Saturday, February 27, 2010

RV-Anytimers Goin’ Mobile!

Well we’re not really goin’ anywhere just yet, but we have a sweet new toy. I just invested in a 3G wireless router for our Sprint aircard giving us our own ‘Mobile HotSpot’. Now we can sit outside and enjoy all the splendor that ‘The Boss’ has given us while we make a new entry in the Blog, surf the web or update the website.
The Cyfre 3G Mobile Router

I’ve been biddin’ on these on Ebay for a while and I always seem to lose by a few dollars, last one I lost by 50 cents, frustratin! I could have bought a used one fer $65, but I let it slide. This one is new and I had to give $107 for it but at $199 retail I feel like I did alright.
It was a breeze to set up. I hooked the router to a laptop via ethernet cable, plugged in the aircard and powered up the router. I was online instantly, surfin’ away. Then I pulled the ethernet cable and installed the software for my security and we’re a ‘Mobile Hotspot’. I’ve only used it in the house so far, so I need to take it out to the Lance and hook up the antenna and see if it gets better. We’re on a slight fringe area here at the house and I’m even on the second floor, but it’s workin’ fine. I know the antenna will improve things even more.
The reason I settled on this router was cause it is universally compatible with any 3G/4G device. It can accommodate any providers PCMCIA card or Express card or a USB modem, so if we switch technology or service providers we’re still set for as long as the router functions.
Now that I’ve got that out, if you haven’t visited the Website lately you need to check it out at Dancin’ on the Wind and see the changes that have occurred. I’m still tweakin’ but I like it a lot better than the ‘White Bread’, ‘Plain Jane’ pages you used to have to look at, I think it has ‘Character’! More improvements are in the works.
Speakin’ ‘o’ wind, I’m runnin’ low on it about now so I’ll say Adios for now. But we always hope to see ya’ down the road as we’re;

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Packin’ em in at the Rancho!

We returned from the Three Lakes camping area on Monday cause Linda had blood work scheduled for Tuesday and her Aunt & Uncle were comin’ this week. When we arrived home I unpacked the camper then parked it around back and unloaded it so’s she could have the truck the next day to go to her Dr’s appointment. Seems we had a phone message when we got home regardin’ her winnin’ a prize for enterin’ somethin’. We had to drive to Cocoa Beach to pick up her prize on Tuesday evenin’. She was excited about winnin’ a 2010 Ford Explorer, a flat screen TV, round trip airfare for two from any major domestic hub, or a vacation certificate. It wasn’t a Timeshare presentation it was a Vacation Club for $10 GRAND, sheesh! Guess what our prize was? You guessed it a vacation certificate, whether we’ll use it is yet to be determined. While we were engaged in Cocoa, Aunt Jessie & Uncle Don arrived at the rancho. We were not expectin’ them for a few more days, but the northern weather got them movin’ much sooner. Actually they were tryin’ to beat the next snowstorm comin’ in, Don said he already had six foot piles of snow all along his driveway. We sat up chattin’  and then called it a night.
Ellie & Jay arrived Thursday and Jay & Don commenced to ‘Jammin’, Don on the Mandolin and Jay on the Guitar. They took a little time to adjust to each others style,but were makin’ music in short order. Friday we took Jay & Ellie around and showed them the local sites. While we were out we stopped at local music store cause Jay needed a neck for his Mandolin, no luck. Then I remembered another store that was across town and as we were goin’ back by that way I stopped. The general consensus was we were wastin’ our time but guess what, they had premade necks and bone blanks. Jay chose the bone blank that he can make two necks from for half the price of the manufactured plastic necks.
Saturday Ellie, Jay, Linda & I took a ride down south away’s to look at a camp that someone had told them about. It is a nice place to camp with dump station, water fill, restrooms & hot showers all for a donation to keep the place goin’. The bathrooms aint much, but it’s like the ‘Ritz’ after stayin’ at Three Lakes. Maybe we’ll get a chance to try it out before we leave fer’ the summer, which is lookin’ more like we’ll be pullin’ out real early this year.
After we came back to civilization, we headed to Stuart cause Jay & Ellie’s son, Ronnie, was at a car show there. Ronnie lives in NC, but helps a man in Stuart and thats why he was here at the show. We met up with him at the warehouse the man stores his cars at and carried him and a friend back to the beach to pick up two more cars at the show.
Linda & Ellie in a 1895 Duryea replica
After droppin’ the boys off and sayin’ our goodbyes we started headin fer home. Along the way we had decided to stop at CiCi’s Pizza for some late lunch. There were more people than I’d ever seen there before for some reason. Well…. seems they were celebratin’ their 50th Anniversary and the ‘All ya can eat buffet’ was only $3.99.!!! I can definitely put a dent in their menu fer that kind a dinero. We all ate more that we shoulda’ and waddled out to the truck to head home. Jay & Don did some more playin’ and singin’, which we all joined in, even though some folks that shall remain unnamed, could have used a bucket in each hand.
Sunday was a lazy day and we just relaxed, the ‘Boys’ played some and we just enjoyed each others company.
Gettin’ ready to pull out
We must’a done somethin’ right cause Jay & Ellie were just gonna stay fer 2 nights and didn’t leave till Tuesday. We had a wonderful time with them and can’t wait to see um again soon.
Until we do, “Vaya Con Dios” my friends & Travel safe along the trail.
Well that’s all fer today. Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;

Monday, February 15, 2010

We’re Campin’ Again

We sure are livin’ up to to the title of this here blog lately. We decided pretty quick after viewing our calendar, that we just had to go campin’ right away if we wanted to go at all. This time I hadn’t unloaded the camper so we just had to load everything else up. We’ve decided to return to the management area where we camped a week or so ago and visit with all the new friends we made. We both had appointments with the eye Dr. on Wednesday at 2:30 & 2:45 and we left immediately after for the woods.
So here we are, campin’ again. Boondockin’. Dry campin’ with no hookups. This time we brought an extra 15 gallons of water with us along with a full freshwater tank in the camper. We learned that we’re not relyin’ on the water here. Our last trip here proved we can ‘Boondock’ with no hookups for an indefinite amount of time if we have a source to replace our water supply. Dumping is not a problem cause there’s a campground 3 miles west and another 4 miles east where we can dump.
All the folks we met last trip are still here as well as a few new rigs from PA & ME. The weather is cold like the last trip, 33 this morning and the ‘Community Campfire’ was not well attended last night. Lets hope things improve in the coming days.
It was supposed to rain today, commensin’ this evening. Well Mother Nature put the rush on things and it started rainin’ round 5AM. We spent the day playin’ cards, computin’ and watchin’ TV while it continued to rain outside. After dinner we were waitin’ for the ‘opening ceremonies’ to the Winter Olympics, that we thought would start at the beginning of the Olympic programming at 7:30PM, but it didn’t start till 9PM. I didn’t think too much about the power we were usin’ and Mr. Murphy snuck up and smacked me in the back o’ my noggin’. Around 10:30, during the opening ceremonies, the inverter started to scream it’s low battery alarm. Batteries are down to 50% charge, so I cranked up the generator to put a little charge back in the batteries. I was just too cocky about our power usage and not able to go out in the pourin’ rain to monitor battery voltages. So we missed the end of the program, Oh well.
I did find out something interesting. I placed our generator under the rear of the camper to keep it dry and in case we had to run it I could run outside and start her up. Well running it that close seems to interfere with the Digital Converter for our TV. I even put the TV on inverter power while the genny was runnin’ and still had the interference. The TV picture would become pixilated and the sound would skip words even though I had a 92% signal strength on the channel. I guess the generator frequency was affectin’ the Digital Converter. Saturday I moved the genny back away from the camper and tried the TV again, powered by the genny and powered by the inverter while the genny was runnin’. With the same 92% signal on the same channel I had no interference what so ever. Somethins’ goin’ on that I don’t fully understand, but I think I figered’ a work-around.
Saturday dawned icky instead of the promised sun and Linda said she had enough, she wanted to go home. I said, “Honey, what if we didn’t have a home to go back to and were livin’ full-time in the RV”? We…ll she countered with, “You always told me if you don’t like the weather we can move, if you don’t like the scenery we can move, if you don’t like your neighbors we can move”! She got me there. So I replied, “Where could we go that’s warmer? We’re in Florida”! GOTCHA!!! So we stayed and the sun came out and we went to town and did some shoppin’, had lunch at a great Chinese Buffet and went to the Flea Market. We got back to camp just in time for the ‘Community Campfire’.
Sunday we had a wonderful breakfast and waited for the day to warm up some so we could get a shower before we attended the Sunday service held here each week. After services we had some lunch and spent the afternoon visitin’ around the camp. We cooked some NY Tube Steaks fer dinner then headed to the fire to close out the day.
Monday was spent packin up, then we spent the next hour and a half sayin’ our goodbyes. Seems we have some company comin’, besides Linda’s Aunt & Uncle this month. Jay & Ellie are comin’ over to stay a few days, after hearin’ Linda’s Uncle Don is a Mandolin player, and he wants to play some with Don.
So were headin’ back to the ‘Rancho’ for what  looks like an extended stay this time. Until the next episode.
Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Sad, Sad Farewell

Well we didn’t stay at the Ole’ Rancho very long. We received a call from friends Margie & Odean that a good friend in Lakeland had passed away on the 2nd. Then we got a call from George & Della askin’ if we were comin’ over for the service. We decided to go to their place in Sebring and we’d go to the service together on Thursday night in Lakeland. So…. I have to load the camper back up and we need to get all the necessities to stay gone for three or four days. Della is havin’ a yard sale with a few of the neighbors and we said we’d help her if she needed it. We pulled out around high noon and arrived in Sebring a few hours later. We had just enough time to change our duds and get goin’ to the service which started at 6PM.

James Daniel Reynolds, Danny as he was known to us all was always a cheerful guy, ready to snap a pun or prank on ya’ when you wasn’t expectin’ it. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, an assistant pastor in his church and an all around great guy. He succumbed to a short battle with cancer after only a few short months. He was to young to go, at 61 and his death has affected Linda and I deeply.  He had not even had the chance to retire and enjoy all that he had strived for all his working life. It reminds us that you never know when, and makes us want to strive to see more so’s we can see some for Danny too.

We arrived early and the church lot was already full. The service was overwhelming in the outpouring of love and recognition he received. The line of folks comin’ to pay their respects never stopped the whole time we were at the church.

Danny I hope the sun is shinin’ on all your campin’ trips and the fish are always bitin’ from now on.

After the service we retired to George & Della’s for some dinner and then bed. Friday was an early day for them as the Yard Sale started some time before we rose to greet the day. The sale went well on both Friday & Saturday and we we’re going to leave Sunday morning to visit Linda’s cousin, Billy in Avon Park, about ten minutes away. Well Linda was convinced by her Sissy, Della that we should come back for their Super Bowl party and stay till Monday. So we went to visit Billy & Gary and talked & talked. Soon we were all off on a ‘Sunday Drive’ that took us to Lake Placid, FL, The ‘City of Murals’.


We had been here many years ago for the “Caladium Festival’. Many more have been added since then, as well as trash cans that have motion and sound effects. The one Gary wanted to show us first was a classic car that when you pushed in the trash flapper door, the car made startin’ noises and rocked back and forth, Pretty cute.


There was also a train, a semi truck and a big bank safe. The murals are all over town and depict early life in this region of Florida, a very pretty city.


We left the Downtown area and drove out into the country, only to get lost for a while. It didn’t matter cause Billy told us her Grandma always said, “If you have a full tank of gas, you’re never lost”. After finding our way back to civilization we dropped in to Golden Corral aka ‘THE FEED BAG’ for a late lunch. After eatin’ way more than we should have we made our way back to Avon Park. We visited some more with the cousins and then we left to return to the “Super Bowl Party’.

We met lots of friends and neighbors and finally settled in the Florida Room at George & Della’s. They had TV’s going in four rooms and the livin’ room was about filled to capacity with Colts fans from Indiana. We were rootin’ for the underdog Saints and the rest of the crowd didn’t mind us in another room. Well sorry ‘Colts’ fans but there’s always next year. After we helped cleanup and went off to bed.

Monday we were up early, for us, had had breakfast with George & Della before we hit the road. Thanks guys, and we’ll see ya again, here or on the road somewhere.

On the ride home I told Linda that we should go campin’ again next week before her Aunt & Uncle show up for their annual 5 or 6 week respite from the frozen north. We arrived and I went to emptyin’ the camper. After all was where it should we sat down to look over our calendar and found we had Dr’s appointments on Tuesday and she has blood work on next Tuesday. So I don’t know when we’ll be goin’.

That’s all for this installment. Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Test’s Over and Some Goodbyes

Linda’s sister, Joyce called this afternoon and wanted to know if we were gonna be here this evening cause her and husband Alex are bringin’ supper. The folks here are teasin’ us about gettin’ ‘Meals on Wheels’ but I think they wish they were in our shoes. Of course we said “Come On”! I even got out our rope lights and put them under the camper so they could spot us easily, kinda like a landing strip. Had to run the generator to power the lights, so the experiment is over, but we proved that we can go 5 days,probably more, without power to recharge the batteries.
Joyce called again to say they were runnin’ a little late so I assured her not to worry, we weren’t going to starve till they arrived. Just give us some cheese and crackers washed down with an adult beverage and we’re fine. Well she & Alex arrived around 7:00 and we had a wonderful meal she had prepared. Baked chicken, home made potato salad with crumbled bacon garnish and a buttermilk pie for dessert, I like this ‘Meals on Wheels’ stuff. After supper we made a fire and talked for a while, but soon they had to say ‘Goodnight’ and head home as Alex starts work around 6AM. We thanked them for their kindness and wished them a safe journey home.
Joyce, Alex & Linda
After they left Linda & I moseyed over to the ‘Community Fire’ and sat with all the folks there. I promised I’d post pictures of some of the folks I was able to capture on film, so here goes.
100_7585 That’s Linda, My Linda, Dee, Sherry & Pat, left to right
100_7587 Dick, Bob & Ken
100_7586 Ed, Fred and the other Linda’s Husband (OK I flunked the name quiz)
After everyone turned in we sat around the fire with Dick & Sherry until midnight, no one knew it was that late. We were just engrossed in our conversation I guess.
Here’s another shot taken under Ken’s awning.
100_7578 Linda, Sherry, Ellie, Jay & Ken, with Dick in the background.
Today we tried out our Solar Shower that I brought from home. We have had it years and have never bothered to use it. It got pretty hot sittin’ in the Ole’ Florida sun.
100_7605 We could get 5 or 6 shampoos’ out of this
Saturday we decided that we would stay until Tuesday morning, but we needed to find us some water. We went into town as we needed some more food as well. Now with a full water tank and some more grub we were ready for three more days. I continued to monitor the battery voltages even though we technically ended the test after I ran the genny while Joyce & Alex were here the other night. I did confirm a few questions that I had.
1. The previous owner had some trouble with the converter and replaced it with a different one. The new converter has a 25A charger in it. I ran the generator about 1 hour and 15 minutes and it brought the batteries up to full charge in that time.
2. The wiring harness between the truck and the camper must have a heavier wire for charging goin’ down the road as it seems to replenish it too.
Sunday we went for a walk in the management area. The walk in the fresh air was great and we walked about 3 miles. We returned to sit around at Dick & Sherry’s coach, everyone was there, so we chewed some more fat. Went to our camper and ate dinner. It was to windy for a fire so Linda & I played Rummy for hours then turned in for the night.
100_7576 These little guys were at my feet while I was writtin’.
100_7590 This is a North American Bluebird
Monday started out with rain, rain, rain early so we decided to pack it up and head for home. We made the rounds and said our goodbyes, hugs & handshakes. We had a great time with our new friends and we hope to see ya again.
On the way home Linda decided we better stop at Ft. Drum Conservation Area for some lunch. After lunch decided to call our good buddies Linda & Bud. It was decided then we’d all go out to dinner. We’re back at the rancho, unpacked, unloaded the camper, had long hot showers and we’re off to dinner.
Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;