Thursday, January 28, 2010

Test, Test and time for Refigurin’

We are Boondockin’ at Prairie Lake Wildlife Management Unit, outside Keanansville, FL. There is a big camp here but the only facilities are vault toilets and a hand pitcher pump for water. We came out to test the addition of the second battery which doubled our electrical capacity to 250 AH. Doesn’t sound like a lot but were in a truck camper, there’s only so much room fer’ stuff. We figured we’d need some more water while we’re here, so we brought along some water jugs to fill at the pump. Only thing is the pump has big sign on it say; “Do Not Drink” and it looks like tea, so’s it aint goin’ in our tank. Seems like we’ll have to get water elsewhere, if we need it.
This is our second full day dry camped and so far the batteries seem to be doin’ fine. There is about 14 ‘snowbird’ RVer’s camped here and we have met everyone of them the first day, tryin’ to recall all the names has been a challenge. Every night we all sit around the community fire and spin yarns, joke and tell stories. The lot is a mixture from NY, WV, ME and quite a few from Michigan. Some have camped with each other for many years, some are newcomers. I’ll post some pictures of the ‘Crew’ around the fire if I can get some one evening.
We are now in our fourth day here and the batteries seem to be holdin’ up fine, 12.52 volts. We’ve been conservative in our use of power, but we’ve watched TV for 3.5 hours the first night 45 minutes the second, 1 hour last night, used the fresh water pump as necessary for water & flushing, and only use one or two lights at a time. We have used the generator only for a few minutes at a time to make toast or run the microwave, so there has been no rechargin’ from that to speak of. The fresh water tank reads 2/3 full, the grey water tank is 1/3 full and our black tank is under 1/3 full. At this rate I think we could survive for a week easily without having to run the genny to recharge the batteries. We’ll see as were only going to stay for two more days as we’re supposed to get some severe storms Saturday.
Now to the Refigurin’! Dirty Frizaner, Somana dirty rotten g#*.. Gr….um….p! Mr. Murphy come up and smacked me in the back o’ the head. The battery rack placement is not as good as I thought. The current placement makes it to difficult to load the camper on the truck. The clearance on both sides is tight enough, but now it’s ridiculous! So….s, I think I’m gonna move it to the rear of the lance on the same side, between the camper and the taillights of the truck. I pondered that spot but didn’t think I had the room until I finally got the camper loaded and realized the present location was just too much trouble. So when we return home I got to go to work on moving the rack. It will be close tolerance, but not as close as the location now and shouldn’t effect loading. So it back to the drawin’ board on this one.
Well that’s all I got fer’ now. Hope to see ya’ down the road, as we’re;

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bloggin, Fumin’, Figurin’, & Fabricatin’!

First off I’d like to know if ya’ll like the new look o’ the blog. I kicked around the idea of movin’ it to another service but I figerd’ out how to spruce it up some instead fer now. Now the website is bein’ downright stubborn about bein’ hung out on this old fence, but I figur’ if I keep pokin’ at it it’ll come around sooner or later.

Back in March I created a platform for an extra battery in the bed of the truck to provide more juice for ‘Boondockin’.

Truck Bed Platform 

The addition of the second battery has been a great idea. We have ‘Boondocked’ for 3 days and nights and never had a shortage of battery power. The only problem was when we occasionally remove the Lance from the truck at camp,. I can’t leave the battery on the platform in plain sight in the back of the truck. So I started to ponder where I could install a rack to hold the battery on the camper itself. Each location I considered was a problem, so I put in the same  area it has been, only I moved it up on the underside of the camper. This had several advantages, it was already wired to that location, it kept the weight on the curb side (the original battery is on the drivers side), and I regained the wheel well storage that was lost with the battery on the bed platform.


The main material was an aluminum sign I had made some years ago. I asked a local sign shop to make me a sign for our road to match the one on the opposite end of the road that read; Private Road Residents Only. What I got was; Private Road Residence Only, so it never got put up. Well I just found a use for it. The design was a continually evolving process, as I encountered several problems. Hanging an 80 pound battery on the side of a camper, I was a little concerned with bracing everything form the rack. I didn’t want to interfere with the storage space that I regained so I installed a 64 cent shelf bracket under the battery tray. That done I had to come up with a cover for the whole she-bang.


Now all we have to do is test out our new power. I think we’ll go campin’ at one of the Wildlife Management areas in the middle of the state.

Well thats all for now. We’ll have to see what the next adventure brings. Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A night out with Friends

First let me digress. Linda had her a Dr. appointment today cause back in December fore the holidays she tore a tendon in her finger and has been on ‘Light Duty’, wearin’ a splint on her finger, for the last six weeks. I was elected by popular vote of ONE to do dishes, help in the kitchen and wash certain areas of her anatomy that couldn’t be reached with her right hand.

Well the Doc says all is lookin’ good and now she just wears the splint at night. So….. I’m breakin’ her back into her duites slow…ly. We haven’t been doin’ too much, just waitin’ on her to mend.

The cold has finally left and we’re runnin’ a little on the warm side now. Just can’t please old retired folks. The grass is still brown but that should change somewhat after the ‘Frog Strangler’ we had this morning, at least I don’t have to get the tractor out and mow.

We stopped to see our neighbors around the corner, Richard and Betty last week, as we’ve been tryin’ to get together for weeks, but ya’ll know with the Holidays and such how that can go. I worked with Richard for a few years before I became retard’ and last year he joined the club. Betty told us about all they had done since our last visit, nearly a year ago and we told ‘our side o’ the story’. We chatted on fer’ hours and they told us they had been goin’ down to the local women's club on Thursday night to listen to some fellers playin’ music and said we should check it out. Some of the fellas’ Richard went to school with and one is an old acquaintance of mine from my workin’ days. This particular fella always seemed to be a wonderful, quiet, laid back kind of guy, kind a like yours truly. I have been thinkin’ about him off and on for the past 5 years since I left my job. He still is in business and I just haven’t taken the time to phone and say, “Lets have coffee and chew the fat”. That’s my fault. But now I get to sneak in while he’s playin’ music and surprise him, too sweet. Turns out one of the other fellas in the band Richard went to school with, I know as he used to be my counterpart at the County School Board and we saw him just prior to Christmas.

So last night we ambled on down to the local women's club to see what they sounded like and see some old acquaintances'. The band sounded great, fer’ a bunch of ‘Old Farts’. They play mostly older country with a little Gospel thrown in. The event is free and they ask if you can donate to support them payin’ the rent for the hall great , if not that’s OK too. They also have some refreshments and cookies to nibble on, again on a donation basis.


Well I kept a waitin’ to see if they were gonna break or if I’d have to wait till the show was over to say my ‘Howdy’ to my friend. When they finally took a break and he came down off the stage he started makin’ the rounds sayin’ Hello and thankin’ folks fer comin’. I got up to say my ‘Hello’ but he was “workin’ the crowd’ until he sat down in my seat to talk to the folks seated next to me. I just had to interrupt now! I said, “Excuse me Sir , but I think your in my seat” boy was he surprised to see me when he turned around. We shook hands, hugged and promised to get together and have some coffee and tell some lies. It was great to see him again. 

After the show we helped pick up and then we moved to the parkin’ lot with Richard & Betty to chat some more. I finally said we need to go, or we’d be standin’ in this parkin’ lot the rest of the night, so we said our goodbyes. And… Richard & Betty, We can walk thru the pasture between us, so let’s get together more often.

Got to remember to call and make a date fer’ Coffee!

Well that’s all fer’ now. Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Brrr…….. Baby it’s Cold Outside!!!

Hello, sorry but I haven't posted in a while.  Let’s see if I can get caught up. I've been frozen in my tracks! 

This is supposed to be the ‘Sunny South’, but it feels like the ‘Frozen North’. Our avocado trees look like they're dead, they made it through the summer without care, hope they make it. Our lawn is a combination of grey and brown, Only under the trees is there any hint of green. Overnight temps have been in the mid to high 20’s and daytime highs are racing to top the 40 degree mark for the last 10 days or more. This just doesn’t happen here. We live ‘Where the Tropics Begin’. Maybe we should go to AZ in the winter and points north in the summer? Would be nice to be able to choose but we’re still rooted to the stix & bricks rancho right now.

On to what we been doing since. Linda and I loaded up the Lance, on December 30th, and  headed to Kissimmee for a visit with Rose & Courtney. We were going to spend the New Year with them. Arrived, found Courtney at home, set up and hung out till Rose arrived from work. We had dinner and visited into the evening.

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Thursday Rose had to work so we just kind a hung out for the day. We dined on ‘Spicy Chicken Tenders"’, prepared by Linda and prepared for “the fallin’ of the ball” on TV. Us adults partook in some beverages and snacks up to the bringing in of the new decade. Then it was ‘Hugs & Kisses’ and nitey nite fer all. During the evening I was able to sneak out to the camper and make a quick post of “Happy New Years” wishes to all.

Friday we hung around the house in the morning. Rose made up some ‘Chicken Cordon Blue’ so we could have New Years lunch with her Mom & Dad. We traveled to Mom & Dad’s house and put the chicken in the oven to bake while we all visited. Rose’s parents were close friends of Linda’s parents long before Linda came along, so we try to keep in touch & visit whenever we are in the area.  When the chicken was done we all sat down to a scrumptious lunch. Afterward we visited some more said our farewells and returned to Rose’s to sit around like ‘Fat Ticks’. The rest of the day was spent escaping the cold, watchin’ movies and relaxin’.

Saturday dawned cooo..ld and remained that way all day. Rose had decided we would go to Disney and play miniature golf at one of the courses then we’d go to Downtown Disney. Well we arrived at Disney’s Winter Summerland course and waited in line. This course is actually two courses in one, One a summer tropical theme and one a winter Santa Claus theme. When it was our turn to be admitted Rose found out cast members were ‘Blacked Out’ until the following day. Disney has holiday restrictions on admission for employees & pass holders as well I think. We said “No big deal”, we’ll just come back tomorrow.

So it was off to Downtown Disney. It’s amazing what hidden adventures exist on the Disney property. Every time we go with Rose we find out about more & more. Well we parked the car at the Marketplace area and began to browse. The first store we came upon was the ‘Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique’ for wanna-be Princesses. I tried to get Linda a ‘Fairy Godmother’ outfit since she’s a little too big for the Princess thing, but they were out of stock. There must have been a run on outfitting ‘Fairy Godmothers’ for the holidays. I tried to buy her a ‘Magic Wand"’, but she wasn’t settling for anything but the whole enchilada. We wandered from store to store until Linda was accosted by Mr. Potato Head.

100_7535We wandered through many more stores, Disney has quite an retail outlet  for their toys and what-not. If it says  ‘Disney’ it’s here in one of these stores. Next stop the ‘Lego’ store.








Can you believe these are made completely of ‘Lego’s”?

Next was to checkout a few of the restaurants. The Rain Forest Cafe’, as the name implies is a Jungle theme, with elephants, fish & monkeys. Then it was off to the ‘T-Rex’ restaurant. Guess what the theme is here? They got their own animated Tyrannosaurus Rex as well as other prehistoric creatures. The remainder of the day we spent defrosting and watchin’ movies back at Rose’s

Sunday was the coldest day yet and we were not about to go play mini golf in the cold, windy, overcast day so we watched more movies stayin’ warm in the house or the camper. I did do some research trying to find a solution to hook Rose’s new Blu Ray player up to her wireless network so she could download the Netflix movies directly to her TV. They told her where she bought it she would have to buy a box to do that, only $98, yeah right. Well after extensive research, owners manual tells you nothing, I found out you can’t use any USB wireless adapter. The Blu Ray is ‘Proprietary’ and you must by Samsungs product. Can that idea!

Later that night we said our goodbyes cause Rose has to work & Courtney has school tomorrow. We’ll see ya’ again soon!

Monday we ate and got ourselves ready to go home. First we had to make a stop at Central Florida RV, cause someone in our party broke the freezer door on our last outing. Mike at Central Florida RV & his sons do a lot of refrigerator rebuilds and has provided me with parts before. If you need somethin’ for your fridge, try them they are very nice to work with. Turns out he didn’t have the door so We’ll get by with the door I ‘Super glued’ until we can locate one.

Then it was off to home. Boy fuel prices have spiked since we arrived 6 days ago. Diesel was $2.68 when we rolled thru St. Cloud Wednesday and today it’s $2.79 a gallon. I just got a few gallons to make sure we had enough to get us home where we had been payin’ $2.73 with $.10 a gallon rebate, I new it would be cheaper, HA, Mr. Murphy got me again, $2.83 at home, YIKES! Oh well I guess the only way to beat the price increase at the pump is to invest in oil. Well that’s all for now.

We hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.