Welcome to 2013 and an update...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

We wanted to drop a note wishing all our readers a WONDERFUL 2013. I know that for many of us 2012 has been a trial. We sincerely hope this trend improves in the new year.

We are finally leaving Alliance Coach although we have enjoyed our stay here. It's always nice to have a good dog walk, plenty of places to visit in the local area, good utilities and a paved parking spot.

Our repairs? We ended up with only the refrigerator thermostat being covered under warranty. The dryer motor wasn't burned out. Even though we clean the dryer lint filter every time we use it, use a brush for the area under that as well as through the outside duct, five years of heavy use caused an accumulation of lint inside the dryer. Suspicion was that a chunk got pulled in and when things heated it the safety switch overrode it and shut off the dryer. Lesson learned? Every couple of years we should pull out our dryers and check inside and behind them. You actually need to disassemble some of the cabinet to clean the area around the motor and drum, it's the only way to get to those areas

The A/C heat strip was checked and seems to be functional  We suspect we were running it when it was too cold, causing it to run continuously. It's supposed to switch to the gas heat if that happens but that might have failed.

So labor charges were the biggest thing we had to pay out. Great folks, always friendly and helpful. The office gals are wonderful, too. We highly recommend these folks if you are in central Florida and need work done.

We move to Bee's RV Resort tomorrow and will be there for two weeks. Of course it should be noted that one of those weeks will be spent on our cruise out of Tampa. We're doing the same western Caribbean route that we took last February. Stu has booked several diving excursions and I plan to catch up on some reading. My Kindle is loaded and ready to go!

After Bee's we move to the Thousand Trails park in Wauchula, FL. We'll be there for two weeks before moving back to the Clermont area but to the Thousand Trails park there. Lots of moving around this winter.

Last note, if you are on Facebook, please be sure to visit and click LIKE on my new page for my upcoming Klondike Mystery Series (first book due out soon).

Again, regardless of how 2012 treated you, wish it well as it  rolls out and welcome in 2013 with a cheer!

An RVing first we could have done without....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

It had to happen someday, we knew it would. I guess with five years on the road we've been lucky to escape it this long. The first instance was a couple of weeks ago. I went to pull out our griddle to cook something and noticed the disposable shop towel I had laying over the top of it (to prevent scratches) was shredded up into pieces. There were also pieces of a paper towel...I still don't know where that came from.

Pulling things out of the cabinet we quickly realized we had a stowaway, obviously trying to build a nest in where it was warm. We cleaned things up and Stu went out for bait and the big guns - a mouse trap. He set it up with some peanut butter and within an hour we had our first victim.

We disposed of the remains and reset the trap. No go. I set off the trap and asked Stu to move it to a different spot where I'd be less apt to trip it. Soon it was apparent that our stowaway was also a runaway, living the solo life.

We did discover that he had traveled a little further when I pulled out my bag of pasta for dinner. Yup, he liked pasta and had had a banquet. Trashed the bag and put pasta on our shopping list.

This was a month ago and all has been quiet...no traps tripped, no signs of all of other intruders. Of course if they were along for the ride from TN to FL, they probably headed for the beach as soon as we parked.

Yesterday I was storing some things under the bed, moving things around and just generally rearranging them. I picked up a couple of bags and found a pile of cough drops and a couple of mouse turds. "What the heck? Did I store some under here and the bag broke?" I thought.

Then I went to my side of the bed where I have a small basket to stash things. One thing is a snack size bag for my cough drops to take care of middle of the night coughs. The bag was empty! That little bugger had moved every cough drop (almost 2 dozen) from my side of the bed, underneath to the front opposite side. Never ate one, only unwrapped one. Guess he was afraid he was going to get a cold from us humans. Jeesh!

The day after....

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday. The campground here at Alliance Coach is almost empty, only two other rigs are occupied. We managed to Skype with Stu's oldest daughter and chatted with the grandgirls. We love Skype and need to use it more often. We missed everyone else but send a bunch of texts, emails and Facebook messages.

We headed out about one o'clock to meet our friends Nick and Terry Russell for Christmas Day dinner. Jean and Dave Damon, who we met for the first time at the Celina, OH Gypsy Journal Rally, joined us as well as Joe and Marcia Jones.

The food was good, the conversation fun and the company the best! Here's a photo that Jean snapped.

L to R: Terry & Nick Russell, Stu & Donna McNicol,
Dave Damon, Marcia &Joe Jones
Now life returns to semi-normal....

Merry Christmas to All

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sending warm and loving
Holiday Greetings to all our family and friends.

Merry Christmas to all

Monday, December 24, 2012

Can you believe it? They're making me work for my treat. And it's CHRISTMAS!!!

The best laid plans....

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gotta love that Jell-o... Once again we change our plans or have them changed for us. We arrived here in Wildwood for repairs and hoped to be moving tomorrow for our first stay at Thousand Trails in Clermont.

Well, it's not going to happen...between busy techs, slow extended warranty companies and the Christmas holiday, we're going to be here till sometime late next week. We were only staying at the Thousand Trails resort until the 31st when we would move over to Bee's RV Resort (also in Clermont). Rather than use a couple of our free days at TT, we opted to completely cancel that reservation.

The accommodations here at Alliance are fine, we might need to move and dump but have good water and sewer as well as good reception on our Verizon aircard. Sadie can pull Stu around on the bicycle since it's nicely paved.

The only dangerous thing about staying here too long is the number of gorgeous new motorhomes...LOL!

Not sure how much we'll blog between now and Christmas but hope everyone is having a WONDERFUL holiday season!

Amazon Deal on Kindle Touch

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You can't buy a new Kindle Touch but for a limited time, you can get a great buy on a refurbished one. I love mine and we just bought one for Stu ($129).

Yes, we could have bought the new Kindle Paperwhite ($119) with Wi-Fi only, or the Kindle Paperwhite ($179) with 3G, but when weighing the advantage of storing up to 3000 books, 3G in addition to Wi-Fi against having to use a light to read at night, the Kindle Touch won out. Having the 3G access has been really great and keeping the special offers hasn't been intrusive. In fact some folks have found some good deals.

Anyway, check it out: Kindle Touch Refurbished 3G/Wi-Fi with one year warranty for only $119.

Memories - 35 years ago...

Thirty-five years ago my youngest daughter was born. We didn't have much money, times were tough. I lined the used dresser we bought, cheap, with the wrapping paper from my baby shower gifts. I bought some inexpensive material and hand sewed curtains for her room. I had two splurges - a maple rocker and a hand-made quilt (throw size) made by a friend at work.

Fast forward and the rocker that was passed to my daughter to use when her first daughter was born, is now back in my possession. It's been through three grand-babies and two puppies so it shows a little wear and a lot of love. The quilt throw is still in my daughter's house and used daily. It too has seen a lot of wear.

I was browsing Etsy a couple of weeks ago and saw a pillow that almost exactly matches my old quilt. I had to have it - so I bought it. It arrived in the mail today and it's even nicer than I expected. It truly looks as though it could have been made by the same gal that made the quilt.

Here is a photo taken when my daughter was about twelve (and so was the quilt) as well as my new pillow.

Ahhh, memories.....

"Home Again" - Reader Review

Monday, December 17, 2012

The reviews for Home Again have started... Remember, this can make a great gift, too!

From JerrieLea Hopf:
Well, you just got me in a whole lot of trouble. The dishes are still in the sink from last night 'cause I was reading your new book.  
You Go Girl!!! It is great. Your descriptions of the people made me think I was back in the Midwest in my "growing up" days. That might have been a made up town - but it sure sounded like my home town - right down to the diner on Main Street. 
Can't wait for your next one.

PURCHASE: Amazon ~ Smashwords

Fun Day at Dollywood

Friday, December 14, 2012

We planned to spend most of the last two days at Dollywood but after an hour there yesterday, I got too sick to stay and we came home early. I felt better today so we headed over again. The weather was a bit warmer and for whatever reason, the crowds were smaller. Stu rode three different coaster, two he'd ridden before. His favorite, the old wooden coaster followed by the Mystery Mine. The last ride of the day was the new Wild Eagle, he said it was the most intense of all.

Where the bird show is normally held, they have set up a model railroad display - over 1,000sf. Really nice!

Stu had me take a photo of one of the giant animal pillows to send to our step-daughter who loves ladybugs.

We left just after dark, got a bite to eat at Denny's and then grabbed some groceries at Kroger. All in all, a nice day.

Tomorrow we hope to leave around eight in the morning, making at least 400 miles. The closer we get to the GA/FL border, the better off we'll be on Sunday. The campground space at Alliance Coach is first come/first serve.

My New Book & the Last Day to Enter the Giveaway

Yes, today is your last day to enter all the giveaways...MINE and the others HERE. Many of these allow for multiple entries so make your final run-through if you entered earlier.

And for those of you that have patiently waited, it's here. Home Again, the follow up full-length romance novel to the short story, Lost and Found, is now live at both Amazon (Kindle version) and Smashwords (Epub version).
Only $2.99
When Chicago's city life takes its toll on single mom Sarah Davidson, she jumps at the chance to move back home, all the way to the boondocks of Kansas. Little did she know, the local Sheriff, handsome Carl Pierce, was making the same move from Tulsa. A tornado of events conspire against them, tamping the rising fire of passion. Can they beat the odds or will Sarah regret moving home again?
On Monday, the 17th I will be announcing the winners. You can check the Blog Hop page for the results. I will be emailing the winners. Good luck...and I hope you'll give my new book a try!

Too cold...time to move

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yup, the cold weather has finally hit us here in north central Tennessee. So we're moving... EAST! I know, wrong direction. There's mountains over there. But we want to spend a couple of days enjoying Christmas in the Smokies, both in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area as well as some time at Dollywood.

We'll head south on Saturday, stopping at Alliance Coach in Wildwood, FL on Sunday. We stayed in their campground last winter on our way north. They did some work on our suspension and we liked the service there. We need to get several things fixed: the dryer (probably fried motor), our A/C units (darned capacitors keep burning up) and probably a new thermostat for our frig (it keeps freezing up).

We have reservations for Thousand Trails in Orlando/Clermont starting on December 20th. I just hope our repairs will be done or we'll have to bump that date out. Time will tell...

Can you believe Christmas is almost here? Yikes! Don't forget to enter my Holiday Giveaway over on my writing blog. Oh, and send the link to all your family and friends! It's open for anyone to enter!

Fish have LOINS?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Seen while shopping in Sam's Club today...couldn't resist taking a photo.

I posted this in Facebook, here are some of the comments made:
  • Cathy: Who knew? Makes a very weird mental picture.
  • Daniel: Och! Me cod loins!
  • Betty: I don't think I want to go there . . .
  • Michael:  Costly. Must be rare...
  • Jim: Right next to the Perch Cheeks 
  • Pamela: That's why they are so WILD! Wild thing, you make my loins sing... la la la
  • Donna: Oh hee hee ha ha - really??
  • Lyn: Well of course they do! Where do you think baby fish come from?? Don't you remember Nemo's dad saying "You are the fish of my loins"? Oh, wait. I could be wrong on that quote. 
  • Julie: LOL Fish loins! Who woulda thunk it!

** IWU Holiday Giveaway Contest **

I know most of you don't follow my writing blog so I wanted to pass along the start of an amazing holiday giveaway. Last summer I participated with this group of authors from Indie Writers Unite and this season I'm joining in the fun again.

[My Prizes]
Prizes in the main contest include TWO Kindle Fire HDs, a $25 Amazon Gift card and multiple books (signed hardcopy and Amazon ebooks). You get all the details, see my prizes and enter to win them on my contest page.

Just and FYI, if you didn't grab the short story, Lost and Found”, for  FREE last time around - it will be free for the duration of this contest. This is the prequel to my new novel, "Home Again" (due out at Amazon before the end of this contest).

Be sure to tell your friends and GOOD LUCK!

Sneaky Snake goes bye-bye

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mommy said he has too many holes...I hope she jumps when she opens the wastebasket in the morning! 

Helping a friend....

Most of us have needed help at some time in our lives. I now have a good friend in need. She is a lady motorcyclist that I've known for over nine years. A couple years ago she left her job and started her own doggy day care center, Amanda's Wags & Wiggles.

She now finds herself in need, medical need. She has a growth on her thyroid but no insurance or funds to cover the costs of tests to determine if it's cancer or not. That's the first step, she could still need surgery.

In 2001 my late husband was diagnosed with throat cancer. Most of you knew that. What you probably didn't know what that in August of that year, I found a large tumor on my thyroid. I had insurance, I got the tests done. In my case, I had to have surgery to remove it before they could determine if it was cancer or not. Fortunately it wasn't but I had to undergo extensive surgery to find that out.

Amanda may not need surgery but she won't know until she can get several tests done. Yes, times are tough but even $5 helps out. Please do what you can and please pass this along to your friends. Let's see if we can't get Amanda the medical care she so desperately needs. Thank you!

Look at me!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm a contort, contusion, ummm, FLEXIBLE!

See? Yes, I 'm comfy....

Sniffing and lickingly yours,

Can you touch your toes to your nose?

I snuggled daddy right off the sofa

Friday, December 7, 2012

Can I snuggle?


Gifts from Photographs

Just read a great article featuring different ways to turn your photographs into gifts for family and friends. I know we RVers take a LOT of photos, take a peek at the article HERE.

Daily life continues.....

Saturday, December 1, 2012

[This sight gave me a giggle today.]
Daily life continues with me working on my romance, Home Again, and Stu working around the property. We've made plans to leave here on December 13th and go to Pigeon Forge for a couple of days. We have a season's pass to Dollywood and haven't had a chance to use it. Last year we really enjoyed the Christmas shows and we're looking forward to seeing them again.

We have an appointment with Alliance Coach in Wildwood, FL on December 17th. We'll get our dryer repaired as well as a couple of other things. On the 20th we'll go to Thousand Trails in Clermont until the end of the month. From that point on we'll be moving every two weeks. In previous winters we have stayed in one spot for 2-3 months at a cost of $500 a month. Well worth the inconvenience to use our new membership with Thousand Trails.

Getting back to writing, I'll be having another blog hop contest this December in honor of my upcoming book, Home Again. My short story, Lost and Found, is the prequel to Home Again. Some of the prizes include some Amazon gift certificates as well as copies of Home Again when it is released. Watch for updates.

And my good friend Nick Russell has just released two new books. I hope you'll check them out, I just bought both of them!  Overlooked Arizona and Overlooked Florida

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