Ten days on the water - coming right up!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

We won't be blogging for a while, okay, so I won't be blogging for a while (I don't remember the last time Stu wrote a blog post). LOL! We are heading off on a ten day Royal Caribbean cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale.

Even though this is a new cruise line (to me, Stu has been on them years ago), we've been to all the ports before. So I will be writing while Stu does some scuba diving. There will be photos taken on and from the ship but not much more.

My goal is to finish the first draft of Almost a Touch (book three in the Klondike Mystery series). When we get home, we have ten days before our next cruise on Carnival's Magic where we will meet up with several members of the band, #sixappeal, that we friended last year while on the Conquest. That means ten days to get the first draft of Paradise Dead (second novella in my Lei Crime Kindle World trilogy) so the guys can read it. Eeep!!

Once we return from that cruise, we head to Tennessee for the month of April. So that month will be spent editing, editing and editing in hopes of getting both books live as soon as possible.

Okay, enough rambling.....

Ciao for now!

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork and inverter!

Monday, February 20, 2017

I think this is the earliest I have ever gotten our tax information to our accountant, due in part to the spreadsheet I created last year (and have ready for next year). I worked on gathering and collating the information over several days - yes, days that I should have been writing. But it had to be done. And since we have two cruises between now and April, I didn't want to wait too long.

Speaking of cruises, we leave on my first (Stu's second) Royal Caribbean cruise the end of this week. We will have a brief visit with family the night before we head to the port - they are much closer to Ft. Lauderdale than we are and we haven't seen them since last winter.

It's a ten day cruise, taking place of the transatlantic we had to cancel last year (or was it the year before?). We've been to all the ports except one so we will keep to our routine. Stu will scuba dive where available and I will be writing. I hope to finish Almost a Touch during the cruise. I'm about 2/3rd done with the first draft.

When we arrive home, we have about ten days before we go on a second cruise on the Carnival Magic. We booked this specifically to see some of the members of the #sixappeal band again. In fact, they asked if we wanted to do an excursion together. We booked zip-lining combined with cave tubing in Belize and three of them are going with us. Should be a blast! They are pretty much the age of our grandkids and we love being around them. Oh, and their music is GREAT!

A week after that cruise we head to our house in Tennessee, stopping along the way for a great car show in Chattanooga. We will stay at the Holiday Travel Park of Chattanooga on Fri and Sat, arriving at the house on Sunday. EXCITED for both events!

Speaking of the house, a HUGE thank you to our good friend (and realtor), Wilma Allen, for removing the forgotten chicken from the refrigerator. Phew, that could have been bad.

Oh, wondering about the inverter? If you have followed our blog for a while, you know our inverter has worked sporadically (VERY sporadically) since we came back from Ecuador. Sometimes clearing the error codes would help but that happened less and less. With the new residential refrigerator, we ended up running the generator while traveling in temps above 70 degrees and we had to stay in campgrounds rather than asphalt parking on our overnights between FL-TN-MD.

Stu finally did some troubleshooting on the issue and found a loose ground wire. That was part of our problem. The other was seven year old AGM batteries that had spent two very cold winters in TN while we were living in Ecuador.

After pricing them out online, we found the same battery for about $269 each. Surprisingly not, that much more expensive than when we got our solar system in 2009. But we found a comparable Duracell battery at Sam's Club for $179 each. So today we picked up four new ones. We currently have six connected but since we no longer do hard core boondocking, we felt four should provide enough power for overnighting when traveling. Tomorrow is the final test - they are charging now. Keeping our fingers crossed!

After that we headed over so I could get a pedicure for the cruise. We tried a new place in Lady Lake, almost across the street from Home Depot (which is beside Sam's Club), Pretty Nails & Spa. I was very pleased and will definitely use them again.

Ciao for now!

Back Home [sub2]

Saturday, February 11, 2017

After getting our  new HVAC unit installed, we quickly prepared the house for our absence. We love our new SimpliSafe Wireless security system with camera and wireless thermostat from Carrier.

Using our phone apps we can view the camera....

See the current setting of our alarm system, as well as arm/disarm the system. Plus we can see the current temperature in the under sink kitchen cabinet where we have a freeze protection sensor...

Check and adjust the thermostat settings....

With the trailer loaded with a few things, we headed off, stopping at the transfer station to leave our trash. As we pulled out, I remembered that I had forgotten the briefcase in the office with our closing documents.....AND all our interim mail with a bunch of tax statements.....AND our checkbook. Good thing we were less than three miles away.

That remedied, we headed south. At our first stop for lunch, Stu realized he had left his keys to the RV as well as my backup set of keys for the cargo trailer, back in the house. Oh well, we had extras and I still had my set to get us in. Midday I realized that I had left some cooked chicken in the refrigerator. I thought I had done so well! I had pulled out everything else but I just couldn't remember seeing the chicken, but I knew it was there. Too late to return, we'd have to mail a key to a friend and ask them to go toss it. Ahhh, memory - it's a wonderful thing, until you lose it.

We finally made it back to Florida around one-ish on Thursday and imagine our joy when everything was fine, inside and out, the rig. Phew! And, thanks to the candles I got at Tractor Supply (vanilla), it smelled good inside as well.

We dropped the trailer, unloaded our suitcases and headed out for some lunch before picking up Stu's trike that we had left at Stormy Hill HD for service. It went in for the 10k service and a couple of warranty items. It was a good thing we planned to be gone three weeks (even though it ended up at five weeks) because they ended up with a major warranty item. All is good now and Stu is happy to be out and riding in the gorgeous 70 degree temperatures.

Me? Well, the last day of travel found me in pain behind my right shoulder blade. Not a single spot, but a long vertical line of pain. No matter how I moved, I winced. While Stu went to his retiree (firefighters) reunion, I stayed at home₂ due to still not feeling well. Two days later,  he had a blast (no photos) and I am finally feeling better.

Oh, I think I forgot to share these photos earlier - our living room with the new picture, our office and a rainy day.

Ciao for now!

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