Monday, April 28, 2014

I'd rather be knitting

April 21 - May 4, 2014
Riverside Rv Resort - Sevierville, TN
"A bit of trash now and then is good for the severest reader. 
It provides the necessary roughage in the literary diet." 
RV LIFE, Catching up
Yep, I'd rather be knitting than typing this blog.  But, it has been a while and the longer I wait, the less I remember. Luckily, there hasn't been much going on to report. Life is just calm right now. THIS is how RV life should be. We have a 3/4 empty campground with a site along the Pigeon River. Nice!

Catch up:
Delaware, Mar 23 - April 15, 2014
She's lost that sparkle in her eye. She's getting old.

We spent over 3 weeks in Delaware and I did not venture up to my home town. I did not connect with my knitting friends, I did not connect with my former co-workers, I did not connect with my rescue friends, I did not even go North to visit my Brother. Nor did I bother passing by our former house to see what it looks like after Hurricane Sandy. But, my Brother did come down to Delaware to visit us. He also brought his constant companion, Poppy.
Poppy was a foster dog of mine, who we were thinking of keeping, but then one of my Eng Setter fosters was being returned. That would have put us at 5 dogs in a compact Cape Cod house. I felt that 4 was our limit. I asked my Brother, if he'd like to adopt Poppy. He had gotten to know her quite well from pet sitting and going to dog rescue events with me. He adopted her and they have been together ever since.
Of course, Scott & Rob discussed computer gaming. My Brother, Rob was a happy recipient of Scott's old and outdated (Scott's opinion) computer and has had upgrades since from Scott's old hardware.

We were in Delaware to see Scott's parents in South Jersey and help clear out his childhood home.
Scott's younger brother, Dan, his wife Keri, and their son,  Nat stopped by the RV one day to see our set up.
Nat & Dan
Dan is on the right, Nat is on the left in case you couldn't tell, since they both have facial hair. Doesn't Nate look more like a Luigi? Oh, those big brown eyes! He's a cutie!

While clearing out the attic, Scott reminisced when he saw childhood PJ's & toys. The attic was quite full... out of sight, out of mind.

Here are a few things we came across below...

Simple sewing machine

This machine is much easier to figure out than my touch screen computerized embroidery machine. I knew that I shouldn't take this because of lack of room...TWO sewing machines while living in an RV? It would be different if I used them often, but I rarely do. But oh the convenience of this little gem. I'll find room!
My Mother-in-Law's wedding dress and veil.
 My Father-in-Law's high school football helmet.

Lots & lots of suitcases. Pinterest has plenty of ideas for these.

West Virginia, April 16 - 20, 2014
We got a late start leaving Bear, DE and a 370 mile ride to WV. Ideally, we prefer 200-250 mile days, but there wasn't much between DE to WV. We prepare for the long drive with sandwiches, snacks, water, caffeine pills, audio books, crafts, & kindles. Oh what a long day for Scott, the driver. Like I said, we started out late, at about 11:30am. Then we hit construction backups, then we hit an accident backup. We recognized the red pick up truck that wast turned on it's side. This vehicle was speeding and weaving in and out of lanes. What a jerk. His/Her reckless actions caught up to him, but unfortunately, he involved another vehicle which was also overturned.
Planned to stop at a Pilot truck stop since we get such a great discount with our RV Plus Pilot/Flying J credit card. It's always an adventure getting diesel towing the 5th wheel behind us. Many times the RV spots don't leave enough room to comfortably turn around or maneuver, so we end up in the trucker's area. Sure enough, we go around and pull into the truck area that is backed up with semi's. Oooh, we see an open spot. I wonder why no one is in this one? The 3 lanes next to us are blocked with yellow tape. We pull up to the pump that is really no pump at all. There's a spot for the pump, but none there for now.  We circle around again and notice there are only two lanes open with a back up. The semi's take a long time to fill up. Scott decides to take his chances on finding diesel a little further down the road, which we did. All these delays to an already long travel day. We are finally getting close to our destination. We see a sign for the park, but there is a blue sign across it stating "closed". What??? We have reservations! We turn off the main road onto a side road for 12 miles that will lead to the Corps of Eng. campground. What a long 12 miles. Go up a hill, go down a hill, the GPS is saying "left curve ahead", then immediately "right curve ahead", then "winding road ahead". Well duh. I think we know that! Further and further we slowly drive away from civilization. I'm a nervous wreck and glad I'm not driving. There is no shoulder on this road and no room to spare if two trucks pass each other. A sign says 2 miles to go. Ah, that's good. No closed notice on this sign.
We arrive around 7pm. The gates are CLOSED! Oh no! It really is closed! Is there room to turn around? Where do we stay overnight. What a crappy day. Scott gets out to check the gates. Ha, ha, they got us! The gates were closed, but not locked. In we go.
Well, it turns out, that the campground IS closed! It is only open to volunteers helping to clean up for open season. The ranger stopped by the next day and laughed and said he looked up our reservation and it was fine. Just a glitch in the system and we got in, while others couldn't.

Coffee this morning (4/17/14)  outside. Although the temps dropped close to freezing just the night before, today the temps quickly warmed up to a pleasant 55° and sunny in the morning and 70° this afternoon. I had a lovely afternoon of reading and crafting.
Both Scott and I are on a somewhat "high". Scott was happy to be free of family commitments and I'm happy because he's happy.
We're staying at a very secret campground. I say secret, because we can't seem to find it listed on all the normal sites we look at to find RV Parks. We usually check RV Trip Wizard, RV Park Reviews, & Good Sam Club. Gerald Freeman COE in Sutton, WV. What a find! We are 20' from the water, pull through, well spaced sites. Across from the water is just woods, where we can spy on deer roaming in their natural environment and relaxed. The 3 geese that greeted us or more likely tried to get rid of us, are not very happy with Devin's presence. Upon Devin's arrival, they were honking and honking and finally took off and have not seen them nearby except for a fly by.
We're at another site with electric only...sigh. Internet is iffy. But oh the peace and the view is wonderful.

Catch up:
Cedar Key - FL, Mar 5 - 11, 2014
Lyla spots her first pelican!

Cedar Key is not only gaudy touristy, but it is a litte bit margaritaville and artsy.
This fisherman on the right is made out of chipped ceramics as is the fish he is attempting to reel in.
This piece of art is right next to the Cedar Key Arts Center, which is definitely a must see if you like local good quality crafts.

I'm not sure if I've shared this photo before...
I am on the left. There is no room in our king sized bed for Scott!
Her Royal Spyness (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #1)Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lighthearted murder mystery set in the 1930's (?). Georgiana is royalty...sort of. She is a "Lady" and is in line for the crown...34th in line. Georgiana is an independent, resourceful single woman and broke. She may not have money, but she has friends and her royal name to influence. This book is an easy and enjoyable read following Georgiana's adventures to make some money, to lose her virginity, to clear herself and her brother of murder charges.
A little comedy, a little mystery, a little romance. Very enjoyable read.

Highland SurrenderHighland Surrender by Tracy Brogan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent narration. I love listening to the Scottish accents.
A great romance also with mystery and suspense thrown in.
A marriage planned from birth to a family that you have been taught to hate.
Luckily, even though the family may be evil, his/her forced marriage is not what you'd expect. Husband & Wife have never met and have been growing up being taught to hate the other's family. How will the husband treat his new wife? Will the wife escape? Accept? Give in?
Why do the families hate each other?
Read this very enjoyable book to find out.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Very odd book. I almost quit 4 hours in. But because I was knitting while listening, I just let the audiobook continue. I'm glad I did.
The narration is lousy (the book version may be a better choice), BUT, that may be the way the author wanted it, since he was one of the narrators. Both female and male narrators were very monotone which added to this depressing story. Yes, be prepared, this is not a happy story in any way.
The book starts by describing the day to day lives of 2 totally different families. One is a military family escaped from Iran (naturalized US citizens). The other "family" is a recovering drug and alcohol addict, who's husband has left and she begins an affair with a married man.
We explore the lives, attitudes of all the characters and how they eventually merge together.
I found it interesting to listen to the lifestyle of the Iranians. Their thought process, the eating habits. (According to the book, when they drink tea, they put a sugar cube in their mouth, sip the tea and slurp is through the sugar cube. I'll have to try that.)
Trouble begins with a mistake on the city tax office's part. From their is a whirlwind of errors, misunderstanding, stubbornness that all escalates and merges these two families together forever. Unfortunately, the merge is by way of a totally downward spiral. One action leads to another, etc.
It reminds me of the movie "Falling Down", starring Michael Douglas, or a darker type of "Thelma and Louise".
I first rated this only 3 stars, but after writing this review, I have to increase the rating to 4 stars.

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