Tomorrow is Centerline Photo Day!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Remember my post, ABCD - Will You Take Part? Tomorrow is the day....time to take your centerline photo and submit it. Just a reminder.....

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

A different view of the storms....

Friday, April 29, 2011

I found these two links in a blog I was reading this morning, a closer view of going through the tornado warnings in an RV and far away from your loved ones. I promise you they are worth reading and sharing with others.

They are both written by Don Barone. Here is a quote from the RV Insights blog:

Don lives in Connecticut. Don is one of those incredible writers that makes words jump off the page/screen - words that tug at your heart strings - words that turn on a faucet of tears as he draws you into the middle of the stories he writes and introduces you to the people he writes about.

Don is an unconventional RVer, drawn into our lifestyle by his frustration with dirty hotels, lousy restaurants, and the pain associated with air travel as he traveled the country writing about fishing and the pro anglers of the Bassmaster Elite Series and other competitive fishing events.

Don bought his RV without ever having seen it or knowing what to do with it - he just knew there was a better way to travel and work than what he had been accustomed to.



Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Growling dogs in the sky....

Yesterday the big dog in the sky started growling again...a LOT! I was outside with daddy doing what I'm supposed to do outside and BAM! The dog growled and he shined a really bright light on us. I got done REAL quick and we went inside...



I wasn't afraid....



Really, I wasn't....



I learned to like playing in mud puddles....



Today I got to play with my BFF, Keta, again!!! I was really happy and so was she!



I'm a really lucky puppy!



Sniffing and lickingly yours,
Sadie


Severe weather survived....

We were woken at 7 am with a severe weather advisory. We knew it was moving in but didn't expect the turmoil that attacked the southeast. We were under not only a tornado watch until midnight but a watch for long track tornadoes, something I had never heard of.

We got rain, a little hail, less wind than we expected but other parts of the south didn't fare as well. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by the weather...too many deaths, too much destruction.

Today Stu headed out early to get his bike serviced in Cookeville. I stayed home with Sadie, finishing up some little chores and working with my family on making plans to head to Rochester, NY next week for the memorial services for my stepson.

When Stu got home we headed off to the property where our contractor had been busy today, putting down the layer of rock crush to our driveway. You can see the details and photos here.

Sadie had WAY too much energy after being cooped up in the RV all day yesterday so she REALLY enjoyed her hour playing with her BFF, Keta. LOL!


Okay, need some help identifying this little wildflower. We seen it several times on our property, looks like some type of iris maybe?


The next few days will be hectic while we work on plans to head to Rochester, make doctor appointments, talk to the power company....will blog as time allows (and interesting topics come to mind....LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Driveway takes shape....

The severe weather moved through on Wednesday so the crush rock install for the driveway was delayed until today. Unfortunately Stu was in Cookeville getting his Harley serviced and missed the fun of watching. LOL! When he got home we loaded up Sadie and headed off to check it out.

What a difference...it may not show in the photos but it looks so much better, more level. There were a lot of ruts from the dozer tracks and Stu spent about 45 minutes smoothing out the ruts and compacting the crush.


Now we hope for another rain to help settle it down and compact it some more before we can move the rig over. Next step is to talk to the electric company about getting some power installed.

Still rolling,
Stu and Donna

Where to begin?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lots has happened since the last blog...not sure where to begin, with the good or the bad. Let's get the bad out of the way. I heard this morning that may stepson, Tim, passed away last night. After the immediate feelings of grief, the anger set in...it was a drug overdose. But the more I thought about it...I just had to write this blog. The family on all sides is devastated...but we will persevere. Sigh...

Okay, better news. We did get an estimate for the finish (we hope) gravel for our driveway. I also wrote a blog about the beginnings of our decision to purchase land, how/why we decided, and the steps we took.

When we went to our property, we were surprised with Sadie's buddy, Keta, meeting us down the road when she heard our truck. Once again, they had a blast. Sadie will be blogging but for those interested, here are the video links I uploaded.




Afterward we took a nice drive up to the Kentucky border to check out another shed company. I took a bunch of photos out of the window.


The other photos of the day will be in Sadie's blog and the Fire Lily Base Camp blog. You can see all the photos in these SmugMug albums:

We're supposed to get some severe weather tomorrow so Stu canceled his bike service appointment and took mine on Thursday. My bike is less than 1000 miles from my 5k service, so we'll wait until I get another 500 or so miles on it and then reschedule.
 
Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

PS> Remember, hug your loved ones and let them know you care!

My BFF

Yup, I have a BFF and her name is Keta. You've seen her before in here...but today she did something extraordinary. I knew we were getting close to our land, daddy had the truck windows open and I could smell it.

We turned down our road and suddenly, there was Keta running to meet me!!! I whimpered for her and she followed us up to our driveway.





We played so hard, then took a rest for some water.







Then we played so hard again!!





I love my BFF, Keta!



PS> Mommy said she posted some videos on her blog...check it out!

Sniffing and lickingly yours,
Sadie


A productive day....

Yesterday we went out to the property to meet with our contractor and get pricing for finishing the gravel in the driveway. He was late so I spent time taking pictures of Sadie and Keta while Stu continued taking down some of the smaller trees. Keta took a rest while Sadie helped supervise the tree removal.


Then it was time for a drink of water, before they sat and relaxed a bit. LOL!


After talking with Dave, our contractor, Stu made arrangements for three loads of rock crush gravel for the driveway. We may not need it all, but the extra will just be put in the pole barn driveway.

Today Stu got a call from Dave that he thought he might be able to get the gravel done around noon, depending on the rain. Well, the rain continued off and on enough that they had to cancel but Stu spent the afternoon cutting up more wood to be used for railings, trail markers, firewood or whatever. LOL!

We are now at the mercy of the weather...tomorrow is supposed to be pretty severe with a chance of even tornadoes! Friday looks good so we're hoping the gravel will get done then. More photos to follow after it's done!

Still rolling,
Stu and Donna

PS> As always, you can see more photos in our SmugMug album: Fire Lily Base Camp, Barger Ln Jamestown TN

Back to the beginning....

Monday, April 25, 2011

When we started this blog it was to chronicle the process of development, mostly for ourselves. As interest has grown, we've come to realize that there are others out there thinking about taking a similar step and wondering how we got to where we are. So, without further delay...the story from the beginning!

As most of you already know, Stu and I met later in life after losing our spouses. We were both living the full-time lifestyle and had/have no intentions of giving it up anytime soon. That said, we also know that things happen unexpectedly that can change your life dramatically.

We have both been able to travel the country enough that we had a good idea where we didn't want to eventually live as well as where we did. Having both been raised in the north, we knew we didn't want to end up there permanently. Having both spent enough time in the south, we knew that the summers were not our cup of tea. Factor in that most of our extended family is in the east, that narrowed our search.

If we had unlimited funds we'd own land in Arizona and Montana where we would split the seasons and fly our family to visit us. But we don't....LOL! We both loved Tennessee, Stu loved the Smokies and I loved middle TN where I spent spent three years before going RVing.  The moderate climate, lack of income tax, beautiful scenery and wonderful people called to both of us.

We felt that when the day came that we wanted to slow down, we would be comfortable being snowbirds from Tennessee. Worst case, when the day came that we had to stop RVing, the winters weren't so harsh that we couldn't deal with them. So, Tennessee became the state of choice!

Some RVers start out full-timing thinking that they will RV until the wheels fall off...the rig AND them. We knew that wasn't realistic for us (and we're seeing others come to the same realization). Someday we would slow down and eventually we would park ourselves.

We talked a lot about our plans for the eventual land. We wanted to put an RV lot on the land first, a place where we could park in fall and spring. Worst case, a place we could park for a longer period of time if the need ever arose...financial or medical, for example.

We had other things that we both wanted and we listed them.
  • A minimum of 5 acres, a maximum of 20 acres. 
  • Wooded and fairly level. 
  • Small town but close to larger city for shopping and medical convenience.
  • A reasonably sized hospital.
  • Enough shopping for everyday items
  • A nice plus would be a creek on the land
  • Paved road access, preferably county/city maintained
  • No restrictions

We were in no hurry to find or buy land but when the opportunity presented itself to browse around, we did. Most of our looking was done online. We found real estate companies in areas we liked and started watching their listings. The more we looked in our original target area, around the Smokies, the more we realized that the acreage in our price range was either too small or too steep.

So we move our search area more to the west into middle Tennessee. Because I had lived in that area, I knew some of it and where we might be interested. I had also worked for First Realty for a year and had several friends to call on to help out. We ended up working with my good friend, Joanne Landrum, at Upper Cumberland Real Estate.

We were on a motorcycle trip back from Florida and decided to spend a couple days in the Cookeville area. Joanne took us around looking at land in about a four county area. We ended up staying a little longer and looked at more land. Wouldn't you know it....the last piece of property we looked at was the one we ended up putting an offer on (and eventually buying).

It was five acres, all wooded, a creek along one side, on a county maintained paved dead end road. Power and water were at the edge of the land and there was already a septic system partially installed. Oh, and the only restrictions were 1) no junkyards, 2) no swine and 3) no outhouses. We could deal with that!

The price was right and the land became ours. Our plans for it consist of first putting in a single RV site with power, water and sewer. That will let us park here whenever we want or need. In another 4-5 years we will build a pole barn (aka Stu's Playpen) and 2-3 years after that we'll add a cabin. We eventually want to have a couple of guest RV sites and possible a small cabin for grandkids (or visitors without an RV). We also are thinking about adding a shed for the motorcycles now and "whatever" later. LOL!

So, that's how it all came about and how we approached it. Figure out where you would be happy living year round, decide your priorities for your land/lot, set your budget and then keep your eyes and ears open! Remember to take into account taxes, family, medical and insurance issue.

Still rolling,
Stu and Donna

Wow...where did that week go?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I've blogged several times but not about "us" and our time here in Jamestown. It hasn't been overly exciting but we've stayed busy. We've moved more stuff to storage, still have a few totes to go (the storage facility was closed for the 3 day holiday weekend).

We've done a few chores, visited the land a couple of times, gone shopping, ate out, ate in...yup, all the everyday ordinary stuff. Have had rainy weather, cloudy weather, stormy weather...but on Saturday, we had SUN!!!


Saturday started out cloudy but by 11ish the sun was peeking out. We loaded up Sadie and headed out on the motorcycles. We took back roads over to Livingston and down to Cookeville where we visited our HD Dealer, Boswell's. We set up service appointments for both our bikes, then headed to Cracker Barrel for a late lunch (they had shade for Sadie).


From there we took back roads to Sparta, encountering an unexpected but well marked detour. We passed my old house and went on my personal demon road. By the time we got home we had ridden 135 miles over 5 hours. I was TIRED and achy....LOL! We need to do more riding to get in shape for longer rides. It was a perfect day for riding...great weather, wonderfully twisting mountain roads and very little traffic.

Today I sat outside and read until the clouds finally drove me inside.


Tomorrow morning we meet up with our contractor to talk about the next steps that are needed for the RV site. More on that later in the week in our Fire Lily Base Camp blog.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu