Cruisin' the night away....

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Well, it's finally arrived...our winter cruise time is here. Just wanted to let everyone know that I will be off-line until Feb 11th. The next three days we'll be in Orlando at Stu's annual retired firefighter reunion. On Saturday we head off for a seven day Western Caribbean cruise with several retired firefighter friends.

photo credit: Marilyn M via photopin cc

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

TRUCKS: big ones, small ones, little ones, tall ones....

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sorry, couldn't resist....LOL! Freddie the Freightliner got dropped off for some general service on Monday and came home on Thursday. He feels better but our pockets feel much lighter. Nothing major but it adds up quickly on these big trucks.

Monday we are picking up our new-to-us 2001 Ford F250 7.3 turbo-diesel pickup truck that Stu found on eBay. It was at a dealer and was a bank repo. We got it for close to $2k under retail value (according to online sources like Edmunds, NADA & KBB). It needs new tires and shocks, both already on order. Stu will get the tires on Tuesday and install the shocks when we get back from our cruise.




He's been having fun checking out accessories. The first and most important was a console...for whatever reason, the console was pulled out of the truck. We found a replacement for $36...just hope it works. 


He latest acquisition is something only a mechanic can appreciate (that means, NOT ME). It's an OBD2 scanner for reader codes on the truck. He found one on eBay and saved another $100.


Toss in some floor mats, seat covers, rear window graphics, and vent visors for the windows. Not telling what will be next....but I'm not complaining. I haven't had my own transportation, other then a motorcycle since mid-2008. I'm excited!

The main reason we are getting the pickup is for me to have a vehicle I can drive while Stu is laid from his knee surgery. This will work just fine and will eventually become our TN based transportation.

Oh, the baffles for my motorcycle weren't the right size so that won't be done until after the cruise. But that's okay...while at the shop I found a nice sized bag for carrying on my luggage rack. AND at a good price!

Now we are working on a name for the new truck. We've gone through Big Blue, Little Blue, Old Blue, Smurf, Blueberry, Fats (in honor of Fats Domino & Blueberry Hill), Truck, Horse (don't ask), Hoss (again, don't ask) and finally Gizmo (my favorite).

Lastly, thank you to everyone who voted for me in the writing competition. I tied for second place. I just hope you enjoyed reading all the entries. I've gotten a lot of good comments and appreciate all the input.

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

Writing Competition

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

As I've mentioned before, I doing some fiction writing. While I eventually hope to make it to a completed novel, I'm enjoying working on my creativity by dabbling in flash fiction.
Flash Fiction:
In brief, flash fiction is a short form of storytelling. Defining it by the number of words or sentences or even pages required to tell a story, however, is impossible, for it differs from writer to writer, editor to editor. Some purists insist that it is a complete story told in less than 75 words; others claim 100 should be the maximum. For less-rigid flashers, anything under 1,000 words can be considered flash-worthy. And there are even a few who stretch their limits to 1,500 words.

Though the form is by definition extremely short, it is not a medium that tolerates fragemented storytelling. The challenge of flash fiction is to tell a complete story in which every word is absolutely essential, to peel away the frills and lace until you're left with nothing but the hard, clean-scraped core of a story.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that such bare-bones writing is less than elegant or beautiful. Sometimes beauty, or even inspiration, can be found in the simplest of things.
© 2000 Jason Gurley  http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/flash.shtml
So here's the deal, I wrote for an online competition. I'm not asking you to vote for me, just read all the entries and vote for the one you like the best.

You can read the original entries here and you cast your vote here. Be careful on the vote page, click the round button next to your pick and scroll down to click the VOTE button.

You do NOT have to enter your email address, that is where you would subscribe to updates for the blog.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy ALL the stories, I know I did!

Wake me later, I'm napping...
Donna Mc

Where does the time go?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I blogged (not counting Stu's posts). So many little things getting done, the end of the day I tend to putz on the computer, doing nothing constructive.

Stu has been catching up on chores. We now have appointments for the Freightliner (Freddie) for service and the 5th wheel (KaZy) to get the suspension checked. We may need a new spring or the Mor-Ryde suspension system may need repairs. Freddie goes in tomorrow and KaZy will get done when we leave here and head back to Maryland. We've allowed plenty of time.

Stu has done some repairs and upgrades on my bike...which will hopefully go into Harley this week to get quieter baffles installed. I've never been happy with the pipes (too loud) since they were installed last spring.

Stu got another call from the doctor who is doing his knee replacements, rescheduled for the second time. Now it's March 27th (was April 3rd). That gives us a little extra recovery time before TN next summer...a good thing.

Sadie is...well, Sadie. LOL!

Me? I've been busy moving to a new computer. About 90% done, the rest will get tackled in another couple of weeks. I need to purge the old machine and send it to my son to get checked out before sending it on to a new home.

I've also been busy doing some writing, mostly short stories, flash fiction and micro stories. I just finished expanding one of my favorite flash fiction stories into a full short story. I plan to do at least two more and will then compile them into an e-book for Amazon.

I'm still working on my romance novel, I write in spits and spurts. LOL! When I get bogged down, I dabble with the flash fiction (which I am really enjoying). Anyone interested can check it out at My Write Spot.

We took a long weekend and headed out on the motorcycles over to the east coast of Florida to visit family while Sadie had a play weekend at doggy camp. We started in Deerfield Beach where we spent a really enjoyable evening with our stepdaughter and her family. No photos...we were too busy enjoying dinner and beer while we caught up to date. LOL! Last stop was World of Beers....sweet!!

Saturday we headed up the coast to Vero Beach where we visited with my brothers, their families and my cousins. Sunday we had a great outing at Suzi's Tiki Bar in Sebastian. Here are a few photos...


We had my youngest brother and his wife (all the photos were taken by her), my middle brother, his wife, three daughters and five grandbabies, two of my cousins and one of their sons. Great time!! We all hate that we only get to do this once a year.

This week is busy with more chores, more writing, Stu getting his scuba gear ready for the cruise and my doing all the miscellaneous stuff that needs to be done in preparation for the cruise (and preceding firefighter reunion). I'll try to blog once or twice before we leave but then will be offline till we get back from the cruise (Feb 11th).

Hope everyone in blogland is doing well...I'm trying to keep up with ya'll, but sometimes it's a struggle. LOL!

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

Still playing....

It's the same old same old here. I sleep, eat, drink, pee 'n poop (yes, outside, I'm a BIG girl now), play, pull daddy around the park on his bicycle and then do it all over again.I have the BEST life!!

I did get to  go on a couple of motorcycle rides. Mommy and daddy said my manners weren't very good 'cause I barked at some dogs in cars. Jeesh, they barked FIRST...

Then they took me to doggy camp where I played and played and played. When I came home I think I slept for TWO DAYS!

We've had lots of neighbors move in and out, some of them have had puppies that I played with, some had puppies that didn't like me. That's okay, I didn't like them anyway. So there!



The only picture mommy has taken lately was me on the sofa beside her. She's doing LOTS of typing on her new computer so I've FREE from camera flashes. [snicker]

Sniffing and lickingly yours,
Sadie


My 2012 Harley-DavidsonTri-Glide

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Donna and I were riding in the Smokey Mountains and stopped by in of the new t-shirt shops the local Harley dealer has opened up on "the Dragon", US129. One of the employees said something to the effect that Harley was going water cooled next year. You hear this kind of thing every year or so. We kinda chuckled and went on our way.

Later over coffee, Donna and I asked each other if we would buy a water cooled Harley. Both said no. More discussion on new bikes and inevitably we came around to replacing Big Red ('09 Tri-Glide). It had 35,000 miles, was out of warranty, was going to need rear tires /brakes soon and already had gone through a drive belt and transmission rebuild. We bought these things to ride, not wait around in overpriced stores while they get fixed. I can fix just about anything on the bikes but not so easily without a garage. Our full-time lifestyle just doesn't lend itself to that. So we look for things with little maintenance required.

A phone call later we located a 2012 Tri-Glide at our favorite dealer in Cookeville, TN, Boswell's Harley-Davidson. A few weeks later the deal was done. New bike, new warranty, new payment (just a little bigger than before) and some fun making it mine.

Here's what I really like about the new bike:
  • Rides smoother.
  • Rear brakes actually stop well.
  • Shifts smoother with no annoying 5th gear whine.
  • 2 tone paint - Ember Red SunGlo/Merlot
  • Improved trunk latch
  • Screamin' Eagle pipes, Donna really likes the sound!
  • Road Tech GPS
  • Chrome wheels
  • Chrome front forks

All told, it's a better bike in that Harley improved on many of the mistakes they made in '09. Here's a photo we took when we picked up the bike...I've added a lot of bling but haven't taken time for a new pic. Soon...


Okay, enough of that, I'm going riding...

See ya!

Still rolling,
Stu and Donna

Kindle Fire, a non-technical review

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Kindle Fire: I like it.

Oh, you wanted more? Okay, I like it a lot!

Really, it does what it's supposed to and a few things that it shouldn't.

Pros:
  • Small
  • Great images
  • Intuitive
  • As fast as any other WiFi PC I've used.
  • I can read all the Amazon books that Donna has downloaded since we share her Amazon Kindle account. (I can but I probably won't.)
  • Lots of Apps, most are useless but there a bunch of them. Maybe not as many as Apple, but just as useless.
  • 8 hours of battery
  • I can view a bunch of movies and TV series depending on the WiFi speed.
Cons:
  • WiFi only
  • Browser is flaky/flukey sometimes
  • Screen is very sensitive
  • Carousel is always there. Wish I could turn it off and on.
  • Volume is a pain to adjust (hidden, need a mechanical one on the side)
That's it in a nutshell. If you want to know more of the technical stuff, Google for reviews. There's a bunch of them out there. Most of them are kinda like all those apps out there...useless. (for me anyway)

For $199 it's a good tablet. Just don't think it's iPad, you'll pay way more than that.

Still rolling,
Stu and Donna

Walking is good for you?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Monday dawned, like it always does, and Stu wanted to go to the Webster Flea Market. The weather was perfect so we set Sadie up in the back of Stu's trike and headed out on the motorcycles.

It was a nice 45 mile ride with almost no traffic until we got close to the flea market. We found a good parking spot...made even better because Stu got us both in for $3 instead of $3 each. We were good 'do-bees' and parked in one spot.

Sadie was really anxious to go...not sure if she thought it was a visit to a dog park or was just loving the sights, smells and sounds. Stu took her over from me and we headed into the teeming mass of people.

As usual, there was too much too see, too little time to do it all. We usually prefer the outdoor vendors rather than the under cover ones who seem more prone to Dollar Store junk, clothing (that we don't need..although there was one shirt...) or useless inventions. The folks selling in the field have a wider variety of things we are interested in...old tools, fire department memorabilia, license plates, vintage cream pitchers and lots of junk.

We passed one table that was selling...well, I'll let the photo show you. I told Stu that we had enough of this already, I wasn't buying anymore, not even the plastic/rubbery kind!



We walked till we couldn't walk anymore and finally sat down to eat. The hot dog was okay but the fries...oh my! They rivaled Five Guy fries...yummy and a large serving which we split. Sadie rested and people-pet watched after sharing a little of my hotdog.



I checked my phone after we finished and found a missed call and voicemail from our good friends Nick and Terry Russell.



They were still there so we told them where we were standing and they found us. I think we then stood for another hour and chatted both with them and friends of theirs that strolled up. Nick and I did the "our back hurts from standing and walking" waltz and we finally excused ourselves. I did snap a good photo of them just before we left.

Stu had brought along his Targus Monopod as a walking stick but his right knee was really hurting by the time we got back to the bikes. We went the opposite way of the bulk of the traffic, finding some nice back roads with few cars. After we got home, Stu decided that his knee wasn't going to take a lot more walking for a bit so we decided to pass on the Tampa RV Show. (I hope those that went today are having better weather than us...it's pouring here in Clermont.)

Sadie has been having fun with her new toy babies....I've been doing a little more writing....Stu took his scuba gear to get checked out. Other than household chores, that's about it.

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

I've got babies!!!!

Mommy and daddy got this box today and when they opened it, it was FOR ME! I got babies. Honest! Really!

Mommy showed me how to get the babies out of their nest and then she put them back in. They were all mine. I was so excited...baby squirrels just for ME!









Before you know it, it's time for all babies to nap. [snicker]




PS> Mommy says you can get your own babies HERE. I'm putting in for the baby birds next!

Sniffing and lickingly yours,
Sadie


Following a friend's footsteps...

Fellow RVing friends of ours have recently purchased a house and are putting in a full hookup RV pad. I thought some of our followers might be interested in seeing what they've done so far, so here are the pertinent blog links.

A lot of progress in a very short time! We plan to spend the summer on our property, arriving in TN in early June and staying at Maple Hill RV Campground initially. We have to get power and water dug in and hooked up.

Our current thought it to place a shed about halfway down the driveway. It will be used for our motorcycles as well as replacing the storage unit we are paying for. We will bring the power and water to there and run our hookups down to the shed from the other direction.

Time will tell how this works out. LOL!

Still rolling,
Stu and Donna

Neighbors Come and Neighbors Go

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's hard to believe a week has passed since Phil and Tracey May pulled in next door to us. They've been busy and so have we but we finally got together for a couple hours of chatting. Tracey's mom and dad are visiting from England. That said, Phil and Tracey's dad had to head off to the hardware store for supplies. So, we had a nice chat with Tracey, her daughter Ally and her mom. They pulled out early this morning, headed to Tampa for the RV Show.

So the spot next to us was empty once again. Late tonight a LONG motorhome pulled in and parked. I swear, it must be 45' long. I don't think they are staying long. They didn't straighten out in the site and they didn't hook up sewer. Either that or they will do that in the morning. LOL!

We meet so many wonderful folks as we travel. Some are blog followers, some are from forums and others new friends. It's a great life and we continue to grow our circle of friends. Similar hobbies draw us closer to some than others. Similar lifestyles do the same. But sometimes you seem to have nothing in common and still hit it off. That's life! Open up your door and your heart...you never know who might be waiting!

Tomorrow we plan to head to the Webster Flea Market. Last year we got some great prices on old license plates for our collection (for Stu's pole barn) and an old fire extinguisher. We're not looking for anything tomorrow, just browsing and getting in some walking (Sadie, too).

Wednesday we might head over to the Tampa RV Show, nothing firm in our plans. Friday we head to the east coast of FL to visit family while Sadie plays at doggy camp.

My writing is proceeding pretty well. I started a blog for anyone interested and I posted a Flash Fiction article. For those who don't know what it is (I didn't): "Flash is a short-short story characterized by brevity and intensity of the language. Flash has a clear plot. The length of a flash story is commonly under 500 words, never more than 1000."

I currently have two works in progress [WIP]. The first is a romance set in northwestern MT, tentatively title, "A Montana Chance". The other will be a character-driven mystery based in north central PA and tentatively titled, "Not a Whisper". The romance will grow into a trilogy and the mystery into a series of 3-4 books.

Okay, enough babbling for tonight!

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

Sue says it all....

Saturday, January 7, 2012

EXCELLENT blog post today from a fellow RVer today. Sue puts some of my thoughts into words and I thank her. I hope everybody will read this, whether you blog or not!


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

Lazeee days and Lazeee nights!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ah, life is good. I eat, I sleep, I play, I get petted, I go to the dog park, I pull daddy on the bicycle, I bark at strangers, I jump up and lick strangers that aren't strangers any more...[snicker]

It's been mostly warm so I lay in the sun....a LOT! I may not look happy but I am...I love the smells, too!



Sniffing and lickingly yours,
Sadie


So what's up with you?

Not much new here...each day we seem to do a few chores and still manage to feel lazy. LOL! Our new front and rear steps are in; some new propane leaks are fixed; all the new accessories are put on Stu's motorcycle; a new seat was bought and mounted on Stu's bicycle; shopping done twice at Sam's Club, Wal-Mart and Tractor Supply; etc, etc, etc...same old, same old.

Sadie is fine, got her shots updated and continues to terrorize our ever-revolving neighbors. They either love her or are terrified of her...LOL! She goes back to doggy camp on the 13th while we take the motorcycles to the east coast of FL to visit family over the weekend.

I continue to pick up things on eBay and Etsy for the future cabin. One item caught my eye and I finally gave in and bought it (Etsy). It arrived this week and I absolutely love it! The detail is amazing.


We are really enjoying our new Keurig Coffee Maker that we got at Christmas. We joined the Green Mountain Coffee Club and have been trying out different flavors. We both like dark roast, bold coffees and they offer a wide selection. It's also nice to have different flavors to try...like their sampler packs. Plus we can finally have decent decaf coffee at night. That said, the downside is discovering we are both drinking more coffee and said coffee is definitely more expensive. LOL!

Stu has pretty much completed his scuba dive equipment acquisitions. Some local, some eBay and some from online stores. He has to get some of it checked out, serviced and brought up to date. He still wants to go on a dive this month before our cruise next month.

Thanks to a couple of friends successfully publishing fiction ebooks, I finally decided to try my hand at it again. I've been writing for over fifteen years but 99% was non-fiction. I did get a short story published in a magazine but other than that, my fiction work sat and collected dust.

Well, I wiped the dust off a romance novel that I had outlined over ten years ago. I've updated and reworked it and am finally getting serious about writing again. I created a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a website. I'm in the middle of writing the second chapter of a romance novel tentatively named, "A Montana Chance". I also am playing around with a character driven mystery that will be based in north central Pennsylvania.

I will continue to blog but following the trend of the last month, not daily. I will try to blog at least weekly and maybe twice a week, depending on what is new. We will be here at Bee's RV Resort in Clermont, FL until the end of Feb. That means lots of down time...lots of chores...lots of motorcycle riding. LOL!

I hope everyone is doing well....I still read blogs but not as many or as often and I rarely take time to comment. Oops.... ;-)

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