Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Etowah, TN

I couldn't wait to post. I made it yesterday going over Montery Mtn and Rockwood Mtn in the wind and rain. I had read on the Women RV forum about driving in high winds and how it's best to just pull over. Now I know what they mean. Whooeee! The rain was just sporadiac so it wasn't a big deal.

Etowah has had much rain and the ground was soft so Mark had me park in front of their detached garage. I believe it was a lot easier to get set up than being on the ground. I had to drive upon wood because there was a low spot and the jacks couldn't do the job by themselves.

Speaking of jacks. When I arrived the jacks wouldn't work. I thought maybe a piece of rubber had fallen off again so I opened up the mechanism and that wasn't it. Mark checked all the fuses and that wasn't it. Finally Mark saw an arc when I tried to work the leveling joy stick and there was a connection that had come loose. Thank goodnesss for Mark and his help. I told him, "you didn't take me to raise." He said, "everyone needs help every once in a while." He is such a terrific nephew in law.

After that we got the water hooked up. It took five hoses to run from Somewhere to the faucet. Thought it might freeze last night so I filled up the fresh water tank half way. Later in the night I turned on the water pump and it kept running. I thought well, maybe it's filling up the water heater. It didn't stop. Then I remember reading about if the water pump in running there is a leak somewhere. OMG, what was I going to do, it was about 10:00 pm. What did I do? turned off the water pump and went to bed about 1:30. Tomorrow is another day.

Slept like a baby after I got all the "stuff" put in it's place. I will be glad when I get full time. I don't like all this loading and unloading. Of course, Jonathan and Taylor will be here tonight so I needed to make as much space as possible. My knooks and crannies sure are filling up quickly. LOL

This morning I got up and hooked up the water and found that my outside shower had not been turned off all the way and that was why my water pump was running, whew, what a relief! The perils of running a house on wheels.

My dn, Deborah, has a yorkie named Chigger. He is 10 months old and if full of himself. When they met it was so funny. Sedona is two (14 teenager) and just didn't want to bother with him. They finally got to where they played and got to know each other. They are so funny to watch now.

Tonight, Christmas Eve, we will have about 52 + members of our family here for dinner and "dirty" santa. Mama and Daddy started the tradition years and years ago and we have kept it up. Everybody looks forward to it.

Skype is going to provide a surprise for Shirley & Doug. Their oldest son, Jimmy, and his family are in Corpus Christie TX with their son, dil and grand daughter. It's going to be like they are here.

Don't know if I'll get to post tomorrow but I'll catch you sometime.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas week

Where has the year gone? I cannot believe it's almost Christmas. I am headed out to East TN tomorrow as long as the weather holds. The weather man said it was supposed to be icy rain in the a.m. and will warm as the day wears on. I may not get out as early as I had hoped but I want to get settled at Deborah's before dark.

I got a new phone from Verizon. It's a basic no frills phone and hopefully it will hold a charge longer than my other. While I was at Verizon I bit the bullet and got the Internet service. So far so good. This trip will be the test. In Nashville I get a strong signal. If I get a strong signal in more rural areas I know I have made a good decision.

I have also contacted Tennessee Consolidated Retirement for my information regarding how much retirement I get, what the taxes will be and the cost of my insurance. Getting all the facts and figures to really start planning. At least this way I can have exact figures with which to work. I plan on putting my condo on the market in Jan or Feb. It really depends on when I can get it cleaned up and staged properly. That's the thing I hate about putting it on the market, keeping it picked up.

Oh, a great site I found and probably everyone knows about this already but me. Anyway, Skype is a free site to download and you can talk for free to anyone else who has Skype. If you have a webcam you can talk to whomever you want. You just locate them, put them in your contacts, if they accept, you are in! It is so cool. I think it will be extremely useful when I get on the road. I tried it with my nephew the other night and we talked for about 26 minutes. The picture is good and the audio is pretty close to the video.

Guess you will next hear from me from Stone Mountain, GA. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Don't forget that Jesus is the reason for the season.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's been ONE year!

As of today, it was one year ago today that I became the proud owner of my 35' Itasca Sunrise, Somewhere. I'll admit that I haven't taken her out like I had originally planned and I blame that one on the high gas prices and the new computer roll-out at work that caused me to travel more with work.

I am so happy that I made the decision to go ahead and get her when I did. It has, however, made me want to retire so much earlier. But you know, in a few days, it's gonna be 2009 and it will only be about 6 months. That is if finances improve. Hey, the way I look at it. I have a very good paying job. It may be that I just start taking some longer vacations in Somewhere and come back and add to my coffers. That's the good thing about my plans being in Jello, they can constantly change, move and groove. I can go with the flow and not feel at all bad about it. If I hated my job, that would be different!

I have learned quite a bit about my Itasca. I have had experiences each time I have gone out in her that has added to my knowledge of what to do, mostly what not to do. LOL I have kept my sense of humor through it all and know that I was beginning on a zero basis and only had to go up to improve. I believe I'm doing quite well.

Would I do it again? You betcha! I think of the time when Jonathan was young. Why didn't I do it then? The fun we could have had and the places we could have gone. Oh well, that's looking back and I'm all about going forward! Jonathan can enjoy it with me now and probably be able to appreciate it more. Plus I'm got my dgd, Taylor and I know she will have fun.

Am I concerned about the future? Sure, just like everyone else. Things will work out how they are intended. My dearly departed Mother, Martha, always told me to not worry about things I have no control over. I have tried to listen to those great words of advice and I think I'm pretty good about not worrying. Things probably won't work on my timeline, but they will work. Remember I'm moving forward.

Oh, I've got some great plans around the holidays. We will be going to Stone Mountain, Ga and enjoy their Christmas in the park and then Snow Mountain. Somewhere will be our home and we can play all day and all night if we want. It will be fun to spend New Year's eve and New Years with family at the park.

It has been fun planning this trip. I want to cook and save a little on eating out so what's the menu for three for seven days. My goodness, this will be most groceries I have packed for Somewhere. I asked my dgd, Taylor, to take one day and plan the menu and cook for us. She seemed thrilled. See I don't get to be around her much and I like to include what she is "into" when we are together. She is growing up so fast.

But I digress from the planning. See I have to take decorations to dress Somewhere up for the holidays. Presents, of course. Food, but I've mentioned that already. Clothes, OMG, I've got to have clothes to play in the snow, bulky coats & stuff for staying warm. I'm so excited. It will be fun.

Today is my third day of not smoking. See I quit for about 6 years is 2002. 18 mos or so ago I started dabbling in it, fooling myself that if I just have one here, or there or while sitting at the one armed bandit that I could just put them down when I got home. Then came Edison, oh boy, I really used that as an excuse. I just started smoking more and more. I didn't like and I know it is definitely not good for my health. Why quit now? See I'm gonna be spending 7-8 days with my dgd and I sure don't want to disappoint her and I don't want to miss anytime with her. You know, smokers now have to go outside everywhere. I would go outside of Somewhere and I'm afraid I'll miss something. So wish me luck, I need luck & prayers. Thanks in advance.

Had a great celebration last night. Chad, my financial advisor with Waddell Reed, invited some of his clients to the Nashville City Club for dinner and entertainment. Food was great. Senator Diane Black spoke to us. The real entertainment was a magician, Rodney. He interacted with the audience. I had met him before the dinner and we were cutting up. When it was his turn on stage, he called me up to "help" out on a few tricks. It was funny and fun. I think I helped warm up other participants to be willing to get up there. Nothing much better than getting the audience involved.

One other thing, I went to Verizon today and got a new phone. My other would only hold a charge for about 10 minutes and it was time for my 2-yr renewal. While there I bit the bullet, I went with Verizon Broadband. I'll let you know how it goes. I got the 5 GB plan and will try it for the first month, I may be able to get to a lesser plan. Updates will follow off and on.

That's about it for right now. As you can guess, things are pretty busy right now so don't know when I'll get to post again. If not before Christmas, I hope all of those of you who read this blog, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God Bless you all.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Cruise account from the eyes of Buffett

I'm stepping aside from this post to give space to my travelling buddy, Buffett. Here is his account of the Cruise on the Carnival Miracle, November 21-29,2008.

Whooppee! Look at this! I'm on the balcony of this really big boat, hope I can hang on long enough with my toes so that I don't fall into this big water.

We had a great time. I thought I was going to be lonesome sitting in the room all day but Carolyn & Theda let me come out every once in a while. The fun thing was when this stranger came into the room, I believe his name was Ed, he would make me friends to play with and I could just fly around the room and rest on them. What do you think?

The monkey was the most fun because I could just snuggle up inside his belly and stay all nice and warm. Carolyn & Theda like it cold in their room.

It would seem that as I was flying around having fun and jamming down, Theda would come in and snap a picture. Speaking of jamming down. I had my very own juke box. So there was no way I was going to be bored on this trip.

We sailed on this boat for two days. I heard Carolyn & Theda talking that it was sure going to be good to be at sea two days before and two sea days after their trips to the islands. It was sure good for me, rockin' & rollin'.

I gotta tell you about two friends I made early on. They look weird, but kind of look like what something from my home island would look like. These two friends are called Monkeyheads. All I heard Carolyn talking about was I have got to get a drink in a Monkeyhead. She had this button she wore all the time saying she was a Coconut Monkeyhead Waster and she had to have a Monkeyhead. So here they are. My new buddies. It's official, Carolyn is a member of the Carnival Coconut Monkeyhead Wasters club and so are Theda, Jonathan, Jonnica, Becky, and anyone else who wanted to be. It was pretty cool. I had some company the rest of the cruise in the room. Carolyn says she is going to use them as decoration and tiki lights with her RV, Somewhere. And I'm sure you know I'm gonna be there every step of the way.

On the third day, I knew something exciting was happening. Room service came and Carolyn & Theda were fixing picnic lunches and they were mixing drinks and all kinds of fun stuff. They packed bags and guess what???? I was placed in one of the bags with my head sticking out, "I was gonna go somewhere else!" "Yippee" Maybe I'm gonna find my home! I'm told we are going to St Maarten. Here is a pictures of Theda, Becky and Carolyn with me in my hammock looking out on the water.
Theda is always taking good care of me. I'm sure Carolyn is off in the water somewhere or walking down the beach, but Theda is looking out after me. There is a little guy bringing some buckets with bottles in them, hum, wonder what they can be? They call it beer! Yummy, I think I like it. Makes you feel all warm inside. Hum! I need to fly around a little. Let's see where I can lite? Looks like a mighty cozy place to me. Hey and we can jam out here to. Hey, Carolyn, why is everyone always going into the water? I guess we can walk around and see what the sites are in St Maarten on the Dutch side. I've been looking at some pretty kewl places to lite. Come go with me!
This looks like something fun to do. Can we? Can we? NO! Okay then can I? Can I? Buffett can! Buffett can!
No Buffett, that's not your home! It may look like it but it's not!
Look at Buffett, between the girls!! Wow, I sure like this island, it reminds me of my home! I am gonna look for my home, maybe I'll stay.

Now, I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord to find my home! Buffett, shame on you, get down from there! That's not nice of you, however it is a nice statue. Whooweeee, that beer sure makes you do crazy things!

Okay it's back to that big ol ship and back to the cabin, I guess. Today sure was fun. Wonder what we get to do next? Oh, I think I heard some say it's on to St Lucia and snorkling! Wonder if I get to go snorkling??? Wonder if I get to drink some of that beer! Well it really was nasty but what the heck, everyone else seemed to like it. Ron sure can put it away.

Wow, we aren't packing up as much for this island, wonder why?
Theda is not going to let me go into the water. She said there was not a snorkle small enough for me.
Sandra is letting me say hi to Carolyn, she has been out in that water a long time. She needs to come in now. I need to show her what I found on this boat. It sure is a lot better than that old beer from yesterday. I'm popular. Every body wants to have their picture made with me, even Becky.

This boat is sure a lot faster that that big one we are on for the whole week. We could have been around Cuba a couple of times as fast as this thing goes.

Now this looks like my home! Do you think Carolyn will let me stay?

We are back from our day of snorkling so I guess that means that I have to go back to my cabin. It sure has been pretty. This weather reminds me of my home island. Guess I'll look for it tomorrow.

I heard that today we are going to be going on an island tour of St Kitts. We are all going, even me. I get to sit up front. I won't have a seat belt on but it will be okay.
Now this must be my home! I'm meant to be here. I can look at the Atlantic Ocean on the left and see the Caribbean Sea on my right! I'm in heaven!

Now, Carolyn set up this island tour for all of us to go with Royston Tours. The guy was going to furnish lunch and beer (Yuk) and rum punch (yummy.) His van was going to take us all, there were 10 humans and me! We wait out front for him to pick us up and guess what? Royston pulls up in the green frog looking thing called Rogie. Carolyn looks in this van and says it won't hold all of us. Then Ron & Becky decide not to go and we all decide to pile in this van for our half day tour of the island. Note the 1/2 day. We have to be back at the ship at 3:30 p.m ship time.

We had the best time. I don't know what everyone was laughing, worrying about and all that stuff humans do, I was perfectly fine on my perch and between me and Theda we could see everything that was happening.

I could even watch Royston when he had to get out of the van on a very narrow road and fill in a huge hole (big enough to swallow the van) with rocks & boulders around on the side of the road. Did I mention that the humans were laughing and crying at the same time? This was one of those times.

Anyway, back to the trip. Royston took us to see some beautiful sights of the island. This trip was an adventure and we saw sights of the island that I bet no body else who went on a tour got to see. We even went off roading. Royston was not drinking.

At the Batik factory I met some more friends.
Actually I think Sandra was trying to hook me up with these two long necked birds. They weren't my type. Don't you think it is silly the way she was trying to make me look like I was flying. Oh, I just say humor the humans.

I know this is not my home, but I sure like hanging out in these kind of trees. I think they are called date palms. Guess that means if I get hungry I'll have some fresh fruit to eat.

Remember when I said we went on an adventure, off roading? Here is a picture of Jonathan taking a picture of us in the middle of a field on top of a mountain.
It was a site to behold and Royston said it was one of his favorite places on the island of St Kitts and I can sure see why! It was a little scarey and adventurous. It made for a great day.

Ft Brimstone was where we stopped for lunch and other refreshments. Need I say more, Carolyn told me a picture was worth a thousand words. What do you think?

The island of St Kitts is a beautiful one. On the way back to the ship I heard family talking about the Thanksgiving dinner they were going to have tonight. They also talked about what they were most thankful for and how it was nice to be together on the ship together to celebrate this holiday. The whole time I never heard any one say they were thankful for me, Buffett. What's up with that? Is it because I'm just one more fur baby, well not a live one but you get the drift! Anyway it was a good Thanksgiving '08 holiday!

After all I got to do on the islands, the last two days at sea were boring for me but not for Carolyn and the rest of the group. I heard them talking about dancing and doing shots (I sure hope they were not shooting guns!) and pulling one armed bandits. I hope there were no pirates on this cruise but I did hear Carolyn comment that she had been held up! Don't know what that means. At least we are all Monkeyhead wasters and that means we can't complain about stuff on a cruise.

Another thing, I'm not looking for another home, I have a home with Carolyn, Sedona and that other yet to be named pink flamingo. Life is good!

I like this cruising thing. I hope I get to go again. You will hear from me as I travel with Carolyn in Somewhere. This is just a sign of things to come. Enjoy.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Cullum and Maxey Camping Center

Just dropped in to let you know that Cullum and Maxey refunded $51.90 for the airing up of my tires. Of course Bud went on to say it didn't matter to him if I stayed as a customer so guess what folks??? I'm shopping around for a new service center. Too bad too. Tanya was so good to work with and her boss wasn't too bad either. Oh well, it's time to change.

More about the cruise later...