Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where is Roy when I need him??

Oh what a day! I decided I couldn't wait any longer for the rain to stop so I gave Somewhere a bath today. What a job! There is an automatic truck wash a couple of exits down from where I am and it might be worth the $55 they charge for me to have them do it.

Roy is my nephew who lived with me for a while. He would have been able to get on top of Somewhere and wash the top and the caps. No way I was going to get up there by myself, what if I had slipped and fell? Oh well, I'll be over in his neck of the woods in a month so maybe I can do it again with his help. hint>hint!

I am feeling so very, very good about the room I have in Somewhere. I have just about everything inside her. I have cleaned and organized the bays and have some unclaimed space. I'm not going to be concerned about filling that space until I go have Somewhere weighed. Weighing is important to ensure I'm not carrying more weight than the chassis was built to handle and to make sure I have the proper tire pressure. Too bad I don't work for the Department of Safety anymore. They could have done my weighing for me. Guess I'll have to stop by the CAT scales at a truck stop and at least get a good guage of how much she weighs. That will work until I get to a Rally where they have weighing at one of the vendors. I know Margie will be getting her rig weighed next week at the Gypsy Journal Rally in Ohio. I would be going to that one if only it were not for my CRUISE! Yep, had to rub it in.

I talked to Cindy today and had to ask her what day this was. Didn't think it would hit me that quickly. Everyone had told me it would happen, guess it's one more sign of retirement. It's okay, I like it.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Time is Flying!

I have four days to complete my packing of Somewhere with all the items from the room in the house at Cindy's.  It sure makes it nice to have Somewhere in the driveway.  Makes it a lot easier to pack, rearrange and get rid of things with it being right here.  Why four days you may be asking?

I take Somewhere back to Carl Black for the converters that came in two days after I had picked her up.  These were on recall and they had said that it was going to be another six months before Workhorse sent the parts so I decided I needed to get her and pack her up.  I take her on Friday and they will keep her until after my cruise.  So here is the rub, I leave on 9/26 for my Western Caribbean cruise on Carnival Liberty and return on Oct 3.  I pick up Somewhere on October 4 and will be at Seven Points in Nashville for the Women's TN GTG until the weekend at which time I head to Pigeon Forge at River's Edge and more or less outta here so I've got to make sure I'm packed, weighed and in good shape.

In the past, I just put items in Somewhere willie nilly without being concerned about the amount of space I was using.  Now I'm  going back through sorting and folding and being a little more organized.  It it would EVER stop raining, I could get to the outside storage bins emptied and organized the same as I'm doing in the inside.  Hopefully by Tuesday the sun will come out and dry things out.

I'm feeling really good that I'm going to have enough space for everything.  I worked on my closet this evening and it's agood feeling that I have gauged the clothing situation pretty well.  I feel certain when I get out "there" I'll find that I don't need as many clothes as I am taking w/me.  It's just hard to let go.  I have probably mentioned this before but I sure do have a lot of T-shirts.  Yep, it's like they multiply and when I begin the sorting process it's like, "oh no, I have to keep that one" or "Oh I remember when I got this," or "that will look cool when I'm in FL."   I have a feeling I'll live in T-shirts, what do you thing?  At least that is what I think right now.  I may change my mind.

Our trip to Paris Landing via TN River was cancelled because of the amount of rain we have had.  Our intent was to leave Johnsonville Historic Park and go up river via a pontoon to Paris Landing.  Theda was to take her boat and Randy & Debbie Smith and Cindy Walker and I were going to tag along.  We were all looking so forward to it but we wanted to be safe especially since all the passengers couldn't swim.  There will be another opportunity to do it, just might not include me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Somewhere is Official!

It's Official!  Somewhere has her name emblazoned on the front and back.  Everyone will know her when I'm comin' and goin', thanks to my best friends, Randy and Debbie.   This was their gift to me for retirement and bon voyage.  It was a simple process.  Since Somewhere is a 2003 you can imagine that her colors have faded and you can really tell the difference with the original colors being used
compared to the decals on her from the beginning.  Oh, but she is just beautiful.

Thanks so much, Debbie and Randy.  Debbie you had a great idea!  I LOVE IT!  I am Tickled to death.

Randy works down the road from Ken Binkley Signs in Nashville.  We went in and Amanda worked with us and measured and got the proportions just right.  Not too big, not too small; just right.

David put it on and then Ken (the owner) drove by in his car and told David to take the Itasca off as it was peeling badly.  That alone made Somewhere look better but because of the years of fading, Itasca can still be seen on the front, back and sides.  David let me know that the company paints RVs.  Not in too big of a hurry for that to happy.

Let me tell you if you need Workhorse Chassis work done, take it to Carl Black Chevrolet and as for Pam as your service writer.  She is so professional, knowledgable and will do everything she can to work with you on price and work with the warranty companies.  I finally got Somewhere back today and brought her over to Cindy's house.  She fits perfectly in the driveway so now I can load her up at my leisure and Somewhere will have a place to stay while I'm on my cruise.

I got everything done to Somewhere that could possibly be done.  Most was regular maintenance that probably had not been done on a regular basis since when I bought her in 2007 she only had 14,000 mi on her.  She now has about 17900 and has all her maintenance taken care of for a few years.  Some things I have to have redone as the oil changes, etc but for the most part, I'm ready to hit the road.  New tires with the DOT date of 05/09 which wasn't too bad.  For those of you thinking that is the 5th month, nope, it's the 5th week of 2009.

Oh, I almost forgot, one important item (can't remember the official name of it) that was fixed and covered under the extended warranty was the computer that runs the odometer, calculates the mileage, calculates how far one can go on the tank of gas, anyway you get the idea.  It is brand new.  It is legible.  It is just so cool except now I'll have to learn to operate it to get the best benefit.  It will never be as complicated as that dang Edison that came around right before I retired.  Shudder!!

I'm ready to hit the road and I bet you, as the reader, are ready for me to be out there writing about more interesting things than the maintenance of Somewhere. LOL


Friday, September 11, 2009

Midweek at Parksville Lake

Mid-week at Parksville Lake

On Wednesday we went into Cleveland, TN and did a little shopping (those of you who really know me I hate shopping) and then went to eat at Logan’s Steakhouse where Deborah & Mark and David & Jan met us. It was great to see Jan & David before the cruise and it’s always such fun for us to be around Deborah and Mark.

Jan had her neck surgery and her doc put her in a neck brace. She is assured that the brace will be off before the cruise in a couple of weeks.

After shopping and eating we headed back to Ocoee and found it had really rained but we missed all that and when we got to the boat, it was a nice ride back to the cabin. I got a call when I was off the island (on the island we have no cell service unless we are at the dock) from Carl Black Chevrolet telling me that Somewhere is ready to be picked up so when I return on Tuesday, I’ll pick her up and hope that she fits in Cindy’s driveway so I can begin to load my final belongings in her.

Thursday has been a day of rest so to speak. Sister Wanda had given me a book to read and that is about all I have done. The name is Only Obey and the author is Connie Baumgardner from Etowah, TN. Her book is fiction but when reading it one feels as if the writer experienced the events written about. It was a good read, very intense. I had to take a break every once in a while because of the intensity. The settings in the book are in Maryville, Chattanooga, Nashville, all places that I am very familiar with. This book is a great read and focuses on Christianity and one’s witness.

Sister Shirley fixed a big old pot of pinto beans today. Sis Wanda fixed cole slaw, garden fresh okra and someone fixed cornbread. By the way, I do dishes. No cooking for me. Doug & Don went fishing after dinner and us girls, exercised to some music I had. Man-o-man, did we work up a sweat!, but then again, when you have homemade icecream every night, we need to exercise. Guess you could say we were sweatin’ to the oldies, Kool & the Gang.

Today, I took my computer down to the dock to see if my new Verizon card would work better with the new antenna I got from Verizon. It does work better but not in the cabin. I got on line and answered a few emails and checked Facebook but when I went to pull anything complex up it would take too long and act like I was on dial up so I got to do very little on the computer but did make some phone calls from the deck.

As I reflect on my time down here I am learning from the best folks about retirement. Shirley, Doug, Wanda and Don are great at retirement and I’m beginning to get the hang of it. I called in today and learned that my insurance is going up 6% next year and then talked to someone else with some crazy news and I just think I need to stay on the island for the rest of my time. LOL Actually I cannot wait until I get out on the road.

I suppose I’ll rethink this reunion. The Etowah High School reunion has provided so much conversational topics for my sisters, it's funny to hear them discussing different people they grew up with and went to school with. See Shirley and Wanda were only a year apart in school age and know the same folks. Whereas I was several years behind them and knew very few of the people they were speaking. It should be good get reacquainted with my grade.


Friday Night In the Park

One of the advantages of being retired is to be able to do whatever one desires and I did. I went to my hometown of Etowah, TN for the all classes Etowah High School reunion. I was the last freshman class of Etowah High School in 1966. I actually graduated from McMinn Central HS in 1969.

Our class was not included in the reunion but it didn’t matter because I wanted to go and try to get together with some classmates I had met on Facebook. Those who showed up were Susie Bledsoe & friend, Tom Reynolds, Joyce and me. We decided it was past time for us to have our 40th reunion.

It was time for me to pull out my tye dye shirt since it was my 40th year since graduation and it was the 40th year celebration of Woodstock. Oh yes, people were able to see me in my tye dye shirt but I think the effect was lost on this group. Yes, folks, I was celebrating 1969 and Woodstock. LOL

It was a wonderful night, weather was perfect, band was pretty good, however they didn’t play 50s & 60s music. The music was more or less big band, 40s, jazz and blues. Good music for a full moon night. It was fun getting to meet all these people who had gone to school with all my older sisters.

Joyce Arms Farley met me down there as we had grown up together, went to church together and kind of stayed in touch and when we saw each other, we didn’t miss a beat. It was like we picked up right where we left off. She has stayed in Etowah and raised her girls there so she knew just about everyone and I would have to say now who is that?

Danny, class of ’58, came up to us and said we looked too young to have graduated during his era. Joyce and I looked at each other and said oh, but we were only 8 when you graduated. LOL Now don’t you know that he didn’t appreciate that at all?? Oh well, it was fun to be able to do.

I reconnected with Sara and Johnny Austin who was my sister Wanda’s bff in school. Sara had heard that I was going to be an RV full timer and she wanted to talk about it. She and Johnny extend time with their 5th wheel. We talked about all the trips they have taken and what my plans were and that made the evening just extremely exciting. Of course, you know that was what I loved to do. Maybe one day we will see each other down the road, Sara.

For those of you who don’t know about Etowah, you should make a trip over to the lovely mountains of east TN at the foothills of the Cherokee National Park. The Hiwassee River borders on the south and that is good for tubing, rafting and fishing.

Etowah is blessed with outlet stores and surplus stores. More and more folks are moving in and renovating the downtown area. Antique stores abound and while walking through the street on Saturday morning there looked like a good selection of antiques. I would highly recommend stopping by Etowah. Below town you can RV at the Black Bear Cove that you can read about on my blog on/around Memorial Day 2009. During this time of year they have a rail excursion which runs up through Ducktown and it’s a great trip when the colors change. Check it out sometime.

But I digress. I have agreed to assist with our 40th reunion on October 24, 2009. Yes, you read correctly. That is soon but we figured we would get just as many people there on this short notice than if we had given them 1 year to plan. We meet this week to plan. Everything is in jello right now. More to come on this. Yes, Becky, I know what I said about my reunion. It will be good to reconnect with some folks.

Saturday night I went up to Nephew Roy’s house and went to the pond. There we had a huge bond fire and fished. I caught 2 HUGE catfish. It was so much fun that I do believe those were the first fish I have caught. They ran like crazy but they were confined to the pond so they couldn’t run from me. It was exciting.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

1st Official Retirement Day

Wow, was it exciting!  LOL  I went to see Dr Holmes for my quarterly blood work and to get my mammogram done for the year.  I know, I know, calm down, that is exciting stuff.  Anyway, had a chat with Lanny (Dr Holmes) about routine blood work and he wrote me script which included everything to ask for from the clinic I would use for blood work and the clinic could fax him the results.  I'm thinking this will only occur every 6 monhs rather than quarterly.  I'm on a limited income budget now that I'm retired.  I use Walgreens so it's no problem getting my prescriptions filled through them.  If they are like they are in Nashville, there is a Walgreens oln every corner of major cities/towns.

Then I went to Cracker Barrel and had a leisurely breakfast (in the middle of the day.)  I didn't have to rush, no crowds with which to contend.  Life is good.

I also went to a laundromat.  Why you might ask?  My wheel covers were dirty and I wanted them washed before I put them back on my new tires.  I have a place in Somewhere to put a washer/dryer, now I'm thinking that might be a good thing.  I didn't like being at the laundromat.  I have to weigh Somewhere to see if I can afford the weight in her.  Maybe the laundromats won't be so bad in campgrounds.  Who knows?  Oh, and 1 washer was $2.00 in quarters.  I remember the day a washer was .25 and the dryer was .10.  Oh, I guess those days have been gone for a long time and I just dated myself.

That's just a quick update and since I don't have to get up so early in the mornings now, it is 10:54 central time as I am writing this.  Unheard of a couple of days ago.  tee hee

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where is Carolyn going?

I have been asked so many times what/where I'm going, I'll just tell you.  Of course I won't reveal the exact RV resort I'll be in but the general vicintiy so if you happen to be in the neighborhood send me a message and we can make arrangements to meet.  Wasn't successful with Google Maps so here is how I'll do this.

September:                              October:
Parksville Lake TN                TN GTG Nash                        
Cruise-Western Caribbean    Pigeon Forge TN
                                                Etowah, TN

November:                               December:
New Johnsonville, TN   
Townsend TN                          Etowah TN
Columbus, TX                         Orlando/Crystal River FL

January:                                    February:
St Mary's GA                           St Augustine FL

March:                                     April, May, June:
Hobe Sound FL                        Key West FL
Titusville FL

Key West FL
Parksville Lake TN
Louisville KY

The After Party

Some of us girls, Cindy Saladin, Cindy Walker, Ann Candler, Patricia Ferrell, Sandra Williams and I went to Jonny's Sports Bar for a couple of drinks and to download on the past and everything we had gone through in our careers.  We all worked for state government.  Cindy W took the retirement buyout last year and got another job.  Cindy Saladin left HR and moved into another postion in HR for the courts.  Sandra and Pat will continue to work, however they can both leave whenever they want.  Ann, my caretaker, will remain in TWRA until she decides she can afford to hit the road.  It was fun talking about the past, sharing stories and trying to one-upsmanship on stories.  tee hee

Pat & SandraAll of us!Cindy W & CarolynCarolyn & Cindy SCarolyn & Ann

1st Day of Retirement

I'm officially off the payroll.  I am officially unemployed.  I am officially a free woman.  Free to wander, wonder and do what ever I well please.

Yesterday was a great day.  I had many well wishers come, some from other agencies.  It was good to see Chad, my financial advisor there.  Stan (my boss) had a couple of good things to say to me.  Ed (the executive Director) said a few words and assured me he knows someone in every state if I ever need him, he can get me help.  That's good to know.

Ann made me a poster with a 3D RV on it that was stuffed with money, you know I love that.Great presents!  Patsy from TDOT brought me 50 road maps one from each state in the union, how cool was that?? 
 You have already seen my boots.    Bill gave me a retirement pillow.  HR gave me binoculars.  On and on so I won't bore you with details.

Wonderful spread of food and the decorations were so appropriate.  Ann and Karen were responsible for the hard work that was put into planning, setting up and tearing down.  Thanks girls.  Oh forgot, Angela made her great poppy bread, uummmgood.

Some snapshots of folks in attendance:
Doug & Bruce
 Barbara, Doris, Bonnie
Patsy, me, Bill, Debbie
Linda'sGayle danny
Eddie Brabara Robbie Jack
Decorations were quite creative,
What else could they find? 
And then there were palm trees, margarita glasses, and can't forget the countdown calendar.It was a great party and I appreciated each and everyone coming by.  I won't miss the place but I will miss some of the people.  Can't wait for my next journey to begin.