Thursday, December 27, 2012

Memphis, TN

West Memphis, AR 72301

Memphis...too much of a city. If the weather was nicer, we may enjoy it more. The city is full of parking garages. There is very little street parking for a 350 dually pick up. It's best to just park and walk where ever you want to go. It's a city, but not a huge city, so many things are walking distance.
Little Tea Shop, Memphis, TN
Our rating 3 out of 5

Cute little historic restaurant. Nothing fancy. We were greeted by a very friendly woman. Almost felt like we were welcomed into her home.
The menu is different every day with a few regular items listed daily. I was at first disappointed in the limited menu items for the day. Since it was a cold, bitter, day, I thought a nice stew or chicken pot pie would be nice. Neither was listed on today's menu.
Omar, our waiter was very friendly and attentive, maybe a little too attentive.
So we penciled in our choices for lunch and handed him our order.
CORN STICKS: We were immediatey served a basket of corn sticks (long muffins). At first I was disappointed because they were not sweet like I prefer, but before I knew it, I was addicted! They are delicious.
SMOKED TURKEY & RICE SOUP: Definitely home made. The smoked turkey was excellent and flavored the well seasoned broth. Rice and vegies made for a nice robust well rounded soup.
LUCY SPECIAL: Chicken on cornbread with gravy, side of rice smothered in gravy.  Chicken was moist, gravy was tasty.
SALAD: Crisp romaine & iceberg greens with an interesting home made vinigarette type dressing. Very good.
COUSCOUS SALAD WITH SALMON: A huge plate full of chilled couscous seasoned with something green in it. At first I was disappointed, but after a few bites, it was also delicious. Add a little of their dressing and mix in the greens on the bottom made for a delicious meal. The salmon was originally blackened, then chilled. Very good.
Did not opt for desert for two reasons: 1. Past reviews said the cobbler was nothing special. 2: We were full!
Omar asked if we were visiting. How intuitive? Oh, he saw our city map clutched in my hand. He suggested after lunch we stop at the Planters peanut store.
The Peanut Shoppe, Memphis, TN
Our rating 4 out of 5

This is one of 11 Planter's peanut shops left in the world. This is the 2nd oldest shop, the 1st being in Atlantic City, NJ.
The store is very cool, very old galley type store. It's like you've stepped back in time. One long aisle. Trays of all kinds of nuts, roasted, salted, plain, candied. Popcorn was popping as we walked in. The smell was wonderful.
You order by the 1/4 pound and up. The scales are old fashioned weighted type. I asked for a 1/2 pound of pumpkin seeds. Out comes a 1/2 pound weight that he places on a tray and then scoops the seeds on the other tray until the center scale reads zero, or there about. His weighing is not an exact science but he errs on the side of the customer.
Similar to this.

CHOCOLATE, TOFFEE PECANS: I ordered pecans surrounded with toffee, then chocolate covered. I didn't care for them. I couldn't taste the pecan although when you break it in half, you can see there is a pecan in the center. My husband liked them though.
CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISINS: Not great, but not bad. One step up from Raisinets.
SALTED ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS: Large seeds and delicious.
SALTED ROASTED PISTACHIOS: Rich tasting and delicious.
CARAMEL GLAZED POPCORN: Outstanding!!! This is not your toffee type boxed popcorn. This is home made and the fresh popped popcorn mixed in. Absolutely delicious and addicting.
Ridda, the owner was very friendly and saw we appreciated the history, especially since being from NJ, I have childhood memories of the AC Planters store.
Ridda told me to stick my hand into this torture chamber looking object. I was hesitant, but finally did. It was warm inside! He had just finished roasting peanuts in the original 83 yr old roaster! He really takes pride in his product and store.

83 yr old peanut roaster
This is not only a nice place to pick up some snacks, but also a history lesson and a place for tourists and locals to stop just for the attraction of the store itself. Say to hello to Mr. Peanut when you stop by.
Ends up, Omar from The Tea Shoppe is a cousin or brother in law of Ridda at The Peanut Shoppe. They are Lebanese and very friendly and welcoming.

Memories of AC (Atlantic City, NJ)

I remember going to AC (Atlantic City) as a child with my Nana. We saw the famous DIVING HORSE on the Steel Pier. Here's a YOU TUBE VIDEO of the Diving Horse.

This is the first place I saw chicken eggs in an incubator and chicks hatching.

My Nana said she went to a Phyllis Diller show, sat near the front and laughed so hard and loud, Phyllis told her to hold it down, she was stealing her act!

We saw a couple of Miss America parades on the boardwalk. 1969

I saw the Brady Bunch in concert on the Steel Pier.
And referring back to the Planter's peanut store, I was scared to death of Mr. Peanut.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Shoulda gone South!!!!!

West Memphis, AR 72301


All is well somewhat, with our RV troubles. The bearings problem is all fixed for $1100. and now trying to keep warm right next to the Mississippi River. 37° and much colder with the high wind chill factor.
We had ALL the bearings replaced. We had all our bearings checked and packed this past April. We had upgraded to a 7000# axle earlier this year. The bearings were 6000#, so the new bearings are now 7000#. The mechanic thinks the bearings were over tightened when we had them packed in April. Also the cotter pin? broke.
The spindle threads were stripped. So all had to be replaced.
After our first day's problem we stayed at Soaring Eagle RV Park. After pulling in, connecting the electric, then checking the inside to make sure we can open the slides, open we do and we hear an odd sound. All of a sudden Scott yells stop. He goes outside and oops, he forgot to put the cover of the electric post down and the slide rammed into it.
Luckily, it is only cosmetic on the skirting. We are trying to think of a cheap solution. Any ideas?
Time to move on. We were delayed for 2 days.

Other titles for this post:
I'm in RV hell!
TX can't come soon enough!
White Christmas.
Freezing on the Mississippi.
Who's idea was this anyway?
Cabin fever

Can you tell I'm miserable????

Weather is horrible!!!! Since we arrived, it's been freezing, snowing, sleeting, frigid winds, nasty rain, high winds.
I've gone through excitement of being in a new area and I ALWAYS love being on the Mississippi.
To disappointment that the weather has been so bad that it's a chore to walk the dogs and not pleasant at all. There are wide trails all around this RV park, but we haven't been able to enjoy them.
To depression: We are stuck in the RV. It's starting to feel claustrophobic. Scott is getting on my nerves.  Scott has done nothing wrong. This is the first time since living in the RV (1.5 yrs) that I've felt cramped. I can't find my own private space because my usual space is too cold. The other day I spent the whole day in bed to keep warm & watched TV and explored around on my computer. I would have loved this when I worked full time! Now it's that I don't have the OPTION of going outside that is driving me crazy. There's a couple of items I want to put in the basement, and I don't want to deal with the cold, wind and trying to flip up the panel. Really, really nasty weather.
We have a nice fire pit that overlooks the Mississippi River. We have as much FREE firewood as we'd like. Meaning, there is plenty of driftwood all along the shore line. But it's been too wet and too cold to sit outside even with a fire. Even while in Sevierville, we had quite a bit of rainy weather. When we first got to Sevierville, I went around to empty campsites and gathered left over fire wood. I had a nice pile, but the weather didn't agree with my plans.

So, I've got to rethink my outlook. Scott has helped with that. He's such a sweety.  He reminded me that there have been days when I've spent the whole day on my computer, sitting in my easy chair and it's been beautiful out. So I've got to forget about the weather and enjoy myself in the moment.

We were planning on continuing to head West and hit OK, but change in plans to hopefully get to a little bit warmer weather. I really don't mind 45° and up, but this freezing weather day in and day out while living in an RV is not pleasant. If I were in a regular house, then this would be no big deal.
So instead of OK, we will be heading directly South on I-55 towards New Orleans. We don't plan on going to NOLA, but as far South in one day as we feel comfortable. Then West from there.


Dealing with the dogs in weather like this is difficult also. It's bad enough that we have no fence to just let them outside, but the gravel roads are flooded so it's difficult to maneuver around with the dogs without getting our feet soaked.
We are on an end site, so we have a large area for Devin to be put out on a tether. But, he has found something interesting about a foot underground and is digging his way to China. I've tried covering it with a big plastic tub...he just knocks it over. I've put our bicycle basket inside the hole. He digs a wider hole. So we will have to fill in that hole before we leave. We don't want to leave a bad impression about "big dog people"

Devin has discovered peanuts! When feeding our parrot, I tossed a peanut in the shell at Devin. He sniffed, rolled it around the floor, then rolled around in his mouth. He eventually shelled it and ate the peanut. Now every time we feed the parrot, he is sitting by the cage waiting for his peanut treat.

Why is it, dogs will eat all kinds of garbage...sticks, poop, chicken bones, etc. but when give a peanut, he shells it?!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Are we lucky or unlucky?

Lenoir City, TN
A rainy miserable day. Gray foggy skies.  A good day to be inside.
The quiet drone of raindrops continuously beating on the roof.
The mesmerizing view of raindrops on the window and sliding down the glass like shooting stars, or skiiers gliding down a steep mountain, or sperm searching out their target. Yes, when you stare long enough out the window on a rainy day, things aren't as they seem.

My husband is sitting close, reading his Kindle. Our African Grey Parrot is staring at me with one eye. Our two Setters are behind me curled up on dog beds. Ahhh this is what rainy days are for. Family being close and all snug and warm.  Sounds nice?

It's interesting the things you notice when stuck inside the small space of a vehicle. Huh, I didn't know that thingy on the sun visor had a spot just for pens. Oh, good to know that I have a notepad in the zipper part. I've been meaning to put a notepad in the truck. Oh, and here's an extra pair of sunglasses! What a treasure chest I would have not found if we weren't stuck in our truck for hours.

Yes, we are all 5 of us crammed in our truck. Yes, my husband is sitting close (in the driver's seat) reading his Kindle. Yes, our African Grey Parrot (in a small dog crate on the center console) is staring at me with one eye. Yes, our two Setters are behind me (in the back seat) curled up on dog beds. Ahhh this is what rainy days are for. Family being close and all snug and warm, stuck in our truck for hours. No, this is not so nice. The dogs have the most room in the back seat and are doing what they normally do during much of the day...sleep.

I did not complain about not enough things to write about. I complained about the December Photo Project becoming tedious. Granted, it's been a few days of absentia from my blog, but there's no requirement of how often to post. I don't think my 20 something followers will be lost without regular posting from this ex "Jersey Girl".

Again, I am thankful for my laptop. Here I sit in the passenger seat of our truck and I'm able to post, vent, release my frustrations out to friends & family.

We left Sevierville, TN on Wednesday morning about 10:30am. We had a 260 mile drive ahead of us for an overnight, then onward to the Memphis area. We are driving along Rt. 40 and Scott is ready for his salmon salad sandwich I lovingly made for him for lunch. He eats the first half and says, "This is a really good sandwich". As I look past his loving eyes, out the driver's window and see a huge semi has pulled up next to us on the highway.  I hear a HONK, HONK! and the passenger is pointing to the back of us and mouthing, "Tire", we think. So much for a sweet romantic moment while traveling.

Of course, we immediately pull over, thinking we must have had our first flat tire. Oh crap, how long will that set us back. Let's see how Good Sam Emergency Roadside Service works.  As soon as we stop we see smoke and smell burnt something. Uh oh, it must really be flat. Scott jumps out and of course I have horrible thoughts of him being hit by oncoming traffic.  He runs back to the truck in a frenzy. "WHERE'S THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER?". I know it's "somewhere" in the back seat. Scott finds it quickly. Oh my gosh, what the hell is going on??? I run out to see, just as he throws a pitcher of water on our rear driver's side tire of the RV. PSSZZZZZZ, sizzle, hiss, steam. I go inside the RV to check things out. Damn, it smells like smoke in here! But all seems to be ok, I hope. Ok as much as I can see.
Yep, we had flames coming out of the wheel hub on the inside/underside of the rig. Scott had to crawl under to extinguish the flame.  I'm so glad Scott researched fire extinguishers. Instead of using the dry chemical ABC extinguisher we have, he opted for the small can of FIREADE 2000. This is a liquid with some kind of detergent added. Scott retired from the NJ Turnpike, so he saw many break fires on the semi's coming through. He saw how little the dry chemical extinguisher did. The flame would subside and flare up again. With Fireade 2000, the flame is stopped quickly, as least for a grease fire. It did a great job of putting out a fire that could have easily & quickly  burned up our whole rig and maybe even our truck if we didn't unhitich quickly enough.

So are we lucky or unlucky?
Lucky that the trucker pointed our problem out. And now that we know what was wrong, was she saying "Tire" or "Fire"?
Or unlucky that it happened in the first place?

We called Good Sam and told them we were on the side of the highway. They said they couldn't send anyone until we were in a safe place, so to call 911. Huh? Where do most incidents happen that you need to call an Emergency Service?  On the highway! So Scott decided to try to crawl to the next exit. We slowly drove with RV in tow along the shoulder. Trucks are honking at us because being so large, we were not completely off the highway. Scott looks in the rear view and sees the grab handle by the steps & door was open and not flat against the RV. I run out and close it. We are very close to a guard rail and I notice, the steps aren't in either!!! I jump out and can't get the steps up because the guard rail is in the way. So Scott drives while I'm outside watching the steps. Finally get them up. Then we come to an overpass with no shoulder.  Scott moves back into traffic and we hear more honks because even though we are driving faster, we are still slow and now in the lane of traffic. I'm begging him to just pull over again. While I was checking clearance of the steps I could hear the grinding of the wheel as he slowly drove. I didn't want a fire to start again. Between my begging and his being spooked having to go back into traffic, we decided to call 911. Nice cop, but he didn't know what to tell us. At least this time where we stopped was a large grassy area that we could pull further out of the road and half off the shoulder also. This is as "safe" a place as we're going to get. So another call to Good Sam. Fifteen minutes later we get a call from G&A Equipment, 24 hour service. A 1/2 hour later they arrived.

We had only driven 60 miles. Sigh.

So what went wrong? The wheel bearings failed. I don't know much of anything about the working of all this, so if I describe something incorrect, keep in mind this is 3rd hand knowledge...from mechanic, to Scott and then to me.
So the wheel was scraping and heated the grease in the bearings which caused the fire. The mechanic said we would have lost the tire if we continued to drive. He spent an hour and a half on the highway fixing it enough for travel. We opted to bring it to their shop in the morning to get all wheels checked out. Of course you may be thinking, that this happened because we didn't maintain the bearing. Oh no...Scott keeps up with all that.  We had all the bearing checked and packed in April.

So here we sit in the parking lot of the mechanic, with my husband beside me reading his Kindle, our parrot get the rest.

We have been told the "spindle" of the axle is stripped also. So a two hour job has turned into an all day job. Looks like we're here at Soaring Eagle RV Park for another night.

I was a little depressed last night over this situation. Thinking is the RV life for us? But then I thought, if we had a house, there would also be maintenance and things that go wrong. I still want to travel. Haven't seen enough yet. No, it's not time to settle.

So are we lucky or unlucky? That question is not even worth thinking about. This is just life. Good things happen and bad things happen. Why? I won't even bother to ask. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to find the answer to why?

Why do good people die of cancer?
Why do murders stay healthy and live off our tax money in prison for the rest of their lives?
Why do children get shot down by a crazy person?

There is no answer. Unfortunately, we just have to learn to cope and move on. There is only one guarantee in life and that is it will end, some sooner than others. Sorry for the downer. As I get older and my parents get even older, I feel each day I'm an healthy and alive as a blessing.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Martini anyone?

Sevierville, TN 37862

The December Photo Project is getting a little tedious. I take pictures anyway, so why the need for the separate "project". From here in, I will combining my regular blog with the DPP and just label a particular photo for that day's entry.

DPP-Day 15 Cucumber Martini make me happy!
DPP-Day 16 a "Dog-tini" make me laugh!

What a great Halloween costume idea!
One of the nice things about RV life is making friends, moving on and then meeting them again in another part of the country. So it was that Ray & Linda from our Cedar Creek RV Owners Club met up with us and treated us to Sunday brunch. Ray & Linda live in Sevierville, so I thought it would be nice to get together. Ray called on Wed. and said he couldn't be around until Sat. or Sunday. I guess he's a busy man. I later found out, they were actually in Florida! They drove all the way back to TN to meet up with us. Crazy. Of course, they do have grandchildren here, so that was a good excuse to see them also.
Ray used to work at Dollywood and then later became part of security for Dolly Parton. 
They took us to Golden Corral for buffet brunch. Scott has been wanting to go there for a long time and I always avoided it, thinking it was going to be bad.  But I was wrong! I look forward to finding more Golden Corrals in our travels.
Golden Corral, Sevierville, TN
Our rating 4.5 out of 5
Prices are very reasonable. We were here for the Sunday Brunch. I don't think anything was bad, most of delicious and some average.
I especially liked their meatloaf! I couldn't have done any better. Large variety of foods, from meat & potatoes, to Asian, to Mexican. Nice salad bar. Deserts were the only disappointment, but I feel the main course buffet more than makes up for the "not worth the calories" desserts.
The Chop House, Sevierville, TN 37862
Our rating 3.5 out of 5
Nice setting. We were in a booth and even though in the bar, it was not overly noisy.
Very nice waitress, from Romania. A very cool accent. 
We normally don't order drinks prior to dinner, but since our appetizer (stuffed mushroom) could take up to 20 minutes, Scott ordered a Bloody Mary & I ordered a Cucumber Martini, which I saw a photo of on the menu.
CUCUMBER MARTINI: Not only a beautiful green color, but delicious also.
ONION RINGS: Slightly above average.
STUFFED MUSHROOMS: Excellent. Stuffed with lobster, crab & shrimp.
PRIME RIB: Average. Very tender, but bland. Medium-rare.
PRIME RIB SANDWICH: The onion roll was delicious, but the prime rib had no flavor. The au jus was nothing special either.
FRIES: Average
I would only return for a drink at the bar.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Sevierville, TN 37862
Riverview Plantation RV Park, Sevierville, TN 37862 Site #418 Riverside
$27./day with Good Sam discount
SITES: Fairly close together, with a grassy area and at least 1 shade tree. Mostly back in, some with River view.
BATHROOMS: didn't look
LAUNDRY: Clean, 4 washers/dryers with at least 2 laundry buildings
PETS: Welcome. Many areas to walk the dogs with poop bags and garbage cans available.
WIFI: Free. Great connection and fast.
AREA/TOWN/SIGHTS: Tourist town. Lots of good & bad restaurants, lots of entertainment. Great Smoky Mountain trails fairly close.

This is a huge park with 300 sites. Most are back in. The river view isn't really worth it because it is mainly blocked by trees. But the river side sites have a lot of open grassy area behind the site.
We were here in the winter, so the park looked like a parking lot with grass patches. But in the summer, this place is probably beautiful. The majority of the sites have TWO shade trees, 1 in front and 1 in back. Cement patio with picnic table. Fire ring. Some sites all cement, but the crushed gravel sites seem level and clean also.
Great park for rallys. There is a large pavilion with picnic tables and also a conference center.
If in the area again, I would return. But there seems to be a few other decent campgrounds in area further away from the highway. This campground is "secluded" in between two highways, but is not noisy.

There seems to be a lot of fishing in this river. We so many lines & lures hung up in the branches overhanging the river. I thought it would be nice to take out our Eagle inflatable kayak if it wasn't winter time. But then maybe not. You'll see why below.
Scott asked me if I saw the sign posted outside. I said "yea, something about overflow and calling the water dept?".

Scott says, "Noooo, not that sign, the OTHER sign!"

Waste Nothing Yahoo    "Use everything waste nothing!" 
Lots of tips from members. It can be anything from how to make crafts from soda bottles to the most recent subject, sharing bath tub water to save on "excessive" water use.
Scott's on Broadway, Forest City, NC
Our rating 2.5 out of 5
This was recommended by friends. They said hamburgers and onion rings were great.  We tried both and were disappointed. Two sizes of hamburgers. The large are huge on an extra large roll, but size doesn't always matter if the end result is not good. Burgers were dry. Onion rings were just average to below average.
It did a brisk take out business that was well run and organized. There is seating also.
I would not return.
Apple Valley Creamery & Bake Shop, Sevierville, TN
Our rating 4 out of 5
A little difficult to rate since we only had a couple of items. Surprising, I did not try the ice cream. We were heading to dinner, so didn't want to fill up on ice cream.
The bakery has LOTS of cake/breads such as pumpkin, apple cinnamon, blackberry, as well as cookies and mini muffins.

BLACK RASPBERRY COBBLER BREAD: Very good. Moist, dense, rich black raspberry flavors with a touch of cobbler crumb type topping. The only thing I didn't like was the seeds in the bread, but the flavor makes up for that.
CRANBERRY OATMEAL WALNUT COOKIES: Excellent. Slightly chewy, and perfect combo of flavors and spices.
Have you ever heard of Vagina Dentata?A few weeks ago, we watched a movie called TEETH, or maybe their sub-title, "Every Rose has it's Thorns". Sounds like an interesting horror story? Well, I'm not sure interesting is the correct word. Scott & I do enjoy horror movies. Scott is more into the zombies type than I am, but I still enjoy a good scare and some gruesomeness.
This is about a girl who has made a pledge of chastity. Unfortunately, she is preyed upon and later her teenage, hormonal curiosity takes over, and then revenge. This poor girl has teeth inside her Vajayjay, as I've heard Oprah call it. We had to watch it just to see how they did the scenes. Were they stupid/cartoony?, were they crude? Actually, the movie wasn't really that bad. I feel the subject of her problem was done somewhat tastefully. At one point, a boy does get his, you know what bitten off. When the doctor goes to reattach, the doctor says, "Hardly seems worth it"...chuckle, giggle.
I'm not sure I can recommend it as a "must see", but it's good enough to keep you interested even if we revert back to our puberty days and snicker throughout.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December Photo Project Day 14 - Morning has broken

Day 14

Quiet early mornings make me happy.

All is quiet, it's early in the morning before most people are up and about. I walk around the park in my P.J.'s with my dogs. Such a peaceful, enjoyable time. And also the anticipation of a whole day ahead of me for ME to do whatever I WANT! That's being retired. Ahhhh.

Oh the weather outside if frightful...

Sevierville, TN 37862
Oh the weather outside if frightful...and inconsistent:
Our first day here was absolutely beautiful! Sunny, around 60 something, no wind. I spent most of the day outside with my laptop and flatbed scanner. I am totally obsessed with my computer.Since switching to a laptop, I am totally mobile. I don't even need a desk anymore.

Then we had a couple of rainy, overcast, but warm days. Good days to just stay in and bond with hubby and the dogs in these close quarters.

Now the weather has turned to good Christmas weather. Clear blue skies, & crispy cold. You can just imagine snowflakes falling at any moment for a white Christmas. This still, cold weather is invigorating!!! Great weather for walking the dogs. Of course Devin is being a wild child on walks. He went from playmates and dog parks to no playmates and leash walks. Between the cold weather which gets dogs invigorated also and energy that needs releasing, it has been a comedy show walking Devin. He bounces around, trying to grab my hand, grabbing his leash to walk himself, grabbing sticks to play tug with me, then he tosses them in the air and tries to chase it, with Lyla and I at the other end of the leash. Devin is quite the entertaining character.
I want my freedom!
Recipe blog PLAIN CHICKEN is full of easy recipes. Many dinners and also snacks etc. I find her recipes things that I would cook.
Have you noticed I haven't had a book review in a while? Notice I haven't had a craft finished? That's because of my love affair with my laptop! My laptop is an all in one entertainment, education, communication device. Instead of coffee and reading in my easy chair in the morning, it's now coffee and the laptop in the easy chair.
Here's about the only crafty thing I can come up with for now.
This is a cake! Made by SUGARS SWEETCAKES & TREATS.

The Bride and the Mercenary The Bride and the Mercenary by Harper Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Murder mystery & suspense.
I'm always surprised when a Harlequin book is exceptionally good. I've found that most are good rather than bad.
All the main characters in this book have strong personalities with much influence upon those they are connected with.
The female lead, Ainslee is either a total naive idiot or someone you want by your side because she'll be there no matter what.
This story catches you from the start and keeps you always guessing who the characters really are. I wavered back and forth deciding who's the good guys and who's the bad.
Beef Jerky Outlet Sevierville, TN

Amazing selection. Staff very helpful and willing to let us sample as many varieties as we wanted. Haven't found a bad one yet.
Great t-shirts available. I like "Fat people are harder to kidnap".
Thai Basil, Sevierville, TN 37862
Our rating 5 out of 5

 We stopped here for lunch. The prices and portions for lunch were perfect.
Service was excellent and very friendly like we were in a friend's home for dinner.
FRIED POTSTICKERS: Very good, with a good balance of slivered ginger in the meat. The dipping sauce was tremendous! Would love to buy a bottle of it!
COCONUT SOUP: At first I was a little put off by the coconut flavor, but as I continued, oh what a PERFECT BLEND of spices, sweet & sour flavors. Excellent soup.
RED CURRY: Excellent. My husband was totally enthralled with the flavors. He closed his eyes while eating just to savor the wonderful taste experience.
PRIK PAO: Very good. They really know how to blend their spices to make a wonderfully complex & delicious sauce.
We will definitely return if in the area again.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December Photo Project Day 13 - Winter

Day 13
 Winter makes me happy.
No, I'm not "cheating" again with 2 photos. Just couldn't decide which effect I liked best. Woke up this morning to 32° weather. A light frost all over the grass and on the edges of the fallen leaves. What a beautiful morning. No wind, just a lovely crisp beautiful morning. It felt like it was going to snow at any time. I love Winter and it's own special beauty.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

We don't celebrate Christmas

Sevierville, TN 37862

Look what I got in the mail today!!!
Scanner, k-adapter, i cord maker
THIS is why we don't give presents to each other, for any occasions, unless it's just to give something unexpected.
I used to love Christmas for the gift giving and receiving. I used to love decorating the house also. I would get so excited about a gift I purchased for Scott, but then he wouldn't use it or he found something better. Sigh. And of course Scott hated the pressure of having to buy a gift or two or three. He 99% of the time did a great job.  For me, it got to the point, I ran out of ideas. All Scott wanted was a gift certificate to a computer store. BORING!!!! No fun in that.
So we no longer exchange gifts for any occasion. My gifts to Scott is that he doesn't have to think about what to get for Birthdays, Anniversaries, Valentine's Days, Christmas, Easter, and so on. He is very happy and appreciative.
And not being a religious person, we don't celebrate the Keep CHRIST in Christmas either. (Sorry, Mom, Dad, & Bro)
For a while, I insisted on still exchanging cards, but now even that has gone away. We are both absolutely fine with this arrangement. When Scott was working, his co-workers kept telling him he was a lucky man. They would dread having to find the right piece of jewelry and they would surely be in trouble if it wasn't quality stuff or if they didn't spend a certain amount.
Uh oh! Here I go! And what is it with women and "Coach" bags & granite counters?????? At least granite counters ARE beautiful, but "Coach" bags??? They are absolutely ugly! And the rustic leather look, looks like vinyl. I really hate the whole idea of the so called status of name products. And that goes for you GUYS too! What is so impressive about Harley Davidsons????? Yea, they are a nice looking bike, but so are many other brands. Made in the US? Maybe assembled in the US, but ALL the parts aren't made in the US. I would not own a Harley simply for the fact that people seem so impressed just by the name. I have a Suzuki Intruder which is a very nice looking cruiser & very reliable.
Now onto the next peeve...Granite counters & stainless steel appliances. How many home shows do you see where the home buyers insist on these products. Granite counters are beautiful, but many other types of counters are also.  I personally like the CRUSHED QUARTZ counter tops or even being a little green with the RECYCLED GLASS counter tops. Did you know that the BUTCHER BLOCK counter tops are making a come back? And how long before you ladies decide that stainless steel looks too a restaurant?
Wow, from Christmas to gifts to a rant? Take a breath Deb. Step away from the computer for a while.
I am a follower of LISA BORGMAN. She is a hilarious writer, with a wonderfully skewed outlook on every day life's happenings. So while she was relating a Chistmas story, she mentioned PARLOR ROLLER PIGEONS.  Well, of course with the wonderful world wide web, I had to look them up. I would never have believed this if I didn't see it on you tube. Of course everything on the internet is true, right?? Check it out. A little sad, but very interesting.
I'm still loving our floor. I am so happy we got it installed. The RV just seems bigger, neater and cleaner.  It makes me want to keep the clutter around under some control.

Sevierville is right next to Pigeon Forge, TN, which a a very touristy town. I'm glad we're here during the Christmas season. They have the restaurants and stores decorated so nicely. Plus, it is not crowded like it would be during the Summer and loaded with kids.

At first I was going through all those coupon books for the different attractions and restaurants. After spending our first day here just sorting out all the ads, I've come to realize, that I really don't care about these touristy things. If we happen to go fine, but if not, that's fine too. Natural attractions are different. Definitely want to see our amazing USA. Pigeon Forge is like a mini Branson, MO, only more hillbilly. We have been going to restaurants though. Three out of five days here, we've eaten out for dinner. So on to the reviews...
Corinos Italian Grill Sevierville, TN 37863
Our rating 4 out of 5

Walking in reminds you of Olive Garden. Corinos also has the unlimited soup & salad deal, etc. like Olive Garden.
CAESAR SALAD: Nothing fancy. Crisp romaine, with a very pleasant Caesar dressing.
BREAD: The bread was fantastic!!!! We were presented with a whole mini loaf. The bread was dense with a nice crisp crust. There was oregano or rosemary in it. Delicious. This was served with dried garlic covered with olive oil. Very nice touch. They offered us a second loaf which we accepted.
PASTA & MEATBALLS: I wasn't impressed, but my husband who is the true pasta & sauce person really liked it. He also liked the meatballs.
BOWTIE PASTA: I forget the name of the dish, but it was delicious. It was bowtie pasta, with bacon, fresh diced tomatoes and an asiago cheese sauce. Delicious and light.
TIRAMISU: I ordered this because of reading the reviews. I was so disappointed! It's a huge portion, which was nice, but it was all greasy, fake cream. What little lady fingers and coffee/chocolate flavor I did find was delicious. At $5.99 this is a lot of money for a lot of filler fake cream.
Our waitress was sweet and attentive. The music was a little too loud. Overall a good experience.
Applewood Farmhouse Sevierville, TN 37862
Our rating 4 out of 5

What an enjoyable restaurant. It is set back from the road amid a winery, a creamery/bakery, a candy store, etc. Nice little village feel.
We were seated in a  glass enclosed porch. Although we were seated at a round table for 4, there was an actual porch swing used as a "bench" type seating. Very cute.

Waiter was very, if a bit overly friendly. Kept calling us "brother" and "sister" and "boss. Patting us on the back. He added to the southern farmhouse charm and was very efficient.
The meals at first looked expensive. $15.00 for meatloaf? But ends up the price of the meal includes, apple fritters, a small fruit julep, soup or salad, mashed potatoes and another side, the main course and desert.
APPLE FRITTERS: These were served as the bread along with apple butter. Absolutely delicious! They didn't need the apple butter. The apple butter was good. Tasted more like a very sweet, cinnamon apple sauce.
MASHED POTATOES: Home made and very good. Tastes like there might be a touch of turnips mashed in also.
MEATLOAF: Large thick slab and was very good. Moist and tasty.
FRIED OKRA: Good but seemed to have been sitting around under some heat lamps instead of being fried to order.
COBBLER: Very good, served warm. Not overly sweet. Did not taste like fresh apples, but canned. Still good.

December Photo Project Day 8,9,10,11,12 - Multi tasking

Day 8 - 12

Purging makes me happy. 
Campfires make me happy.
Photos make me happy.
Digital world makes me happy.
Multi-tasking makes me happy.

Yes, this photo represents five things that make me happy. Phew, glad this photo helped me catch up on this December Photo Project. Five days in one! 
In case you haven't bothered to click  the link above to this project, below is sort of the reason for the project.
Take one photo each day for the first 25 days of December and post it to your blog (or Facebook album or Flickr page, you get the idea). In this month of celebrations, there is always something new to see and document each day. The DPP is a fun way to challenge yourself creatively and share the results with your friends on a daily basis.
It is fun and gives me something to write about, but daily is tough to keep up with.
Day 8: Purging! Yes, it feels good to get rid of stuff, especially if it can be used by someone else or just "disappear" as it did in this fire.  I've been scanning and scanning photos to the computer. Still have many to go. But oh, the freeing feeling of all those albums being so available and enlarged with just a click of the mouse.
Day 9: Campfires! Although, I don't have them often, I do enjoy them as long as it is daylight out. Huh? Most people like fires at night. Nope, not me. I like them on a cool morning or late afternoon. I need to always be doing more than one thing. If I have a fire at night, I'm just sitting there, yes enjoying the fire, but I need to be doing something else. If we're with friends, then that is the 2nd "task", but alone, I need to read, or knit or crochet, or groom the dogs, or ...
Day 10: Photos- Photos can make us both happy and sad, but for the most part it is a happy feeling. Even looking at photos that at the time may be sad, time tends to dull the pain and sadness. Photos are the best way for me to remember our experiences. That's how I remember to write about things on the blog also.
Day 11: Digital world! I've mentioned many times of different programs, websites, devices,etc that make life today so much easier. This is all because of the digital technology. I love it!
Day 12: Multi-tasking!  I've got to do it! Right now I'm blogging, watching the 12.12.12. concert and also working on my rescue work. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Follow me!

Sevierville, TN 37862
On our way to more interesting sites. Our first and last or rare workamp gig is over. In August, we looked forward to helping out Four Paws Kingdom in NC, and in December we looked forward to be moving on. We NEVER thought, "I can't wait until this is over", but it is a great feeling to be moving on.
So I hope you'll continue to "Follow Me" forward to new places across the USA.

Our general plans will bring us through southern TX, to NM, then North leading us to Washington, Oregon, Idaho in the Spring and across the northern States during the summer to hopefully keep a little cooler.
If you think you may be near, let me know. Our plans are made of jello and very flexible. Would love to meet up. We won't overstay our welcome. We like our alone time, but would enjoy some time with unmet friends with similar interests, RV, dogs, crafts, computer gaming, wine, eating, etc.....
While in NC, we came across a little streetside market. We picked up some SCUPPERNONG Cider. With such an odd name, I thought it was some southern hillbilly name. But nope, it's a grape native to NC, originally grown along the SCUPPERNONG RIVER. 

Scuppernong River is near Columbia, NC and looks like it would be a nice area to visit.
When we decide what area we'd like to go we begin by checking RV TRIP WIZARD which is a great tool for planning and finding RV parks.We usually Google Search for COE (Corps of Engineers) campgrounds, County, State, and National Parks. We ALWAYS check out RV PARK REVIEWS before choosing a campground. 
When we stop in a new area, I have a folder on my computer, that I titled "NEXT STOP". Here I list websites to check out what might be of interest to us in the area.
Here are some of the links:
TRAIL LINK which is the search site for the RAILS TO TRAILS CONSERVANCY. Rails to Trails turns old railroad lines into walking/biking paths. They are a non profit group and the trails I've been on have always been wide and well maintained.
KNIT MAP Yarn shops in the area
NEEDLE TRAVEL Yarn shops in the area
YELP This site is NOT ONLY for restaurant searches/reviews, but also for many local businesses and activities.
Not much going on. Still crocheting for charity rectangles and doing a lot of "research", meaning reading a lot of crafting blogs. It's better than HGTV! In my web browsing, I found this.
No, I don't plan on attempting to knit this, but it could be a self portrait!
Scuppernong Cider
My rating 4 out of 5

Refreshing. Similar to a goo White Grape Juice, such as Welch's.
Just a little too sweet. I can only drink a couple of ounces at a time.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The "Talk"

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
July - August of this year, we crossed the US from NV to MA. Lots of money spent on diesel and daily rates for RV parks. But then from late August - early December, we workamped in exchange for our RV site. I thought those three months would put us back in good standing financially. But that didn't happen! Huh???
So I had to have "the talk" with Scott. The talk about money.  I take care of the bills, and Scott just trusts me to keep all in balance. Well, we've slowly gotten further behind, in spite of our "free campsite" for 3 months. Scott didn't understand where the money went, so I had to break it down and now he understands.
Ends up we spent over $1000. in Aug for our truck maintenance & repair.
We spend a lot on groceries. I used to wait for sale items and stock up and also use coupons. Now we just buy what we need when we need, no matter the price. That is one of the downsides to full time RV'ing.
We needed new batteries for the RV, there's another $600. or more.
I also chose to pay our FT RV insurance in one payment instead of monthly payments.
Scott decided to get the Direct TV football package at $199. Ugh.
The flooring was about $2500.
So time to add some extra dough into our joint account.
Notice, I didn't say we had to stop spending or lower spending. Our joint account is low, not our own personal accounts.
Mimi's Dairy-O Pizza & Grill
Our rating 3.5 out of 5
PIZZA: Surprising good for the South. I haven't found a good crust anywhere other than NY/NJ area. I was also surprised that the pizza was so expensive. Cost almost $17. for a large with 2 toppings. They charge $2.00 for EACH topping whether it be onions or meat.
Isn't this a nice pizza box?

FRIED PICKLES: First time having these, so nothing to compare them to. I thought they were great!
ONION RINGS: I was told they were very good, but they were just average.
Yes, I would go there again because it's close and the food was good enough.
Great Value Gummy Bears (Walmart brand):
My rating 5 out of 5
I LOVE gummy bears. But don't like paying the price. I've tried a couple of off brands and some were horrible only good for the garbage and others were ok. But Walmart's gummy bears are great. I cannot tell the difference between them and the "real thing", Haribo brand.
At $1.00 for a 9 ounce bag, they are very affordable.

December Photo Project Day 7 - chotchkies

Day 7

Chotchkies make me happy.

Chotchkies: a word derived from the Yiddish language derogatorily describing a little decorative 'thing' of little or no purpose we love.

Pink Flamingos: 
     Pop Culture?
                Low life?
                    Poor taste?

I believe this lawn ornament was developed in the 50's. Beautifully landscaped lawns needed a lawn ornament to show your good taste. The pink flamingo became a symbol of status in that you owned your own home and took pride in your lawn.  Eventually, they were almost non-existent and were considered poor taste and an eyesore. During this time people would put them on fueding neighbors lawns as an insult.  Also, this was a great fundraising project. The flamingos were put on lawns and you had to donate money to the charity to get it removed.
Somehow, in the 90's to present day, the pink flamingo has made a major comeback as well as the glass orbs for the lawn.

So although, I would not have a pink flamingo on my lawn, they do bring out a smile. Of course I will be the first person to have a dog peeing statue on my lawn.

Do you love or hate them?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December Photo Project Day 6 - Crafting

Day 6

Crafting & meeting fellow crafters...
makes me happy.
So? What is it? Upon entering the laundromat, I saw a woman crocheting. Being a fellow crocheter, was my opportunity to start a conversation. Normally, I would just ignore people in the laundromat. I asked if she was crocheting a "scrubbie". She said yes and from there we didn't stop talking until it was time to leave.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's good to be home!

Rutherfordton, NC 28139
While our RV flooring is being installed, we are staying in an RV rental unit. No matter where we are, the dogs steal our seats.

RV MODS: The flooring is complete!!!! and we can move back into our Silverback.
 Total cost $2600.00
 $1100.00 for flooring material + $1500.00 ($1200. labor +$300. misc. material) I have no idea if that is a good or bad price. We simply felt this was the best opportunity. We found someone we trusted & we had a convenient place to stay with the dogs while our RV was unlivable.
Left carpet, Right old kitchen vinyl


Chris of Doc's RV Repair & Restoration took 8 days to complete this project. He was working by himself and most days were only about 5-6 hours.
We are thrilled with the end result. Although I now have to sweep at least  2x's a day. I've also got to pick up some kind of swiffer mop/broom. We gave our Orek vacuum cleaner to The Kingdom, since we don't have any carpet anymore. Thank goodness we have the built in dustpan in our rv. 

Love this product so far. There is a touch of "give" or cushion. This  feels better underfoot than hard vinyl flooring. the dogs don't slip on it like a Pergo type laminate, and it is quieter than laminate, we don't hear the dogs  claws clicking as they walk.
Because of the fiberglass layering/plies, this does not feel cold when the temperatures drop.
This product is more flexible also. 
Here's some info I took off the internet...
Mannington's Sobella™ flooring offers comfort, style and durability thanks to its flexible fiberglass core, which provides (quite literally) a cushion of support underfoot.  The fiberglass is softer and more flexible than traditional "felt backed" resilient flooring, which makes it soft on your feet as well as easier to install.

And it's easy to care for, easy to clean, and easy to live with.  Like all Mannington hard-surface flooring, Sobella™ won't trap dust, pet dander or other allergens, so it contributes to good indoor air quality for your family.  Most spills clean up with just soap and water, and regular cleaning is as easy as sweeping up with a microfiber cloth duster. Relatively new to the flooring industry, fiberglass flooring has become a fan favorite for its versatility, durability, beauty, and comfort.

What is FiberFloor?
FiberFloor is a new kind of resilient flooring. Relatively new to the flooring industry, fiberglass flooring has become a fan favorite for its versatility, durability, beauty, and comfort. Fiber Floors combine a cushiony feel with carefree maintenance and exceptional durability. A unique balanced construction allows the floor to lay flat and stay flat. No glue required!

1) Finish Layer- Protects against scratches, scuffs and stains for easy cleaning and maintenance.

2) Wear layer- Prevents wear, rips, tears, gouges and indentations.

3) TechniCore foam Layer – Adds cushion and additional indentation protection, creating warmth and comfort underfoot.

4) Engineered Fiberglass Inner Layer – Utilizes woven fibers so it lays flat and wont expand or contract for increased stability.

5) TechniCore Backing Layer – Allows high flexibility, easy installation and a moisture and sound resistant barrier for added performance.

December Photo Project Day 5-Man's Best Friend

Day 5

Man's Best Friend makes me happy!
This is not one of our dogs. But I can be touched by the beauty in the canine form, and particularly the feeling that evolve when I see certain dogs that look so regal, or wise, or sweet, or needy.
This particular photo gives me the feeling of security. 
His name is Gentry. He looks strong, wise, & loyal. 
He gives me the feeling of being safe in his presence. That he would protect me to the death, sort of like the hero in women's romance novels. It's a very contented feeling.

Most dogs in general, whether a specific breed or generic (mutt), give me comfort. 
I never had kids and never wanted them. Animals are the only being that bring out my maternal instinct. 

Gentry is a 2 year old Beauceron. He is bred and owned by Chris, who is replacing our carpeting with  vinyl/fiberglass flooring. He's brought a couple of his dogs over a few times. 

Learn about the BEAUCERON  breed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dirty Dancing

Rutherfordton, NC 28139

Our workamping at Four Paws Kingdom has come to an end. We are still staying here for a few days, so if they need something done, we are still here.
Below are out "tools of the trade" for this workamp position.
On left are work gloves that Scott wore. On the right is the rubber glove I wore. The ladies had it so much easier than the men. The guys mowed lawns, stacked firewood, moved equipment, etc. The ladies cleaned bathrooms that never had a chance to get dirty and rental cabins and rental RV's. I'm glad we volunteered for this, but am also glad to be done. I like having all my time to myself. I'll admit it, I am selfish with my time. Over 30 yrs of working full time, I am now enjoying all my free time and don't want to give it up.
It was great working with fellow workampers, Don & Pat. Don would start earlier than required and do more than was required. Pat was always doing a check of the bathrooms to ensure all was clean. They were also the "camp host" until they left. They then passed the position to us.
 Of course by the time the sign was put on our site, the campground was closed!  I'm glad we could ease up some of their work load for the last 3 months of their 1.5 yr unplanned commitment. 
What's wrong with this picture????
The closed sign on the left is Four Paws Kingdom sign. The sign on the right is the local church that allows Four Paws to post their normal sign showing name and distance of campground. The Four Paws Kingdom sign is to be covered during their closed season.
Unfortunately, it sort of looks like the church is closed for the season? The holiday season? Huh? The sign was corrected as soon as we were aware of this oopsy!

Scott saves the day...season!
I had the pleasure of doing a favor for Birgit (co-owner of The Kingdom). They were going to be out for most of the day and asked me to let her adorable Corgi's out. Being the multi-tasker that I am, I decided to walk my own dogs down to their house and let Devin run off some energy in their yard, while letting Lucy & Belle (the Corgi's) have their time out also.

 The photo above is the doggie door I blocked with a sign, a box of firewood and a hunk of tree trunk. Beyond that doggie door is a dog's dream...the camp store with lots of smelly, yummy dog treats. Doggie tacos! Bully sticks! Tripe roll ups! Devin is "saying",
"Oh why, why is the doggie door blocked? I NEED those good smelly things on the other side!"
Lyla is out of camera view and moaning, longing to get to the treats also.
Success & Satiated!
"Ahh, never fear dear sister, I'll get to those treats!"
Yes, Devin moved the hunk of wood and moved the sign and yes, they both squeeeeezed through that itty bitty little Corgi sized dog door!

Lake Lure Inn, Lake Lure, NC
My rating 3.5 out of 5, but everyone else in the group I'm sure would rate it 4 to 4.5.
We finally made it to the 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa, for their Sunday brunch. This is a lovely building, beautifully decorated. Dining areas in multiple different rooms. I like that the tables are well spaced so we can't hear the conversations of the next table. It almost felt like you were in someone's formal dining room. A very pleasant atmosphere.

The buffet was beautifully displayed and all items clearly labeled.
CARVING STATION WITH HAM AND PRIME RIB: I did not have this but everyone in our party said the price was worth it just for the prime rib. Another guest said that prime rib was the main course and all the other items were just sides...if you have room.
OMELET STATION: Made to order omelets, with a large variety of add ins. Always a good choice.
Lunch items included, Beef Burgundy?, garlic mashed potatoes, creamed cabbage, broccoli casserole. I found everything average. I loved the creamed cabbage, but I think that is because I never had it and was pleasantly surprised.
Breakfast items: French toast, biscuits & gravy, applewood bacon, sausage, cheese grits. These too seemed just average. The cheese grits were very good.
Deserts: Assorted cakes & pies displayed beautifully. I tried 4 different items.
RED VELVET CAKE: Sub-par. Cake was fair. I like a dense, moist cake. This was somewhat dry. The big disappointment was that the icing was just a shortening/confectioner's sugar icing, not even buttercream or cream cheese icing that is the norm.
COCONUT PIE: Very little coconut and the custard was beyond bland.
CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING: This was good. Not too too sweet, but rich dark chocolate and creamy dark, chocolate icing.
CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN: Beautiful chocolate fountain with pound cake, strawberries, pineapple, cookies, etc to dip in the fountain.
Lake Lure is a beautiful little town. Lake Lure and the surrounding homes on the lake remind me of New England.
Lake Lure is also where part of the movie,  Dirty Dancing was filmed. In fact, the Lake Lure Inn auxiliary buildings were where Johnny's & Baby's cabins were.

I believe this dance scene was also done on the Lake Lure Inn property. Notice the same placement of windows.

Our Travels