On the road & sharing a little fun

Friday, April 28, 2017

Just a quick note to say we are heading out in the next hour or so. Not sure if we will have WiFi tonight or not, same for tomorrow night. We should arrive in Maryland on Sunday afternoon - hope the good weather holds!

Also wanted to pass along a new blog I started, one just for fun. I keep seeing cute, fun, interesting, helpful and quirky things being sold on Amazon. Heck, I've been known to buy a few. So I started a shopping blog where I will feature a new item every week on Monday through Friday. I hope you will subscribe to it and follow along in the fun. Oh, and tell your friends!!

Ciao for now!

A few more photos....

Monday, April 24, 2017

Stu has been busy with chores and while I was supposed to be busy writing, I ended up getting sick for 4-5 days. Sigh...not going to make my deadline of May first for Paradise Dead. Will work on it again when I feel better.

Anyway, here are some photos I've taken since my last post. I hope you enjoy!

View from our kitchen window...

Our pond, overfull from the recent rains...

Nellie Moser Clematis by our front door...

Pink and red roses at the front of the house...

Stu putting up new motion sensor outdoor lights on both the front porch and the garage...

Rainy day project, new blinds in the office to help block the afternoon sun...

Changing the oil in one of several vehicles that needed done...

Taking a well deserved nap...

While I watch silly SyFy disaster movies (photo courtesy of our security system camera)...

We've shown our original property once and have several others interested, time will tell. Any other showings will have to wait until we get back in July. Friday we head north to Maryland for 6-8 weeks. Never a dull moment!

Ciao for now!

Rambling, rumbling, grumbling

Saturday, April 15, 2017

We've had a busy couple of weeks since we arrived in TN. Stu has been busy enjoying his lawn tractor, even using it to move things around back to the shed. He's also done some trimming of the bushes by the back deck and clearing out of wild blackberries (thorns) in favor of the cultivated ones (no thorns).

We also made an agreement with a neighbor for him to pasture his two young steers for the season in exchange for keeping our lawn mowed while we are in Maryland. They also did all the prep work making sure the pasture was secure and mounting the one missing gate. The cows are happy and so are we!

Spring is definitely here. We've had the windows open on several days, only recently resorting to open early then everything closed down to retain the coolness. I hope to not run the A/C until we return in June. Loving our $45 power bills. LOL!

We've gone shopping - Stu likes this giant crab we saw at Sam's Club. Me? I'm thrilled with my new, very spring looking, Tervis tumbler.

We had our first guests at the house - actually, our first guests ever. LOL! My son and his wife came down for the weekend. We enjoyed ourselves, spent an afternoon at Calfkiller Brewing and had a ton of laughs (as you can see in this video). Priceless!

We have sold most of our motorcycle camping gear, only left with the queen airbed & 12v pump, some camping pillows (which I will probably keep), a trailer hitch setup for specific year Tri-Glides, and the trailer itself. We know we won't be doing any long motorcycle trips and it makes no sense to keep hanging on to this stuff.

We have also listed our property for sale by owner. If we don't sell it by mid-July, we will list it with our realtor.

So, chores are getting done. Both our pickup and the trike are now registered and insured here in TN. The Freightliner and fifth wheel will be done when we return in July. The bug guy was out yesterday to work on getting rid of the carpenter bees (deck sprayed), mice, and various insects. That will be an April/October regular visit. In July we will get the termite boost done. Ahhh, the joys of home ownership. But we are enjoying it...for many reasons.

I'm still writing - desperately trying to finish the second novella in my Lei Crime Kindle World series. My deadline is May 1st and that includes edits. Gulp! We will be traveling April 28-30, so no writing then. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Ciao for now!

We made it ~ Sick ~ But we made it

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Just a quick catch ya'll up post with a few photos. We got back from the cruise and immediately took delivery of a new shed on our RV lot.  This will take the place of the cargo trailer. The park was charging us $35 a month to have that on our property and we can use the trailer in TN. The inside of the shed is bigger than the trailer because the outside dimensions on the trailer had to take into account the wheels/sidewalls. We're very pleased with the quality and the installation and highly recommend Lark Sheds of Leesburg.

Once that was done on Monday, we spent Tuesday and Wednesday getting ready to head to TN for the cruise-in we mentioned. That never happened. Stu had caught a cold from all the kids on the cruise and it turned into bronchitis. The day before we were due to leave he went to urgent care and got some antibiotics. So we finally headed out on Friday, making it as far as Perry, GA where we Wally-docked.

Remember our inverter issue? The one we thought we resolved with new batteries? Nope, not resolved. Sigh. Something to put on the "summer" to do list. We will stay in campgrounds when we head north the end of the month.

We made it through Atlanta very early on Saturday (if you haven't heard, I-85 had a section collapse due to a fire). We took I-75 to I-285 West and had no issues. We rejoined I-75 north and were good until close to the TN border when there was a backup that cost us at least 30 minutes. But we weren't complaining. It wasn't as bad as the one going south (south of Atlanta) where a travel trailer was wheels up, still attached to it's tow vehicle which was on its side. That backup was at least ten miles and the accident was fairly recent. With it being the first day of spring break, the traffic south was already bumper to bumper. Glad it wasn't us! So, once out of our snarl, we continued until just outside Chattanooga when a "too much traffic for the road" slowed us again for a bit until the I-75, I-24 split. Most of the traffic stayed on I-24 and we sailed onward. We pushed through and made it to the house while it was still light.

Everything was great and the house even smelled nice! We were really happy. We carried in some food for dinner and crashed till Sunday. Stu was feeling better but I was now getting sick. We got all the food moved over and I did all the laundry, then crashed.

The last couple of days have been spent either working like mad or resting like crazy. Stu is enjoying his lawn tractor. He both mowed...

and used it to relocate the motorcycle trailer and camping gear from the storage shed to the garage (prepping to sell).

As you can see, spring is here and everything is popping color! It's been a real treat to enjoy our first cup of coffee out on the back deck in the morning sun. We even had the windows and back door open yesterday.

We're still moving things over from the RV and making a list of the few items that will be moved back and forth. We are trying to limit that even though it means more purchases. For now we will move all food (except some canned), computer, medications, motorcycle gear and a few other sundry items. We're trying to keep it as simple and painless as possible.
That's not to say we haven't bought a few fun things. One of my author friends posted a photo of her new iPad cover and I had to go take a look. I ended up with this one for my iPad Mini and got Stu one of their larger, rotating versions in black for his iPad Air for less than a third of what we paid for his last one.

Oh, yeah. We love our 24 oz Tervis tumblers for iced tea and water but only had two. Rather than add them to the move between list, we opted for two new ones. I LOVE MINE!! So bright and colorful

Stu's hasn't arrived yet, but this is what it will look like.

And, if you ever needed LONG straws for your tall tumblers, this is a HUGE bargain. 250 straws for $10 (we got free shipping with Prime). I picked the multi-color pack. I couldn't get over how many straws were in the package when it arrived. Happy camper here!

We are both on the mend now, doing chores (Stu) and writing (me). If you haven't been following my author blog, you're missing daily (well, except Sundays) posts about our travels since 2005 (solo and together). This is in the April A to Z Blog Challenge and my theme is "Oh, the places we will go!". I hope you will check it out, follow my blog and tell your friends! ;)

Ciao for now!

Cruising over, Cruise 'in yet to come!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Just a quick post about our last cruise and our cruise-in to come! Our Western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Magic was fairly uneventful. Or not. It all depends on your point of view.
  • Stu dove three ports, all of which he has dived before. Roatan, Honduras is still his favorite.
  • I wrote, and wrote, and wrote - getting six chapters written for my upcoming novella in the Lei Crime Series, Paradise Dead.
  • I managed to stick to my diet, for the most part. Dinner in the Italian specialty restaurant was tough but I tried to not eat too much pasta. My downfall was iced cappuccinos. I held out until the last two days though!
  • Karaoke on a cruise ship is just as painful as it is on land.
  • We had an absolute blast getting to know two of the new members in the #sixappeal band. They are now both added to the cast of characters in the upcoming book, Paradise Dead.
  • We went cave tubing and zip-lining in Belize with five members of the #sixappeal band. What a hoot!!!
  • Formerly referred to as our foster grandsons, they are now our BAND-sons (and daughter). We will miss them all and hope to see a few of them as we cross paths in the future. Talented folks!
  • Stu can dance it up when the right song comes on. {snicker}
  • We briefly met John Heald, the brand ambassador for Carnival Cruise Lines. We love his humor and follow his Facebook page. He was kind enough to send us a gift - we now have a bottle of wine in the fridge and a ship-on-a-stick to add to our memorabilia. The fruit was gifted to a family traveling with several kids.
  • To me, this song will always be known as "Night at the Museum", but now I know better.
  • Guy's Burgers taste just as good without a bun! (and I did eat 5-6 french fries...snicker)
  • The snacks in the Red Frog Pub are very reasonably priced at $3.33 each.
  • The Magic is a HUGE ship for us. We liked many things about it but still prefer the smaller ships. The Conquest class is currently our favorite.
  • Too many kids! Stu ended up with a chest cold at the end of the cruise.
  • We took a few photos, mostly of the band and stage performers. We took several short videos as well.
  • Yes, I'm still addicted to iced cappuccinos.

Most of the pictures/videos were taken with an iPhone or a GoPro. The quality varies from okay to wretched. LOL! No time to edit, just uploaded and going with them as is. Here are some shared by others. Dinner in the Italian Specialty Restaurant. Front to back, left to right: Steven Zimoski (saxophone), Stu, Me, Jacob Bowker (keyboard), Anna-Julia King (singer/dancer), David Tarr (singer, guitar) 


Way too early in the morning for these guys - taking the tender into Belize. Front to back, left to right: Steven Zimoski (saxophone), Federico Gironelli (lead guitar), me, Teddy Grant (drums), Jacob Bowker (keyboard), David Tarr (singer/guitar), Stu (You can enjoy an original composition from Federico on YouTube.) 

Getting ready for the zip-line. David Tarr, Teddy Grant, Federico Gironelli, Steven Zimoski 

Me, coming in for a landing on one of the five platforms. 

Late night chatting with our band-sons.

What musicians do when the cruise director comes over the intercom and overrides their microphones. 

The BEARD photo... 

And here are links to two short video clips from the stage production "America Sings" and the Chicago song, "25 Or 6 To 4".  Video one is the horns coming in (their stage rose from underneath) and video two is the end of the song with Federico on guitar.

A few pics of the ship, Carnival Magic.

All the photos are HERE and, unfortunately, not in order taken. Most of the videos are at the bottom and the first photos at the top are ones friends shared with us. LOL! Enjoy..

So that's it - cruising is over. BUT we now have a CRUISE-IN to attend. April 1st in Chattanooga.

Facebook Event Page
Website Event Page
Ciao for now!

Leg me tell you....

Friday, March 17, 2017

I finally gave in to yoga pants after finding some that fit well, don't stretch out and are inexpensive (Walmart). I have four pairs of black and one gray. But I stopped at wearing leggings. Heck, I'll be 70 this year. I've got a few jiggles and rolls. I can't wear them...can I?

Well, after everyone and their brother started wearing them, including some friends older (and some larger), I started looking. I thought maybe I could just get a pair of black ones. But why, when my black yoga pants do so well. I wear them do dinner all the time on our cruises. But the patterns...way too wild for me.

But I kept looking. LulaRoe, Leggings, Under Armour and a variety of department stores - then I found the VIV Collection at Amazon. I got brave. I really did! I bought three pairs with patterns. I bought the PLUS size which it says goes from 14-24. They are very soft and fit really well, just some extra material at the ankles (short, remember?).

I already have several tops long enough to wear with these - one in black, one in orange and one in olive. Good thing, the two tunic type tops I ordered either came to my knees (yes, I'm short) or made me look 12 months pregnant. They got returned.

Hoping I still like them AFTER our cruise. <grin>

Ciao for now!

Off Again, Jiggity Jog

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Carnival Pride cruise ship passing by the Sandy Point Shoal Light in front of rising Worm Moon by Walter Dorsett
MUST SEE video on Facebook

Yes, we're off again. Another week (our last this year, sniff) in the Southern Caribbean. New ship, old destinations but that's fine since Stu gets to scuba dive in three of the ports. The fourth is Belize where we plan to go zip-lining and cave tubing with several members of our favorite band, Six Appeal.

We'll be gone a week, come back and get a shed delivered to our RV lot, and on Thursday we head out. We have reservations in Chattanooga for the weekend so we can attend the annual Cruise-In sponsored by Coker Tire. This will be our first time attending and I know we'll both enjoy it.

Once we arrive at home in Tennessee, we have a lot to do. If I manage to get the first draft of Paradise Dead completed on the cruise, then I have to tackle the editing so I can get it to my proof readers. I have a publication deadline of May first. Once that's done, I will be tackling the edits of Almost a Touch. Phew!

If you don't follow my writing blog, you might want to take a peek in April. For the first time in several years, I'm participating in the April A to Z Blog Challenge. I think my theme is one you'll enjoy. The reveal will be posted on Monday. Here's a little hint....

April A to Z Blog Challenge

Ciao for now!