  Ahhhh!!!  Overnight heaven!  🙂

Ron said the bathrooms are spotless and smell good.  I prefer to use the little bathroom in the Aliner.

The weather here is gorgeous.  I had all the camper’s windows open catching a balmy breeze earlier.  I plan to leave one open all night for the fresh air.

The park is packed, but it is blissfully quiet.

We paid $10 less than the going rate because our rig is so small.  What a nice surprise!

It feels good to settle in for the night.  Instead of going out to eat, I just opened cans of Chunky Clam Chowder and melted cheese on Rosemary Olive Triscuit crackers.  A nutritionist’s nightmare, probably, but easy, and it leaves us a little more money to spend on fun things with Mike and Gail!

I plan to tat this evening.  Have one more Christmas gift I’m trying to finish.  Then I’ll surf a little while, get a shower, and crawl between the sheets.

It was a strange discovery to realize that a nice RV park with parallel rows of rigs a few feet apart can be much quieter and more restful overnighting than a beautiful state park–with rude campers.

Busy Day Today

Sulfur soap, Christmas shoe boxes, and food for church Thanksgiving baskets

Had a busy day today–for me, anyway!

Saw the dentist, and got great news from him.  He told me to keep on whatever I am doing because my teeth looked great.   That was a major relief because my gums were not doing too well until I bought a Waterpic and started using it every day.

Then we went to dinner, then shopping for Operation Christmas Child and the church’s Thanksgiving baskets for needy families.

I also made some sulfur soap–melt and pour castile base with sublimed sulfur  and LOTS of coconut oil added, along with a little stearic acid to keep it from melting so fast.  I use the sulfur soap to help soothe my eczema during the winter months, and the added coconut oil keeps it from drying my skin out.

And I continued working on another cross bookmark from Lene Bjorn’s Tatted Bookmarks book, although I still have a bit to do on it.  I did enjoy having the tatting along to occupy me while I waited to see the dentist.  Love the fact that it’s such a portable craft.  And I must admit that I do love it when people comment on how beautiful the work is.  🙂

Tomorrow I’ll get start cleaning and packing the Aliner for our trip south on Friday.  We must get Sunny to the groomer, too, before we leave.


Last Day at FDR State Park

This is my favorite photo of our Aliner here at FDR State Park

The campground emptied out this morning.  Now our little Aliner is among the small handful of campers left.

It is absolutely glorious here.  Quiet and serene, and achingly beautiful.

Ron and I went on a two hour walk around the campground and cabin areas this afternoon to check out the scenery.  I’ll let the photos and captions tell the story.

Beautiful grounds on the cabin side of the lake

Cabin side of lake

Deserted campground

Deserted tent campsite

Yet another shot of this beautiful campground

Love these hills!

Looking toward the campground from the cabin side of the lake.

Looking from the camping area toward the cabin area

A little scary trying to back the trailer in with deep ditches on each side of the road.

On the bottom is stonework done by the CCC in the 30's. On top of the original stonework are rocks enclosed in anchor chain fencing. I found it a very telling commentary on the difference in craftsmanship.

Rental cabins

This was my favorite cabin. It's a lot smaller than most, and I found its appearance charming.

I remembered seeing steps from the cabin area to the camping area, but couldn't remember where they were. So after we gingerly descended this hill, leaning on our hiking poles for support, I looked up and there were the steps we had missed!

I'm including this photo just because I thought the tree roots undercut by the stream were cool.



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