Thursday, May 29, 2014

Loving Tennessee

May 19 - June 1, 2014 (2 weeks)

The above statement pretty much sums up our lives. Although, I can't really do absolutely nothing in reality. But, just being with my husband, Scott and each doing what we enjoy is heaven.
Scott's man corner playing tank games
I've noticed how our RV life has changed. We are still very happy with this RV life. I'm thrilled that we have been able to fulfill our dream. Many people wish they could do what we are doing, but either both parties don't agree, or money is an issue, or you don't want to leave the grandkids or other family members. I have been very lucky in that Scott and I are usually on the same page.
Even now as we think about ending our RV life, we both feel a sense of bitter-sweetness. Both of us usually only make changes when we really hate something. We both stick with the same jobs, until we hate that position and move to a new position. I worked midnights for 10 years and loved it. But then for about 6 months things seemed to change and I dreaded that shift. That is when I changed jobs in the Post Office. We were both ecstatic to sell our NJ house. We hated NJ taxes and our cramped house and our close neighbors. 
So it is somewhat difficult and makes us doubt our decision to purchase a house again, when we are still ok with the RV life. But, our RV life has changed. We are no longer anticipating new places to see. We dread moving. We've seen a good portion of the USA. Our goal was to see the Pacific NW, which we did and we loved the experience. If we continue FT RV'ing, we'll definitely head back there. We've seen the rocky SW and I've had enough of that. I'm fine with never returning. Our plans are to see the Upper Peninsula this summer. Wisconsin, Michigan...but if we miss it, that's ok. We would have liked to go to Alaska, but if we miss it, that's ok.
Because of the miserable Winter we experienced in the SW, we've learned to be content inside our RV and that has made us happy in our space, meaning, we are both fine staying at the RV park and never venturing out except for food supplies. So between very little urge to sightsee and the unhappiness of moving, that is why we've decided to look to purchase a house. 

 We usually keep to ourselves, but I do look to see if other bloggers are in the same RV park or nearby. RVillage is a great resource to see who else is in the same park as you. Unfortunately, so far, we have been the only ones listed in the parks we've been at.  
A Montana 5th wheel pulled in the other day and then pulled out in the morning. Then later in the morning, I see a tow truck pulling a pick up truck pulling a 5th wheel...a Montana 5th wheel. Hmmm, sad, I guess they broke down. We then see the tow truck drive away with the pick up truck. Oh no! We know that feeling being stuck for 3 weeks with no vehicle while our engine was being replaced! I just HAD to go over there to offer our services. If they needed to go into town, we'd be happy to take them. Of course they broke down over Memorial Day weekend, so they were stuck here until at least Tuesday. 
Buster and Jane? no, June? no, I KNOW her name starts with a "J"! I think it's Judy! They are from NC and were on their way back home when the breakdown occurred. I think they felt a little better when we told them our $14,000K engine story. Then $4K didn't sound so bad. 
Scott & Buster took a trip to Walmart for supplies. Scott stopped at a farmer's stand so Buster could pick up a watermelon which they shared with us during "happy hour". No seed spitting contests, but Lyla sure enjoyed catching some pieces of watermelon.
Buster is hoping the truck will be ready on Friday to enable their departure for home on Saturday. "Only" a week's delay. Still better than our 3 weeks delay in miserable Stockton, TX.
While I was out walking the dogs, Carol from 5th Wheel Wanderings blog stopped by to introduce herself and give us their card. She said she follows our blog and wondered how our house hunting is going. I had heard of their blog, but I only regularly follow 3 or 4 blogs. 
Since Buster & Judy and John & Carol were all close to our site, I figured I'd invite them over for happy hour tonight. Now to just get the courage up to ask. I don't want anyone to feel like they HAVE to come by, but yet I don't like to be rejected even if they have a good excuse. So as I get up the courage to go over to invite them over later in the afternoon...they are gone! I guess that's a very good excuse and I don't feel rejected. 

As I type this blog post, I'm outside on this overcast day having my 2nd cup of coffee with some added incentive in it...Kahlua and ID Cinnabon creamer. Yum! I should do this (both) more often. I am so attached to my computer, that if it is too bright out in the morning, I can't see my screen., so I stay inside until I've had enough of computer time. I can imagine myself on a covered porch regularly having my morning coffee, then my mid-morning 2nd cup, then early afternoon tall glass of iced water, then mid afternoon adult beverage. While enjoying these beverages, I alternate from computer work, to knitting, to reading. And that dream may happen sooner than we thought!
We saw this mod while in NJ a few months back.

How adorable (off the net)
I lied. I thought our house hunting was over until the Fall. We both had a sense of relief that we were once again free to just be FT RV'rs. But, I received an email from the realtor, stating a house we almost put a bid on was reduced in price! Fine, but we decided against the house. But the price was reduced by $30K!!!!!! Either she is desperate to sell or they found something majorly wrong. Yep, a major faux pas. The owner had an appraiser in to do comps in the area. She had the house way overpriced for the area!!!!! So this house at $180K was out of the question, but this house at $150K may not be so bad. This is the gray house I showed in the previous post. We LOVE the property. It's a mixture of lawn, forest and even lakefront in the rear of the property, past the forest area. 7 acres which is not too much to handle. So even though the house is smaller than we liked and a 4 years older than our cutoff, and it is not a completely open concept, we decided to take a second look. What a difference the second look makes. As I walked in, I imagined myself walking into our house. What was the feeling I was getting? Cramped? Happy? Cluttered? Work to be done? Nope, I felt good! Now into the kitchen. Even though it's not completely open, it is not a completely separate room either. Comfortable, lots of cabinets. Although some may feel it needs updating, we do not bow down to the masses of needing granite counters, stainless steel appliances (ugh), etc.
Living room? Bigger than I remembered. Sit down and make myself at home. Yep, this could work. Now down the hallway (I hate hallways). The guest room is fine. The bathroom is fine. The hallway walk in closet is wider than I thought and now I think Scott could be happy with his little man cave. Down to the master bedroom. Again, bigger than I remembered. we measured the bed and it is a King size with still plenty of room. Hmmm. Looking good!
There is no basement, but there are 3 large detached garages, two that are insulated. I think one would make a great place for foster dogs that need to be separated and also be my craft area. The other garage could be for our woodworking. Yep, I think this will work.
So the bid is in and we are waiting for a response. So Carla of Cozy Be Gone, you CAN come and visit Tennessee because there is room for the RV!!!! And Susan of Beluga's Excellent Adventure, I'll have Gin & Tonics waiting for you on our covered porch. And of course, Merikay of Merikay's Dream may want to stop by too!
I'll keep you posted.
One of the newer duties I've taken on for our dog rescue is to send out ID tags and now microchips. The ID tags come with coil rings separately. When I send these tags to foster homes, I attached those rings to the ID tags. I don't keep my fingernails manicured or long, but they are not stubs either. But they are very soft...always have been. So to attach these rings using my nails is useless. I've used a butter knife in the past.

But, I came across this great little lifehack (tip). Use a staple puller to spread and hold apart the rings. I just happen to have TWO staple pullers. Why would I bring two staple pullers in an RV? Because I have a "thing" for office/school supplies. To this day, I love walking through office supply stores and I love back to school season, so I can see all the new pens, pencils, notebooks that have come out. That's a little something, not many people know about me. I have a difficult time not picking up some markers or a fresh notepad, even though I don't need any.
Back to the life hack. The staple puller works great. I highly recommend you try to remember this to save your nails.

A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #2)A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun series, set in the 1930's in England.This is a transition period where there are still aristocrats with family money and then there are those that still have the title, but not the money to go with it.
An over the hill, 22 yr old single woman, with a title but no money. She continues to think about her virginity, her independence, potential husbands, potential careers. She is resourceful and we are now getting to know her friends, relatives, acquaintances.
Fun characters, some mystery, a touch of romance.
A nice lite read.

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland KidnappingsFinding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings by Michelle Knight
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I first saw Michelle Knight on Dr. Phil. Michelle was held captive for 11 years. Raped multiple times daily, chained, starved, battered. This is her story prior to the abduction, during and now.
It is written just as if she is talking to you. No embellishing, just matter of fact.
I bought the book to show my support. She is a strong woman. I hope she is doing well.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

In a good place

May 19 - June 1, 2014 (2 weeks)

Yes, we're in a good Tennessee, decent RV park.  The owners of this park are one of the nicest owners we've met. The But there is so much green space just a few feet away, that it makes up for the lack of site space.
This is right across from our site. Normally there are no tents, but being Memorial Day Weekend, it's expected. Even though the weather has been in the high 80's to mid 90's, there is a wonderful breeze.  I've spent many an hour in the Gazebo protected from the sun and enough shade to see my computer screen. Shade, breeze, electric and a gin & tonic. Ahhhh. Yep, in a good place.
Yes, we're in a good place. We've been looking at houses in the NW area of Tennessee. Not as much available, but the rolling hills are much more to our liking than the steep hills in Eastern Tennessee.
We were interested in two houses.
$180K 7 acres 
The above property was so well kept. The property absolutely beautiful and private. A huge covered porch, lots of woods, 3 beautiful garages. But the 1500 sq. ft. inside layout was really odd. A master bath with no toilet. Also, I think they eliminated a bedroom to make 2 walk in closets, one for the master bedroom and one that is off the hallway. Odd. Scott's "man cave" computer room would have been in the hallway walk in closet.
$209K 13 acres
The above house we felt really comfortable in. But comfortable is not "love". There was a large portion of the back yard fenced in, which would be great for the dogs. Move in ready. This also had 3 garage/storage areas. Difficult internet connectivity was a deal breaker for Scott. And since we are in no hurry or NEED to buy, comfortable vs. "gotta have it" is not enough to make us stop traveling.
So we are free for the summer and will be heading to the Upper Peninsula in July. Anyone heading that way??? Ahhh, yep, we're in a good place.
Yes, I'm in a good place. I'm in a green area, I'm busy, but not stressed. I'm still really busy with data keeping for the rescue. The dogs in need never end. Just like when I worked at the Post Office. You get the mail out for that day, but come back the next day and have to do it all over again. It just keeps coming and unwanted dogs keep being born and in need of homes.

Now that our house hunting is on hold until Fall, we are excited to really relax. Well, maybe I can relax.
Don't think because we live in a RV, there are no "honey-do" lists. The list on the right are things I could do, but my excuse is that Scott took my little compartment "suitcase" with screws, nails, etc. I used to keep it on my side of the basement for quick fixes. But Scott took it over and it's now on his side of the basement. He knows where his stuff is and I know where my stuff is. So, because I don't have my hardware supplies, the honey-do's are Scott's responsibility. That sounds reasonable...right??
Not much going on in this department. I think it is my fault. I've been harping about the big thing I miss while RV'ing is a larger kitchen. Between the hot weather and my complaints, Scott has not been interested in cooking...yes, he's the cook in this household. His non-cooking is good for me. I'm the type to fix something quick and easy and on hand. Last night for dinner, I had steamed broccoli, an ear of fresh corn on the cob, and some cottage cheese. I was satisfied. Maybe this will be a Scott no-cook diet!

While I was viewing a website I glance at often, She mentioned Utah Fry Sauce. I forgot about that! During our travels, while visiting Idaho, we were introduced to Fry Sauce. I was visiting a Postal Worker friend. We all went out to lunch. We all ordered fries. The waitress asked if we wanted fry sauce. Huh? Excuse me? What did she say/mean? My friend, Don looked at me like I'd lost my mind. Fry sauce is more popular than ketchup I think in this area of the country. So, sure, we'll try it. Yum. It's basically ketchup and mayo mixed together. Recipe below.

Utah Fry Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup (roughly a 2 to 1 ratio)
1/2 tsp onion powder
3 to 4 tsps. pickle juice (add one tsp. at a time & check for taste)

Mix together in small bowl. Eat.

While in Sevierville a few weeks back, we were driving through town and look what we saw driving next to us?!
Google Maps Street View camera!
Google street view is really, really cool! I just checked out our old house in NJ. We haven't been back since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. We wondered if our trees survived and if there was any damage.

Here's the Google Street View of our former house in NJ.  The tree in the back yard I was concerned about is still there. Check out the full 360° view here.
So all in all, life is at a good place for us.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cabin on the Hill....cancelled.

May 12 - 18, 2014
Parnell Creek RV Park - Woodville, AL
Not too many things keep me awake at night. Even when I tell Scott that I'm wide awake and hope I can get to sleep, I roll over and within 2-3 minutes I'm out!
If you read my last post, we put a bid on a beautiful log home. 15 acres, but a driveway so steep, we can't get our pick up truck up to the house.
I put the bid in via email about 5pm. I kept thinking about it and thinking about it. Why don't I feel excited about this? The last house we bid on, we were looking forward to the possibility of moving in. But I just felt really scared this time around. Something is just not right. 
So I keep 

thinking and ...

thinking and...

oops, my mind started to wander! So sorry!

Next thing I know, Scott is asleep (I am usually asleep first) and it's 2:30am!!!! I'm usually asleep by 11pm. Obviously, I'm not happy with this decision.
I open up my email and send a notice to rescind the bid. Almost immediately after sending that, I felt better. A little sad, because we loved the house, but knew the property was not right for us. Later that day, Scott admitted he feels good about cancelling the bid.
So we are free again, for now. We may look at a house on the lake next week, but after that, we'll reconsider in the Fall. I think I just had a very difficult Winter. I love snow and don't mind cold weather, BUT NOT IN AN RV.
Even in New Mexico this past Winter, we had some snow and almost every night had to disconnect the water line because the temperatures were going to go below freezing.
Then we traveled through, or tried to travel through Texas on our way to see a house we had been watching for 2 months. We were delayed for 3 weeks in Texas because we needed a new engine. Because of that delay, we were the 3rd bidder on this house/property we had been drooling over. Not meant to be. Maybe now that I'm over that Winter slump and everything is green again, I'm having a bit of a renewed love affair with full timing.
I plan on making reservations for a couple of months through this coming Winter in Florida...probably Cedar Key. I also hope we will finally start staying places longer.

This week we are enjoying the company of fellow Cedar Creek RV owners and some S.O.B.'s! Yep, I called them S.O.B.'s! Don't be so quick to judge. This is the Cedar Creek RV Owners Club, therefore you should own a Cedar Creek RV. But as time goes by, we sometimes upgrade, or go smaller or even buy another brand! Tsk! Tsk! That's why they are S.O.B.'s. They own Some Other Brand of RV. We welcome them with open arms. They have become friends and a brand should not segregate us.
There have been some group touristy things to join in, but we are neither touristy, nor enjoy large groups, so we are just hanging around the park for the most part. This is a really great group of people. Plus there is a wealth of knowledge among all of these CC owners. I would encourage you to look to see if your RV brand/model has a club. It's nice to gather together with something in common and make new friends and meet up occasionally here and there for rallies.We'll be in Branson, MO at the end of June for the CCRVOC (Cedar Creek RV Owners Club) international rally.
This is the End 
Comedy 2013
My rating 2 out of 5
Seth Rogan
Jonah Hill
James Franco
Six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange, apocalyptic events devastate Los Angeles. The actors play themselves and there are other cameos in the beginning of the movie.
As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.
I think the guys may enjoy this more than the girls. Pretty raw, gross, shocking scenes of how guys act amongst themselves. Well, some guys, maybe guys in high school.
I watched it simply because I was on the computer and Scott had it on.
Western Sizzlin - Scottsboro, AL
My rating 2.5 out of 5
A decent sized buffet style dining. You can also order a meal off the menu. We chose the buffet. Most items were so-so. The only item I thought was very good was the meatloaf. The worst item was the mashed potatoes. Instant potatoes have improved a lot in the last few years and with a little doctoring up, them can be quite tasty. These instant mashed potatoes were horrible. Seemed to be made with water only and no butter or seasoning added except on top.
Salad bar had much to be desired. Dessert bar was fair. The soft serve "ice cream" was some kind frozen ice milk. I enjoyed the bread pudding which had some coconut added to it.
We were a group of 20 people and the waitress, Linda was wonderful.
I would not return. Where is a Golden Corral to teach this place a thing or two?
Showtime had a free preview weekend and Scott goes bonkers DVR'ing movies. There was a "History of the Eagles" (the band, not the bird) documentary on in two parts. The first part spanned from the beginning of their careers until they broke up. The second part was the reunion 14 years after the split and until present. Really, really interesting! Besides being drunk and high and jerks in their younger years, they really had talent. The documentary showed some of their jam sessions and how they harmonized and composed. It takes work, it does not just happen. I didn't realize how much I enjoy their music & voices.
Watch this documentary on line.

I turn on the tube and what do I see?
A whole lotta people cryin, Don't blame me
They point their crooked little fingers at everybody else
Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
Victim of this, victim of that
Your mamas too thin and your daddys too fat

Get over it!
Get over it!
All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin a fit
Get over it! Get over it!

You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash
But you might feel better if they gave you some cash
The more I think about it old Billy was right
Lets kill all the lawyers, kill em tonight
You don't wanna work, you wanna live like a king
But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing

Get over it!
Get over it!
If you don't wanna play then you might as well split
Get over it! Get over it!

Its like goin' to confession every time I hear you speak
Youre makin' the most of your losin' streak
Some call it sick but I call it weak, yeah yeah yeah

Yeah you drag it around like a ball and chain
You wallow in the guilt, you wallow in the pain
You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
Got your mind in the gutter, bringin' everybody down
You bitch about the present and blame it on the past
Id like to find your inner child and kick its little ass!

Get over it!
Get over it!
All this bitchin and moanin and pitchin a fit
Get over it! Get over it!

Get over it!
Get over it!
Its gotta stop sometime so why don't you quit?
Get over it! Get over it!

Get over it!

Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Don Henly/Glenn Frey/Eagles, Universal Music Publishing Group

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cabin on the Hill

Riverside RV Resort - Sevierville, TN

We've spent just about $1000. on fuel this past month. Ugh! Delaware to Tennessee via West Virginia. Then riding around the Eastern part of Tennessee looking at houses. We used our truck and not the realtor's vehicle. Then unexpectedly back up to Delaware/New Jersey for Scott's Dad's funeral. And then returning to Tennessee to see the cabin we are interested in.
So much for not traveling much. We still have not settled into longer stays in one place.

What will Scott do if we move into a house that is secluded? Scott's morning entertainment while his coffee is brewing is to look out the windows and comment on our neighbors. Whether it be their rig, activity, pets, set up, attire, etc. He's not being negative, just giving me a running commentary on what he observes. I have no interest in this and just let him jabber on.
Today we took a second look at the Cabin on the Hill. On second look, I still love the house. It's actually quite simple. A large living room in the middle, a bedroom on the left and a 2nd bedroom on the right. The Kitchen behind the living room. Then there is a loft. That's it for the main living area. I like the simplicity of it. Very large rooms, except for the kitchen. The kitchen doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the house. But it is nice enough.
But then there is the walk in/out basement/garage. There is a 3rd bedroom down there.  All bedrooms have their own bathroom. The garage is extra large with enough space for two cars and plenty of storage, or workshop area.
The driveway is so steep, the truck couldn't make it all the way up.
Covered decking all along the main level. French doors from bedroom to outside.

Living room

What a view
We put in a bid for it. But I'm more scared than excited. Maybe we're not ready to settle down. I just think of all the furniture we'll need to buy. Goodwill here I come!
This property is 15 acres, but it's on a mountain, so not much is really usable. The good is that it is low maintenance since it is 98% woods. The bad is all this property and we'll only really use a small portion. The good is that the 15 acres will give us LOTS of privacy!
I think in my heart, I hope we don't get it. I didn't want to compromise and here I am compromising because there is not enough flat area for an RV. 15 acres and we can't even keep our RV on our property. That also means no RV friends driveway docking. But, I sold a house in my early years because I thought if I moved closer to my friends, they'd visit more. Didn't happen. I sold a great house and bought a "cozy" house that I ended up hating. Big mistake. So I don't want to decide on a house in hopes that people will visit.

NOS4A2NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Creepy story, creepy narrator. The author, Joe Hill is Stephen King's son. Their writing style is similar. His father draws things out to the point of being boring. I have given up on Stephen King books.
NOS4A2 (Nosferatu, similar to a vampire)took a while for me to get involved in, but I eventually got hooked and wanted to know what is going on? Children being abducted? murdered? Children lured by the chance to go to "Christmas Land".
What's going on with the main female character? Is she crazy? or does she have special powers?
This tale has the creepiness of the clown in "It" by Stephen King. A clown should be a happy character, just as "Christmas Land" should be a Disney like place.
The narrator was perfect for this story. She has a raspy voice that added to all the creepiness.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

House Hunting

Staunton/Walnut Hill KOA - Staunton, VA
One of the very nice things about full time RV'ing is meeting up with old and new friends. Earlier in the week, we met up with Ray and Linda. We met them via the Cedar Creek RV Owner's Group. Ray has taken a liking to me. I guess sometimes I can be sociable and nice enough for people to want to meet up again. We went out to Golden Corral and made pigs of ourselves. Golden Corral is buffet style, so as we would go up to choose what we wanted, Ray would pass by the dessert section and pick up a little fudge and pop in his mouth on the way to the main courses.
I like to eat dessert first to make sure I have room! Thank you Ray & Linda for good food, good company and for treating us!
Later in the week, I met up with a friend I've only known from emails and one phone conversation. Rick was a volunteer for Above & Beyond English Setter Rescue. He still has a couple of foster dogs that need homes. We ate outside under our RV awning. I made chicken and beef fajitas. Yum! Rick's fiance' Nancy? brought dessert of home made 5 flavor pound cake. Oh--my--gosh!!! It was soooo good! Lemon, coconut, butter, vanilla and forgot the 5th flavor. Moist, dense, wonderful! She was gracious enough leave the balance of the pound cake for us. Oh what a wonderful "getaway" and pound cake.
Speaking of foster dogs needing homes. Below are the two foster dogs that Rick is caring for that need a forever home.


Ella is a 7 ½ year old, beautiful Tri color English Setter girl being fostered in TN.  She is spayed, weighs approximately 50 pounds and would be considered medium build.  She is a very sweet girl with a gentle nature and tender feelings.
Ella is slightly dominant and she will defend herself if challenged.  She is protective of what she feels is hers.  Ella needs an experienced owner that will allow her to be herself, but not allow her to take run of the house. Even though Ella has a gentle nature and tender feelings, she can get pushy.  She needs an adopter that will be consistent in letting her know what is and is not acceptable behavior, in a firm, yet gentle manner.
She currently lives with other dogs in her foster home and does well if the dogs are submissive; however, there are two dominant males that she does not interact with.  Ella is curious about other dogs, but she doesn’t understand that it is not acceptable to get in another dogs face right away.
Outside, this girl will go after anything that moves.  If it jumps, flies, scurries or blows in the wind, she feels it is her duty to pursue further investigation. Inside, her activity level is somewhat lower, but does enjoy hunting houseflies.  No cats for Ella either, that is another critter to add to her list of fun things to chase.
Ella has completed a beginning obedience class; however, she was on “Ella time” and took her own sweet time in displaying her talents.  Eventually, she caught on to most everything.
Ella does a “grooming” type of nibble, as a sign of affection, when she is excited or happy to see you.  She is an intelligent, eager to please girl that learns quickly.  Ella likes kids, but might be too high energy for toddlers. A fence of some type is required for this girl.


Lou is an 8 year old, Blue Belton English Setter being fostered in TN.  He is neutered and he would be considered a medium built setter.  Lou is a loving and affectionate boy.  He has developed a love for toys and he enjoys playing with them.
If you like all the attributes of a Bench setter, but don’t have the room for a larger setter, Lou might be the guy for you.  Lou has the attitude, disposition and even the “trot” of a Bench, but he is about 20 lbs lighter.
 Lou gets along well with most dogs, but he is also a dominant dog.  His easy nature makes his dominance so subtle, that you would have to sit and observe his behavior to even notice it.  Lou can be aggressive towards other male dogs, and if challenged by male or female, he will not back down.  However, Lou is much more interested in playing and just having a good time, then he is about fighting.
Lou is well behaved and curious; he is sweet and loves attention.  Lou also likes to help with laundry chores so you will need to monitor your clothes baskets and any front loading washers or dryers.  Wouldn’t it be nice if he could be trained to fold the clothes?
At one point Lou was a climber and a fence jumper.  The tree he climbed was cut down and he has not attempted to climb other trees.  Lou’s foster dad had to move and he now has a 4 foot chain link fence in his backyard – Lou has not made any effort to jump or climb the fence.
Lou is a “nibbler” when he wants attention or gets excited.  This is not an aggressive behavior on his part, he simply wants you or wants to share something with you that is exciting to him.  Even though he has this behavior, Lou is great with kids.
No kitties for this guy as he would more than likely think they were part of his toy collection.
If you are interested in adopting either of these babies, please fill out an adoption application.
What to do? Do we compromise?
We've looked at a few houses and TRIED to look at some houses in the Sevierville area. This is definitely a hilly area. These are not rolling mounds, but steep property leading up to the house. One day we were only able to see one house out of four because we couldn't get to the other three because the gravel driveways were so steep, we just kept spinning tires. Our realtor has had to get two new tires since taking us out.
I think I've narrowed it down, to definitely a log home, or at least the inside should look like a log house. We really prefer a more rustic look.
The photo below is very rustic, but that is what we like. See the porch posts are kept in the natural state of the tree? We like that. This house was located on "White Lightnen" Dr. The owner built the house out of mainly trees cleared off his land. Unfortunately, it was very small with additional rooms added that were not attached to the house. It was a beautiful piece of property.

This was a cute house with 6.6 acres and only $145K. You're seeing the sun room. We really liked this house. The main level was small, but open enough to feel comfortable. It had a walk out basement which I want for the dogs. BUT, there was a house within spitting distance. The owner built the neighboring house for their son to live in. Deal breaker. No neighbors that close.

This house has torn us apart. 10 Acres, well built. Nice property with mountain views.
 Stone flooring, front and back covered porches. Lots of trees.
 Open floor plan, outside is bug resistant hickory. Huge master bedroom with french doors to back porch. Two walk in closets off the master bedroom. Spa bath, plus a nice 2nd bathroom. But...
...what is up with the second floor? This walkway spans to each end of the house. A very large room on one side and a smaller room on the other with a 1/2 bath.
The downside is there is no basement. I really want the basement for foster dogs, storage, etc. Sure we could use this second floor for this, but inside the house, it has to be kept more clean and maintained. A basement, even though finished, can be more casual aka sloppy, dusty, etc.
The other downside, is this is in a community with an HOA (Home Owner's Assoc.), which means RULES. In NJ, the HOA rules are absolutely ridiculous. They rule every part of your household. What you can display in your yard. My yard art is whimsical, the NJ HOA would probably call it low-life, poor taste, etc. NJ HOA's have had lawsuits because no flags can be displayed, not even the American Flag. They have rules about size of animals, types of animals, or having any at all. Many times vehicles must be INSIDE the garage. Fahgettaboutit!
The HOA in TN isn't bad, but it is still rules put upon us on our own property. Only a certain type and amount of extra buildings. You can have a certain type of barn for your horses and a building to house your car, RV, etc. But it must be 3 sided with a door, which means enclosed. And all HOA's have an annual fee. In the case of the property in TN, it is a reasonable $275.00 per year and only raised once in 10 yrs. The bad side of the fee, is that our 10 acres is actually two lots, so we would pay $550. per year in fees. That's almost as much as our property tax. And what do we get for those fees? Maintenance of the GRAVEL roads. I would prefer paved. Snow removal, complimentary neighborhood cookouts. Maintenance and taxes for the common land and horse stalls. Yes, this is an equestrian community, so there is a community horse barn that you can keep your horse for $1.00 a day. That's GREAT IF, I had a horse.
There are parts of the house I love, but it is not THE house. Scott wants it, but I'm think I'm going to have to say no. What do you think???
We saw another PERFECT, yes PERFECT house in this same neighborhood. With this PERFECT house, I could probably compromise with the HOA, but the gravel driveway was so steep with hairpin turns, we almost couldn't get our truck up there. This property also had 10 acres, which means double HOA fees, but this property was mainly unusable except for an acre surrounding the house. The house, the view, the acre of yard was beautiful. When we looked through the house, I actually cried. I didn't think we could afford such a beautiful log home. But do I again compromise with the HOA and small unusable land?
Oh my gosh! So many DIY projects! Check out Ana-White. She is always updating and building things and she supplies multi-photo tutorials. I keep gathering her info for when we move into a house again.
This project has been two years in the making. I love "bed dolls". I think because I always wanted one as a child, but could never afford them. So the child in me still wants them.

 Also, if you've been reading my book reviews, I'm in a romance novel phase. I love the flowing dresses from the 1800's. Of course I wouldn't want to have to spend all that time preparing to wear them, and all the restrictive layers underneath, etc. But they are still beautiful. This outfit for a barbie like doll was tedious to make. And the accessories, I procrastinated with. I'd make just one part of the hat, then the next week or month, I'd add the decorative touches to the hat. Then I would make the shawl, another month later, I'd add the fringe to the shawl. I even made a parasol, but can't find where I stored it.
This isn't actually a bed doll, since I need a doll stand to keep her upright, but oh how I love the results.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

We love you Dad

April 21 - May 3, 2014
Riverside Rv Resort - Sevierville, TN

How did I ever have time to work full time???? We've been looking at houses, I've been entering info into a great new database for the dog rescue, knitting beaded lace  work for hours and now we're heading back to DE/NJ.
We had to cut our time here in Sevierville, TN short by 1 day. Scott's Father passed Friday night. He has battled with Alzheimer's for a couple of years and in the past 6 months it has become severe enough that he had to be in assisted living. Only a week ago, we found out he also had bladder cancer. Wally (Scott's Father) was well into his 80's and lived a full, happy, prosperous life up until the last couple of years.
This is the first of our parents to pass and it is a learning curve on how to feel and deal with this passing. For Wally, it was a blessing, because he was in a lot of pain, he was in a place he did not want to be. But it is still a loss of the strong man who brought Scott up. 
I just can't keep up with all the blogs and podcasts. I Heart Organizing is one I look at about once a week to see what new ideas and "honey-do's" she has posted. She's always changing, improving her home and trying to make the most of her space.
Look very carefully at this photo of Lyla below. 
What do you see besides a beautiful English Setter? Check out each corner of her mouth and follow the string of slime hanging down. The one on the left goes to about the ring of her collar. The one on the right goes all the way past the clasp, past the leather, all the way to near the bottom of the photo. See that brown blob? That is a leaf attached to the end of her slobber. You definitely can't be a clean freak and have dogs in the home.
What could she be slobbering about? Maybe she knows what is inside the package we received.

I love Lion Brand Homespun bulky yarn. I love the color combos, I love the mixture of textures, I love the feel, I love that it is machine wash & dry. This is the yarn I make dog sweaters out of. Since I haven't had a need to make any dog sweaters, I'm trying to use this yarn up.
I made a Garter Yoke Vest with 3 different skeins of Homespun. One was black, the next was a subtle black tweed and the third was a black & white tweed look. I like the way it turned out. I'm so damned fat, that even this simple top looks lousy on me. I'll wear it anyway. 
Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1)Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to the audiobook 4 years ago. I remember it was somewhat drawn out at first, but I ended up rating the audiobook version a 4. These are the times I'm glad my memory is lousy! As I began reading this book, it sounded familiar. The book starts out exciting. I remembered that, but I forgot most of the audiobook.
Serial murder mystery, with a touch of romance, a bit more gruesome torture and murder. Some dysfunctional families, but also some characters that really care and deal with the life they have been dealt. A good mystery. 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another story about an arranged marriage and the innocent young lady having to bed with a stranger that is her husband and supposed family foe. I never get tired of it.
Big strong scary Lord of the realm. Innocent, beautiful, fragile, but daft girl. What a Lord will do to keep peace. And so the story goes with first lovemaking, living in a strange land, making friends or are they still your enemies. A predictable Scottish romance, but still enjoyable. Take me away romance novels!

Our Travels