Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Best time of the year!

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Absolutely beautiful autumn day. Temperature in the mid 50's. Sun shining, no wind. A great day to spend outside...which I did.

I have become quite lazy/sedentary while RV'ing. I'm very disappointed in myself. The only good side to that is, I feel very comfy, cozy in our 5th wheel. It is our "Home Sweet  Home".

And now since getting my laptop instead of desktop computer, I can be on the computer in bed or in my oh so comfy recliner.When I can get the dogs off them!

I could make it sound like I'm more active...
Claim: I do agility with my dog.
Reality: I have a once a week beginner class which does not require running around the agility field.            
Claim: I hike through the woods.
Reality: The trail might be a mile...maybe and I've only done it once since we arrived in August.
Claim: I ride my bike daily.
Reality: I ride my bike to and from the office or my work assignment area, a couple of times a day. It is a 2 minute ride, maybe 4 times a day.
Maybe seeing this in writing will give me some incentive to be more active. I NEED to become more active for my health. 
Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. When we had to purge items from our home, I had more boxes of Halloween decorations than Christmas decorations.  I parted with most of my holiday decorations, except kept about 4 boxes of Halloween decorations.
But as I've gotten older, lazier, less social, Halloween doesn't hold the same charm anymore.
But I did enjoy the Costume contest here at the Kingdom. Just about every dog participated!
Bumble Bee & flower

Flower Child

Pirate: Notice the hook instead of leg?

Flamingo dancer?

Santa's Elf
Bride, Doris & Groom, Tucker
After the costume contest, we actually all went trick or treating with our dogs! I'm surprised Devin didn't throw up all the doggie junk food he ate along the way. And Lyla has such af great nose, that it was difficult to keep her out of the treat bowls throughout the park. Here's our loot!!!
How do you exercise while on the road?
Anyone use Wii or Kinect? Don't you shake the whole RV?
Exercise resistance bands? 
Local Gyms?


Murder at the Office: A Survivor's True StoryMurder at the Office: A Survivor's True Story by Brent C. Doonan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

One you get past the basic story of what happened, this book gets pretty boring.
The book describes the history of the murderer and some of his victims.
The history overlaps between characters, so it's gets repetitive, hearing the same events over & over.
I got the idea and it's very sad, but not worth my time to read the whole book.
I'll stick with programs on TV to tell the short versions of murder.

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Love's Wildest PromiseLove's Wildest Promise by Patricia Matthews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An historic, romance, adventure novel, set in the early development of the US.
A young woman learns to be strong through many tribulations. Will her troubles never end?
Lots of sex without being graphic. I'm surprised, to the point of finding it unrealistic, that Sarah never became pregnant. But of course, this IS fiction.
I enjoyed the history and geography interspersed in the story.
4 stars instead of 5 because of the typical, rather dull ending.  But I looked forward to reading and reading this, in spite of my negative remarks.

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Desperado LawmanDesperado Lawman by Harper Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been pleasantly surprised with the "Harlequin Intrigue" books. I see these similar covers and "Harlequin" and just assume it will be only so-so because of the bad rap Harlequin romances have gotten.
My name is Debbie, and I am a romance addict.
This murder mystery was very interesting with many suspects and romance thrown in.
Very enjoyable read.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Good Food & Drinks

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Part of RV life is constantly making new friends, especially when staying in one place for 3 months! Scott & I don't really celebrate any holidays, or special dates such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Our gifts to each other is giving the gift of freedom from the pressure of remembering dates and then scrambling to find a gift and card. Back to celebrations...
We may not celebrate, but Sharon & Marian, seasonal RV'rs here at the Kingdom, certainly make a big deal over birthdays. 
We were all invited to their site for snacks, wine, champagne and birthday cake.
We must have had about 20 people attend. Nice campfire, free flowing wine and then champagne to toast Marian, the birthday girl! What a nice group of people and a nice gathering.
Carrot cake from a local bakery was the birthday cake. Delicious! I will review further down.
Champagne for All!! Birthday girl in center.
Rat Pack Weekend  at the Kingdom: This is another great weekend at FOUR PAWS KINGDOM CAMPGROUND. First the evening starts off with a delicious catered dinner by Meik, the resident Chef. Dinner review further down. After dinner, Meik takes off his chef's hat and dons a Fedora, and morphs into Dean Martin & performs a reenactment of one of the Dean Martin Shows, with some songs and jokes included.

There are two intermissions during the show. During this time the guests have chips to use for a few games of chance to win credits for discounts at the Kingdom.
This night is what makes great memories.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: All 3 Cafe's are associated with each other.
Cafe at the Mall:
All bread are baked on the premises. Delicious.
RED POTATO SOUR CREAM SOUP: Plenty of chunks of potatoes & creamy. Good but was lacking in a little something. Maybe some garlic or a spice, maybe a little tarragon or rosemary?
ROAST BEEF SANDWICH: Very good. These are not huge, piled high sandwiches that may impress some people. I'm more for the quality of the sandwich rather than trying to figure out how to take a bite out of those ridiculous mile high sandwiches. Thin slices of roast beef, a couple of slices of swiss cheese and a touch or carmelized onions, all on home baked sourdough bread.
POTATO SALAD: Home made, pretty good, not too sweet.
BLACKENED SALMON SANDWICH: Excellent. Very different. The salmon was cooked perfectly with a nice blacened crust with a nice bite to it. Served on a delicious type of hard roll. The salmond had a slice of swiss cheese, some green peppers, pineapple bits, and sliced avocado. Yum!!!
SAVORY PARMESAN SWEET POTATOES: Very good. Basically plain mashed sweet potatoes with fresh grated parmasan cheese sprinkled on top.
TRIFLE: Poor. I did not care for this at all. It was not
Cafe to go:
BLACK BEAN SOUP: Excellent. Traditional Cuban Black Bean Soup with a perfect blend of the right spices.
CHICKEN CLUB SANDWICH: Excellent. Thinly sliced chicken, bacon, provolone, mayo, greens, sun-dried tomato pesto, onion on home made mulitgrain bread.
MANGO SLAW: Wonderful. Very refreshing, light and slightly sweet. Cabbage sliced extremely thin. Just a touch of mango bits for sweetness.

Cafe Baking Co.:
HOME MADE BREADS: All that I've tried have been wonderful.
CARROT CAKE: Excellent. Taste just like I'd make myself, with cream cheese frosting. This is what was served as the birthday cake mentioned in RV Social Life above.
CARMELIZED APPLE CAKE: Delicious. Moist slightly autumn spiced layer cake with a maple buttercream icing and glazed apples throughout the cake.
COCONUT RASPBERRY CAKE: Delicous. Moist yellow layer cake, with a light buttercream icing with FRESH grated (unsweetened) coconut on top. Raspberry puree in between the layers.
CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CAKE: Deep chocolate layer cake with creamy dark chocolate icing. For all this chocolate, I thought it would be so sweet that a glass of milk would be needed to cut the sweetness. But this is not all that sweet, so it's very easy to eat a lot! Delicious.
OATMEAL CRANBERRY COOKIES: Delicious. Soft, plenty of oatmeal chewiness with perfect amount of cranberry bits.
I am addicted to all 3 of these places.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Time flies...

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
RV LIFE: Still workamping, still enjoying our time here.
Scott clearing woods

Devin & Lyla still enjoying life at "The Kingdom" (Four Paws Kingdom)
Most popular person at the dog park is the person with the dog treats in their pocket. Probably the most "stupid" person also.
In spite of our small RV kitchen, Scott still cooks some great meals, just not as often as when we lived in a house.
This is Scott's first rib roast in our RV. Yummy! He has this down to perfection. So delicious. 
TIP: (Kitchen)
My breakfast normally consists of coffee, toasted whole wheat bread with PB & J on top. Scott bought some cinnamon raisin bread, so I've been having that for breakfast instead. PB & J on cinnamon raisin bread isn't a good combo in my world. So, I use butter and sprinkle extra cinnamon sugar on top.  We don't use butter often, so when I need butter for toast, it's hard. 
Here's my solution:
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the butter into thin slices. The slices go on the warm toast and voila, melted butter.


The Prince Of Beverly Hills (Rick Barron, #1)The Prince Of Beverly Hills by Stuart Woods
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first Stuart Woods book. I like the characters. I guess I was drawn in, to the wealth & power of the rich movie production companies.
Set in the late 1930's early 1940's, I at first had a difficult time acclimating to that time period.
It was difficult to believe the money that was thrown around and the ease that the main character (head of security), could just command things and they were done no matter what the cost & how quickly he was trusted completely and moved up in the business. But this is fiction, so...
As head of security for the studio, Rick Barron needs to prevent problems and if there are problems, solve them and make sure they are not made public. Protect the movie stars and the production company's reputations.
There is part Lives of the Rich & Famous, part Romance, part Mobster, part War novel.
I look forward to reading more in this series.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Rainy days and Mondays...

335 Lazy Creek Dr.
Rutherfordton, NC 28139
"Rainy days and Mondays always get me down".
That may have been true earlier in my life. The dreaded Monday, having to go back to school, the dreaded Monday, having to return to work after the too short weekend.
That phrase is not true anymore. Now that we are retired and have no house to upkeep, it's always a weekend, even on Monday!
Today was rainy and dreary, but I had a blast.  I cuddled under the afghan I crocheted a couple of years ago, and read while enjoying a hot cup of coffee. Ahhhhh, this is the life.
Even Devin was lazing around.
I've learned to cherish these down time moments/days. Before retirement, we work most of our life and spend more time with our co-workers than our families. Then our off time was spent "catching up" on household chores and maybe some socializing. There was no time to sit and read for a couple of hours.
I did my time. 32 years working for the US Postal Service. Lots of overtime at Christmas and I was careful (did not abuse) my sick leave.
Now is MY/OUR TIME! It's ok for me to be "lazy" and enjoy myself staying in my jammies all day and reading. I earned it. I still have to keep telling myself that. We are so brainwashed into thinking we have to keep busy.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What's the problem?

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
RV MODS: What's the problem?
Fridge flickers on and off when on AC power
Lights dim when too many are on.
Battery indicator shows low.

Check battery strength...9.9 volts which meant essentially dead.
Advanced Auto Parts in Forest City, NC, put the batteries on their tester/reader and it wouldn't give a print out because the batteries were dead.
Purchased new batteries at Advanced Auto Parts, OPTIMA BLUE TOP at about $210. each, needed two. We opted for these batteries as to cheaper ones because these are sealed and no need to check water levels. Plus they were smaller. We could fit BOTH these batteries in the space that ONE of our old batteries were in.
Check battery strength indicator periodically. It is now 2/3 strength. Fridge is on.
Next day check battery strength indicator periodically, uh oh, 1/3 strength. That's not right. We have new batteries!
Check power at converter... uh oh should be 13.6 volts DC, but was 1.8 volts.  
Replace the converter. No problem. Scott has wanted a better converter anyway.
We had to empty part of the basement to get to the converter, but easy install.
We've had a couple of fairly cold mornings, but were afraid to turn on the RV propane heater for fear of draining the battery. But it SHOULD be ok because we have a new converter.
Check battery strength indicator, not rising. Still 1/3. Is the converter defective??? We don't want $400. worth of NEW batteries to die!
Scott goes back into the basement and checks around the converter again to make sure all lines are secure...oops! A fat white electrical cord come free. It's the ground! So without the ground secured, of course everything else won't work correctly.
Scott secures the ground and feels that is the solution to all our problems.
So we don't know if it was the loose ground or if the converter really stopped working.
Scott also purchased a Progressive Dynamics PD 9200 Series Pendant for $10. at Amazon. This is a monitor  for the converter. When flashing quickly it is in "Boost" mode, meaning it is actively charging the batteries. When it is a very slow flashing, it is in "Normal" mode, meaning the batteries are charged and the converter is charging as needed.
After 2 new batteries, a new converter, and securing the ground wire, our battery strength indicator is now showing FULL!!!! But, the converter monitor is still fast flashing, so it's still actively charging the batteries. We can't relax yet. A day later, the battery indicator is still showing full & we are feeling more confident that all is well. Later in the day, the converter monitor switches to it's slow flashing. All is well.
More RV MODS: 
We had originally purchased these plastic thingies to hold spices and medicines. They are cheap and easy to install, but the plastic stretches and eventually breaks off rendering them USELESS.

I now have purchased 3M COMMAND SMALL ORGANIZER. Although much more expensive at almost $8.00 for a piece of clear plastic to hold 4-5 spice containers, I like them much better and over the long run, more durable and easier to use.
 We will be replacing the cheap plastic rings with the more efficient clear trays as the cheap plastic ones break.
More RV MODS: 
Another little mod, but oh so rewarding is replacing our kitchen & bathroom sink drain strainers and also the shower drain strainer.
We originally replaced all three with the MESH TYPE STRAINERS from Camping World. 
Sink Shower Strainer 3-PackThe large works great for the kitchen sink. The middle size was for the shower. Yes, it did prevent hair from going down the drain, but between the fine mesh and the hair, the water did not drain quickly enough and we ended up showering in a pool of 2"'s of water. The itty bitty strainer was for the bathroom sink, which that also slowed the draining of water and collected gunk quickly and clogged quickly.
Next we tried a plastic flexible strainer for the shower. 
This drained better, but what a pain in the &** to clean the hair out of this one.  There are little teeth that the hair wraps around.
Finally, Scott picked up this large flat one at Walmart.
This works perfectly! The holes are large enough for the water to drain. It catches the hair efficiently. It is very easy to clean.
With that, we changed the small mesh for the medium mesh for the bathroom sink and that is also working sufficiently.
RV LIFE: Octoberfest at Four Paws Kingdom is over. This event was held on the 1st & 2nd weekend of October. Always a lot of fun.  Meik is a very good entertainer. I just sat back and enjoyed this event. I wanted to take it all in and keep in my memory as one of our special times RV'ing.
Of course, being workampers this year, it wasn't all relaxing.  We had Kitchen Wagon clean up after. Luckily we were assigned to clean up the next day.  I am an early to bed person and would have been miserable having to clean up at 9pm after a full day. That's my bedtime!
So Sunday morning, I washed the pots & pans and Scott dried.
I actually enjoy doing the dishes. I get a sense of accomplishment. To reduce that huge pile of dirty items and see them later cleaned and ready for the next time.
Usually the ladies are on bathroom cleaning duty. Although many guests do thank us for the clean bathrooms, I don't get that sense of accomplishment with that duty. The bathrooms are constantly kept clean, so it just feels like we are cleaning a clean room already. We never let the bathrooms gets dirty enough that they look like they NEED  a cleaning.
Finished the CLADONIA SHAWL. It was really a quick knit, but I took forever to purchase beads and figure an edging instead of the picot.
I really like this piece. It is more of an shawlette and better worn as a scarf type accessory.

Also crocheted a watch band. The clasp is magnetic. I'm not sure it's strong enough for me to feel that I won't lose my watch. May have to replace with a traditional clasp.
I used crochet cotton thread. Chain 45, single crochet 4 rows. That's it.  The band ended up twisting and I liked that look, so just let it do what it wanted.
Citizen Solar powered watch
My rating 5 out of 5
By the way, this watch is solar powered! It is a CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE. It's charged just by wearing. It can even be charged with indoor lighting. I'll never go back to battery operated watches again!
I paid approximately $100. on sale for my watch, 5 years ago. Now they are anywhere from $170. to over $500.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hitch Itch

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
"Hitch Itch" I get it! We've been in NC since a week before Labor Day.  I am definitely getting the itch to hitch up. I am very happy where we are, and this is a great place to workamp! But we are still fairly new to fulltime RV'ing (a little over a year). We have many places to check out before/if we settle in one spot.
I heard the term "Hitich Itch" from their website HITCH ITCHWe connect people sharing their RV lifestyle. This is a GREAT resource to find other full time bloggers & links to many RV travel info sites. We are included in their list.
We are presently in the SW area of NC, very close to SC. Although I love snow and cold weather, I'd rather be above 40° in an RV. After December 1, our schedule is completely open. Our summer 2013 goal is to be in the Oregon, Washington, Idaho area.  Last winter, we traveled along the Gulf coast of Florida, Louisiana, then a little North in Mississippi and into TX.
We would like to cover a different area this winter. Any suggestions???
Very tentative travel plans through southern part of Tennessee, Arkansas, and just a quick stop in Oklahoma. We want to hit San Antonio, TX. We were close last year, but had to skip it. After San Antonio, TX, we can find our own way.
We are planning on having ALL our carpet taken out and replaced with something that cleans easily and is durable. Some of the products we considered...
Pergo: Floating floor, made with plastic/melamine resin. 50 yr guarantee...really? Just a fleeting thought, and was quickly dismissed. I have heard that Pergo may not adjust to temperature changes that can happen in the RV. Our basements are heated, but the area where there is no basement may cool too much and the Pergo may shrink (Men, you know how "things" shrink in the cold). The Pergo shrinkage would not make me happy, (same as my husband's shrinkage would not make me happy). So sorry...I'm on my 2nd glass of wine and am known for being a "cheap date" as in it doesn't take much alcohol to make me tipsy. Back on the main subject please...When Pergo shrinks, it can cause gapping, which is not good. Also Pergo, although durable would be too slippery for our dogs.
Allure, by Traffic Master: Floating floor, made with vinyl. 25 yr guarantee. This was a strong contender. This can withstand the temperature changes and had a 25 yr guarantee. We will have a lot of traffic in a small space, so we need something durable.
And the winner is...
SOBELLA FIBERGLASS,by Mannington: Floating or glue down. Vinyl top layer, with fiberglass underlayers  We chose this because with having dogs and accidents (mainly tummy trouble, not housebreaking), this is a solid piece so no liquid will seep between the sections as plank type flooring. This flooring also has indenting to give the feel/look of separate planking while actually being one large piece. And, the fiberglass under layers are flexible, so it makes for a softer surface. This is not only comfy for us humans, but also a little gripping actions for the doggies claws.
Below is the color we chose. Our RV wood trim/cabinets is a golden oak, so I wanted a slightly darker color on the floor.
Mannington Timberton Spice Fiberglass Flooring - ALT120
I will give a review when it is installed at the end of November,and then after a few months use.
Aldi's Grandessa signature German Roasted coffee
My rating 3 out of 5

There is an ALDI'S locally here in Forest City, NC. I was always under the impression that Adli's was like SAVE-A-LOT. But I was wrong. Save-a-lot is off brand groceries. I'm not impressed. When I went into an Aldi's, I also saw off brand, not realizing that the brand is a manufacturer from Germany. And many of their products are quite similar to TRADER JOES'S, but without the fancy marketing and displays. The owner's of Four Paws Kingdom Campground are from Germany, so they knew all about Aldi's Grandessa Signature brand. They suggested their coffee was very good as was their chocolate.
Review: At $4.99 for just over a pound of coffee, this would be thought of as a good buy, IF you like the coffee. Packaging was great in that it was vacuum packed to keep the coffee fresh.
I drink my coffee black unless it is really horrible. If I'm having coffee at a friends and it's horrible, then I'll add cream & a little sugar just to be polite and tolerate drinking it.
Birgit (Four Paws owner & my "boss"), Pat (fellow workamper & neighbor) & I had coffee made by Birgit, at the office. We enjoyed chatting and eating home made plum cake as well.  I assume, she was serving the Aldi's coffee. I was able to drink it black.  I'm much more tolerant of coffee when in public.
Making it at home for my first cup of the day and "me time", this coffee was a huge disappointment. Even as I sniffed the brewed cup before sipping, I didn't enjoy the smell.  The taste had almost a flowery tang to it. I couldn't finish the cup. So Grandessa Signature Brand mild coffee isn't horrible, but I will not be purchasing another. Scott seems to be able to drink it though. He drinks his coffee with cream & sugar.
Tid bit about Aldi's:
From FORBES on line mag: The March 2012 issue of the German Manager Magazin reported on the current Aldi operations. Aldi was founded by Karl and Theo Albrecht in 1913 when they opened a small grocery store in Essen. By 1950 they ran 13 stores. The brothers split the company in 1960 when they could not agree whether to sell cigarettes. In 1962 they introduced the name Aldi for their stores. (Albrecht Diskount = ALDI). The brothers retired in 1993 and gave their wealth to foundations which operate the stores.

The two divisions Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd operate from Essen and Mülheim, Germany. The global operation reaches 15 countries outside of Germany. The Aldi stores are small, low margin, high quality food stores with little fancy fixturing. Recently they have selectively introduced in Germany some fancy foods like lox, lobsters, champagne and other gourmet items in order to attract a more diversified clientele.

Nothing Lasts ForeverNothing Lasts Forever by Sidney Sheldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't say this book was exciting, but I had a difficult time putting it down. I was drawn to it. I spent the afternoon reading instead of on the computer because I was enjoying it so much.
3 women from different backgrounds start their residency together. 3 women that give you a different impression on the outside of who they really are on the inside.
I like medical mysteries, so this was just "what the Dr. ordered".

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Morning, Noon & NightMorning, Noon & Night by Sidney Sheldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An estranged family and a multi million dollar will.
Story develops the 3 heirs or is it 4? Covers their childhood, then adult hood without access to their Father's billions. Do they make careers? or do they try to slide by waiting for their inheritance? Are they even included in the will? The plot thickens.
Very enjoyable read.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Tin Can Tourist

Rutherfordton, NC 28139

Our friends from the Cedar Creek RV Owners Club recently lost their senior dog, Lacey. Rest in Peace sweet one. It is never easy to lose a dog even though he/she is up there in years. Your companion is gone and never to be exactly replaced. My thoughts are with you A.G. & Maryanne.

Sorrow is a burden that no one can share,
but the load can be lightened by people who care.
Thinking of you you during this difficult time.
One of the events held at Four Paws Kindgom Campground, is the TIN CAN TOURIST Rally. The members of this group are a lot of fun. We, as workampers were able to join in on their pot luck dinner and enjoy touring through their cool vintage, new, remodeled trailers during their "open house". I believe this event is held twice during the season. It's one of my favorite weekends here. Many of the trailers are themed, such as cowboy, or shabby chic, or 1950/60's to coordinate with the year of their rig.
Western Theme
Ewww, creepy! She's a dummy!
60's/70's Mod

Very Cozy Looking.
They even had a celebrity guest appearance... 
Wilma Flintstone!
The highlight of my tour was meeting this sweet, sweet, I want to take you home, dog.
This little guy greeted us at the door with tail wagging and lifting his front paw asking to be petted. I could become a "little dog person", if I found a dog like this sweety!!!
Four Paws served a BBQ dinner for $14.00 per person. Delicious as always. Scott was part of the serving line.
Scott on left
L to R: Don (workamper), Meik (chef & boss), Scott (hubby, not my boss) & Birgit (boss of boss)

Don't let those smiles fool ya! We are absolutely miserable here and our bosses are tyrants!  NOT TRUE.
Well, how about Meik is pinching Don & Scott, and Birgit is squeezing Scott's bum? NOT TRUE.
They're all laughing AT you because you missed out on this great workamping opportunity! COULD BE TRUE. 
The truth? You can't handle the truth, because you're not here enjoying this great workamping gig.
The truth? Just a great group of people enjoying serving the campers and enjoying working together. TRUE.
BBQ Dinner @ Four Paws Kingdom
My rating 4.5 out of 5
Would have gotten 5 out of 5 if Streusel was served warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Although this isn't really a restaurant, I still wanted to rate this dinner for those who may be tempted to visit this great campground.
Great price for a lot of good food. $14.00 includes dinner, dessert & entertainment.
Daddy's PULLED PORK: Delicious with great hickory smoked flavor. 
RIBS: My favorite! Again, that great smoked flavor. The outside was charred just slightly for that gilled taste and texture, and the rest was tender, almost fall off the bone. I didn't even put BBQ sauce on them because they were so good naked!
CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS: Once again that great smoked flavor. I saved these for lunch the next day because there was so much food!
BAKED BEANS: Very good, slightly sweet.
Grandma'a POTATO SALAD: Yum!! Home made and addicting! I think there's dill and minced apples in the recipe. 
BUTTERMILK BISCUITS: The website states "made from scratch". I don't know what kind of ingredient  "scratch" is, but these are my kind of biscuits. Would love these with some sausage gravy! 
GERMAN STREUSEL: Delicious! It's a shame we couldn't appreciate it since we were so stuffed from the meal.

Being the lucky workampers that we are, we were able to take home some extra food. So fill those plastic tubs up with some of Grandma's potato salad! Thank you very much!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Mother's Legacy

Rutherfordton, NC 28139

My parents left this morning, after staying in a cabin here at Four Paws Kingdom, in NC.  Did they have a good time? Not sure. Did Scott & I have a good time? Not sure. Of course, we were all very glad to see each other again.

I think the highlight of the week for Mom was when she went on the "poop run" with Scott. They took the camp golf cart and had to drive throughout the park and empty the trash cans that have bags of poop in them. Remember, this is a campground for adults and their dogs, therefore, lots of poop in the cans.  Luckily, most folks are very respectful and rarely do we find poop that hasn't been picked up.
The highlight for me was our nightly game of dominoes. Unfortunately, the last night, Dad was not feeling well. He was staying in the cabin, close to the bathroom. Scott, Mom and I played without Dad that night. I must admit, it was a lot more uneventful without him.  Dad is a good sport and he makes fun of himself and doesn't mind when we make fun of him also.  Makes for a lot of laughs. Oh, and by the way...I was the overall Domino Champion of the week. Thank you, thank you very much.

The cabins do not come equipped with a kitchen, only a charcoal grill, 2 electric burners outside & a microwave & toaster inside. I agreed to provide dinner for them for the week. After all, they are on vacation. They shouldn't have to cook.
That was really nice of me to offer 7 dinners when Scott is the cook. Thank you Scott!  We ate out twice and Four Paws had a catered BBQ night. So that left only 4 meals.
Spaghetti, chicken & dumplings, smoked chicken, & gumbo. Great job Scott! (And thanks again to Mickey, who gave us the recipe for Gumbo).

Just before my parents arrival, I had lost an important set of keys. Scott & I search the RV, the truck, the dirty laundry, I even dumpster dove. My fellow workampers, and seasonal campers spread out and searched the whole 1 acre dog park. No luck. Not only will locks now need to be replaced, I feel completely stupid!!!!! I HATE when I do stupid, inefficient things! It caused me to be embarrassed & depressed.
We are getting ready to head to the catered BBQ here at Four Paws, so Scott puts on his "good" shorts as to his droopy, stained work shorts. "Debbie, guess what I found?". I dare not get my hopes up. Scott is probably just teasing me. Scott holds up that beautiful mass of clinking metal...the keys!!! I wasn't stupid nor inefficient. I just have a bad memory, which I completely admit to. I have notes everywhere. At the last dinner, Scott wore his "good" shorts and I wore pants with no pockets. Being the great workamper I am, I always like to have my keys with me. You never know if I may have to help out and need to get into a place where a key is needed. So I gave Scott the keys to hold in his pocket. Tsk, tsk to Scott for not emptying his pockets before putting his shorts away in the drawer. Of course it's not my fault!
What a perfect day that was. My keys were not only found, which proved I am not stupid and I am efficient, because I didn't lose the keys. But, I also found some cool looking reading glasses at Dollar Tree!
It doesn't take much to make me happy.
DRAGON PALACE in Spindale, NC:
Our rating 3.5 out of 5
Very good service, nice variety of foods, including shrimp bar. Price is very reasonable. I believe the buffet dinner was $7.95. In NJ, that dinner would be $11.95, although the buffet is larger.
I enjoyed all the food I ate, especially the lo mein. The only negative was that the ice cream was in tubs, hard as a rock and very difficult to scoop out. But that is probably the reason the restaurant does that... so we don't overload on ice cream.

GOOD COOKING in Rutherfordton, NC:
Our rating 1.5 out of 5
Scott & my parents may rate it higher, but my meal was very sad.
This is a home cooking type restaurant. Each night is a choice of only 3 main courses. Then you select 2 sides and a choice of cornbread muffin or fried cornbread.
FRIED CORNBREAD: These were like mini cornbread pancakes. Interesting and good once you put butter, I mean margarine (that's what they served) on it.
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES: What do you expect? We're in "The South"! These were actually great! Thin slices of green tomatoes, covered in a very flavorful batter and then fried.
CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS: Ugh! I actually liked it, but that's because I am a carbohydrate lover. I love bread, cakes, cookies, pasta, etc. This meal was basically globs of dough with some thickened chicken broth and MAYBE 3 bits of chicken. No vegetables, no real seasoning. I liked it because I like globs of dough. But for most people, this would be pretty disgusting.
POT ROAST: Pot roast I have had is served with the carrots, chunks of potato, and gravy that has all been cooked together. This was just the roast and the two sides that we chose. Scott said the roast was good, but lacking the traditional flavors.
MASHED POTATOES: Very good and real!
COUNTRY FRIED PORK CHOP: My Mom said it was very good. It was heavily breaded and fried. If the breading was anything like what was on the Fried Green Tomatoes, then maybe the chop was good.
I would NOT go back again, although Scott still wants to try the meatloaf.


Fax Me a Bagel (Ruby, the Rabbi's Wife, #1)Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'd rate this 3.5. It's not good enough for a 4, but is slightly above average.
Interesting murder mystery. I'm sure if I were Jewish, I'd appreciate all the Jewish-ism's and relate better. But that did not detract from the book.
I would read another of her books, but would not seek it out.

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I gave my Mom (& my Dad) a journal type book for them to fill out a couple of years ago. They are called A MOTHER'S LEGACY and A FATHER'S LEGACY.
It took Mom a couple of years, but she filled it out and left if for me in the cabin they were staying in (that was my workamp job to clean). What a sweet, sweet surprise!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH MOM FOR TAKING THE TIME TO REALLY FILL IN THE ANSWERS WITH HONESTY AND THOUGHTFULNESS. It means a lot to me. I am thrilled to read about my Mom as a person with a life prior to being my Mom. I've already learned things I find so interesting, but never thought to ask her about.
I don't think Dad will bother filling his journal out. That's just the way he is.  He is more a "fact man" and not a person to elaborate.

A Mother's LegacyA Mother's Legacy by Thomas Nelson Publishers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a FANTASTIC gift to give to your Mom, for you.
This is a book of questions for your Mom to answer and elaborate. What a great way to learn more about your Mom that you may not have known.
I gave this to my Mom a couple of years ago. She finally filled it in.  I believe this was also good therapy for her also, as she remembered her childhood (good & bad), etc.
This book poses questions
...about her childhood, such as, What was your favorite pastime? What did your bedroom look like? What scent or sound immediately takes you back to childhood.
...about her teenage years, such as tell me about your first kiss. What did you do that your parents wouldn't approve of?
...and so on to her adult years and her career or no career, her marriage, about her thoughts, goals met or unmet, etc.
I am still absorbing all that my mother has written and see my Mom now as person who existed before she was "Mom".
*There is a coordinating book for Dad too.

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