Thursday, September 30, 2010

Medicine Delivery

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 85 degrees, early morning clouds, clear skies the remainder of the day

Yesterday, we had a nice day of getting out and exploring. Today, Carolyn paid for that good day, as she suffered with her vertigo issues for most of the day. We had talked about possibly going to the real mall in Ocala so Carolyn could see what it looks like. It has been about ten years since she has been to the mall here, so she wanted to just go in and walk around a little. Also, she hasn't been in a mall of any type, other than The WalMart Mall, in quite some time. But, even with Carolyn trying as hard as she could, she couldn't get the vertigo under control enough so we could go. Maybe another day.

I had to go to the real Mall (WalMart) to pick up a few groceries, which didn't take much time. We were really wanting a ham, but the ones I found, even if I bought a half, were too big for the refrigerator. I compromised by getting a couple of slices that Carolyn prepared for supper, along with potato salad and green beans. Ummm, good!

Late in the afternoon, we received a call that our mail had been forwarded to Carolyn's mother's house, so I went over to pick it up. I've been taking medicine for my medical problems, and ran out of one of them two days ago because the doctor's office dragged their feet in ordering them. The medicine was in the package, along with some other stuff that was mostly junk. I visited with Doris for a few minutes, and then returned home where Carolyn had supper ready.

While I was gone to get our mail, Carolyn talked to the park manager when he delivered our electric bill for the month. It seems he has been having some of the same problems with breathing as I have, and he was asking her which doctors I had seen. Apparently, his doctor is not doing what needs to be done to get him some relief. I sympathize with him about his issues, and I'm going to talk to him tomorrow to offer a little advice.

This wasn't as good a day as yesterday, but it could have been worse. If Carolyn feels better tomorrow, maybe we can scare up something to do.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Pittston, Pennsylvania: Quality Tomato Capital Of The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Live Oak

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 86 degrees, cloudy skies, light showers

About mid-morning, I asked Carolyn what would she like to do today, and she said let's take a drive to the north. Okay, that was fine with me, since both of us are getting a serious case of hitch itch. I have a doctor's appointment next Monday, and we are hopeful that I will be released from more appointments at that time.

Since we didn't have a destination in mind when we left the RV this morning, I jumped on to I-75 and headed north. I know that I've said we don't like driving the interstate highways, but if you don't really have a destination in mind, then they work.

One thing we noticed while driving north was the number of RVs that were heading south. It looks like the snow bird migration has started. We were surprised to see how few of the RVs were fifth wheels or tag-alongs. The majority were motor homes and Class C's, with a few truck campers thrown in.

We blew right on by Gainesville and Alachua, eventually turning to the west and heading toward Live Oak, the county seat of Suwanee County. We have come to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the small towns and countryside of north Florida, and today seemed to be a good one to explore Live Oak.

Live Oak was settled in the late 1800s, primarily because of the railroad. It has a population of about 6500 people, and is the county seat of Suwanee County. The county has a beautiful old courthouse, which is well kept. Most of the original wood inside the building is still in place, and it can be seen that heart pine lumber was used. In other words, the wood will be there as long as the building. Here's a picture of the courthouse.

I stepped inside the courthouse to see what it looked like, and ran into a metal detector and two sheriff's deputies, manning a post at that door. They asked if they could help me, and I explained what I was doing, complimenting the county for keeping the old courthouse. I was asked if I wanted to see the main courtroom, located on the second floor, and I said yes. Here's that courtroom.

The deputy who took me up to the courtroom explained the history of the courthouse, which was built in 1904, with construction starting in 1901. Just about everything about the construction was hand built, and the quality is obvious. Eventually, an elevator, electricity, and air conditioning were added, but not much more. I was told that the area where the elevator goes to the second floor was built in a room where prisoner executions took place. The deputy and i talked a little about the crime issues that the country has today. He is of the opinion that most of the temptations that cause people to do wrong were around back when the courthouse was built, and crime was not as bad then. He thinks that the morals of the country have slipped, and that they will continue to slide. This was from a man about 30 years old, and I have to say I agree with him.

Leaving the courthouse, which as the highlight of the day, we drove around town, checking out the business area, which is below. Note that I was standing in the middle of the street when I took the picture. Busy!

Here's City Hall.

And then there's this picture of the home of the man who is credited with building most of Live Oak, Thomas Dowling.

Eventually, we made our way back to Newberry, where we had a late lunch at Backyard Bar-b-que, where we ate a week or so ago. The food was just as good the second time around.

By the time we were back at home, both of us were ready for a little rest, me with meditation, and Carolyn with a nap. It was a good day and will do until we can hit the road again.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Live Oak, Florida: Heart Of Suwanee County

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 80 degrees, light showers

A good sized line of showers passed through the area this morning, but it cleared up around lunchtime. We thought the rain was gone for a day or two, but it was not to be done. By the late afternoon, the front that had been moving south had reversed it's course, and was passing back through Ocala, again. It looks as though the rain will last for a couple of days, since it's now coming out from below Cuba. At least it's cooler.

We had some personal business to take care of today that took most of the morning up until the early afternoon. Once that was finished, I had some little chores around the RV that took another hour. Of course, one of the most important tasks left after all the hard work was some meditation. You've got to reward yourself, sometimes.

I think most people will acknowledge that I'm pretty conservative in a lot of ways. This little section of the blog is not about my political leanings, which I have talked about before. Rather, this is about my inner skepticism, which I can't remember not having. For instance, if a salesman says trust me, I run away. If a politician says you can trust me to do what I say I will, I don't believe him. If an investment seems too good to be true, I won't have anything to do with it.

Then, there's the TV shows that claim to show proof of ghosts and extra-terrestrials (space aliens for those who don't know). What is it about those shows? I guess there's enough interest from people that do believe to keep these people in business. I have watched a few of these shows with Carolyn, but every time they claim to show irrefutable evidence of whatever spook or space alien they're pushing at the time, I don't get it.

Oh, by the way, this is not a jab at Carolyn and what she watches. She also tends to be a skeptic, but maybe not as much as me.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Cullman, Alabama: City Of Churches

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Outback Steakhouse

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 74 degrees, high 89 degrees, mostly cloudy skies, late afternoon showers

Carolyn finally got her trip to the WalMart Mall, as we went to the Mall on the west side of town. That particular store is bigger than the one at Silver Springs, and offers a couple of services that we can't get in the smaller store. The Mall seemed busier than normal for a Monday morning, but maybe that's a sign that the economy is picking up. Or, it could be that the snow birds are already starting to show up. Whatever is happening, I'm sure the stores around town are happy to see it.

Almost as soon as we got into the store, Carolyn started having problems with her balance, so she hung on to the cart for a little support. I thought we were going to have to leave early, but she stuck it out and eventually started feeling better. She said after the trip was over that she was glad she had done it. People who have never had problems with their balance have no idea how debilitating it can be. Carolyn has fought this problem for the last six years, and if effort could make it go away, the problem would have disappeared long ago.

Since Carolyn had made the effort to get out, I treated her to supper at Outback Steakhouse, located in Silver Springs. She had a pasta dish with chicken, while I had a New York strip steak. My food was excellent, and Carolyn said her's was, as well.

When we left the restaurant, I drove to a dollar store and we bought a puzzle for Carolyn's mom to put together. As I've mentioned before, Doris is 86 years old, and still has a sharp mind. She has some physical disabilities that prevent her from doing anything physical, but she loves to do needlework and put puzzles together. So, we took the puzzle by her house on the way home. She was pleased with what we got her, and said she was going to get right to work on it. It's amazing how little it takes to please some people.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Crystal River, Florida: Home Of The Manatee

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Brahma Restaurant

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 74 degrees, high 89 degrees, partly cloudy skies

There was a threat of rain early this morning, and it sprinkled very lightly while I was walking. The rain was so light that I could have walked in it all day and not gotten wet. As the day went on, the rain threat eased, and the skies cleared somewhat. The humidity is still hanging on, but hey, this is Florida.

We visited Carolyn's mother and listened as she talked about her childhood and growing up in Georgia. Carolyn is taking every opportunity to ask her questions about relatives who have passed on so she can fill gaps in her family history. My mother used to talk about her childhood growing up in Alabama, but the last few years of her life were affected by Alzheimer's Disease. Our older folks are filled with all kinds of information about the past, if we can get them to talk. It's too bad I didn't help with the family history search sooner than I did.

The RV park where we're staying has cable TV as part of their service, but it is iffy at best. Every time we have a little rain shower, the cable TV goes out. Then, when it comes back, it is usually so fuzzy that it looks like reception from a bad TV antenna. Our cable has been out for three days, but we don't have to depend on it. Instead, we use our satellite dish to get a better picture with more choices. We started satellite TV service about 11 years ago when we were living in Bay City, Texas, for all the classic reasons that people dislike cable TV companies. Bad reception, bad service, high prices, etc. I can't imagine using a cable company again.

When we were living in Ocala, a landmark was The Brahma Restaurant, located on South Pine Street. At that time, it was probably the best place to eat in Ocala. They had a distinctive image of a Brahma Bull in front of the restaurant.

At one time, the bull representation was a bigger than life statue, located between the restaurant and highway. The bull had some distinctive features that mischievous kids used to paint different colors. Eventually, the bull was moved to the roof, where the pranks stopped. Oh, and the features that were painted were not the hump. It was interesting to drive by the restaurant and see what color the referenced parts were. It's funny the things I remember.

Like many things that have changed in Ocala, The Brahma Restaurant is gone, bulldozed in the name of progress. Sigh!

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Boston, Massachusetts: The City Of Notions

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More Nostalgia

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 90 degrees, partly to mostly cloudy skies, light showers, high humidity

We thought that Carolyn would have recovered from her bout with vertigo yesterday, but it was not to be. We have been having showers and high humidity, which seems to make her symptoms worse, so she has been staying inside where it's cooler. Maybe she'll be feeling better tomorrow.

Carolyn did feel good enough to assign me some house work to do, like dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning the air conditioner return air filter. It's funny, but I can remember when shoe would not dream of me even helping with that kind of chore. Since I'm around more now instead of working all the time, I guess she has changed her mind. That's fine with me, since I live here, too, and I don't mind helping.

The majority of the afternoon and evening was spent watching college football. In case you haven't realized it yet, I am a college football fan. I got over watching the over paid prima donnas that pass for pro football several years ago. I just hope that the college game doesn't go the same way. Florida didn't play until tonight, and seemed to be getting their offense going. They better hope so, because they play Alabama next week. That game does not feel good to me. But, the Gators won this week, so maybe they can pull something out of their bag next week.

Here's another trip down memory lane. The picture below is of the Ocala National Bank, built in 1911. It is located on the corner of Silver Springs Boulevard and Main Street in downtown Ocala. The buildings on the street to the left of the bank building housed J C Penney and Sears and Roebuck, plus a men's wear store. When was the Roebuck part of the Sears and Roebuck Company removed from the name? I have no idea. Anyway, the bank was a fixture in downtown Ocala for many years. The building is now used by the Insomniac Theatre Company.

I guess the readers can tell I get a little nostalgic when I see these reminders of what Ocala used to be like.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The Druid City

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ocala Drive-in Theatre

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 89 degrees, partly cloudy skies

We were didn't do much this morning, choosing to rest up a little from our excursion yesterday to Lake City and back. About lunchtime, we decided to go to Sam's Club to pick up a couple of things, and go to the WalMart Mall so Carolyn could join the people milling around in the store. Not that she would be milling around, but many people appear to be doing that to me.

As soon as we walked into Sam's, I saw that they were much busier than I had seen that store since we had been here. That's good for Sam's, but didn't work out so well for Carolyn. The motion of all the people, flashing lights, and sound created an environment that is not good for her vertigo. Almost immediately, she started having problems with her balance, holding on to me so she wouldn't be staggering. We were able to finish what we wanted to do at Sam's, but the plan to go the Mall was put off for the day.

As a result of the vertigo attack, Carolyn was under the weather for the rest of the day. The afternoon was spent letting her rest and get back to normal. The Mall will be there another day.

We left Ocala about 30 years ago to follow careers and see the world. We had a lot of great memories of growing up here and raising our family, but felt it was time to get out in the world. Since then, we have been coming back at least once a year to visit family, and are usually surprised at how much the area has changed. The growth in population has had good and bad points, but since we've been back, we've found much of the old Florida and Ocala that we remember from our earlier life here. One of the oldest landmarks here is the Ocala Drive-in Theatre. When we lived here, we spent a lot of evenings there, both dating and later when we had our girls, enjoying movies in a way that was affordable to a family without much money. The screen for the drive-in is still there, and the property is not being used for anything at this time. It's kind of sad that something that people enjoyed so much has come to this end.

Speaking of the Ocala Drive-in Theatre, my brother Terrell and his wife Kathy sent me a link to some old pictures of Ocala. One of the first ones I saw was of Dyer's Drive-in Theatre, which eventually became known as the Ocala Drive-in Theatre.

Here's what the drive-in theatre looked like waaaay back yonder.

Then, here's what it looks like today. Can you imagine living in the screen?

Just a little blast from the past for Carolyn and me. By the way, giving credit where due, the pictures came from the archives of the Ocala Star Banner.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Red Bay, Alabama: A Great Place To Live, Work, And Play

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lake City

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 88 degrees, partly cloudy skies

It seems as though the little excursions that we have been doing are taking us further and further away from the RV. Today's trip took us all the way to Lake City, as we continued our drive down memory lane.

It had been about 40 years since we had actually been in Lake City, so that seemed like a good enough reason to go check out the area. Before I-75 was built, the most direct route to Carolyn's hometown of Nashville, Georgia was on US-41. We followed that part of the old route from Newberry to Lake City today, and as might be expected, didn't see a thing that we remembered.

We took the back roads because we like the slower pace, less traffic, and more things to see. Since we had recently been to Newberry, we only slowed down enough to obey the traffic laws. Once outside Newberry, we headed north to High Springs, another of those little Florida towns that are so neat. High Springs has a population of about 3600 people, and is a nice little town.

From High Springs, we headed north across farmland and pastures, eventually driving into the south side of Lake City. This medium sized city has a population of about 67,000 people, and is the county seat of Columbia County. Here's a picture of the courthouse, which is a good representative of the architecture of Florida.

During our drive around town, we found what we named The Duck Lake, because of the large number of ducks that live on the shore of the lake. The buildings in the picture are in the downtown area.

The area in front of the courthouse has a little park with the usual statues and memorials to honor past events and heroes. The most intriguing sight to me was this little fountain.

After leaving the downtown area, we started looking for a place to eat lunch. We didn't want a fast food restaurant, such as hamburgers, but couldn't find anything that drew us into the store. Finally, we stopped at McAllister's and had a couple of club sandwiches with potato salad.

By the time lunch was finished, we were ready to head back home. The trip back to the RV was via I-75, more for the speed than being able to see the sights. By the time we arrived back at home, it was the middle of the afternoon. At least our urge to explore has been scratched for one day.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Lake City, Florida: The Gateway To Florida

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Radioactive Me

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 69 degrees, high 87 degrees, clear skies

We took care of our chores around the RV yesterday because we knew I had another appointment for another medical test today. The test was scheduled for just after lunch, and we didn't know how long I would be tied up with it. Not tied up, literally, but not knowing how long it would take.

I arrived at Ocala Regional Medical Center about 30 minutes before my appointment so the paperwork could be taken care of. It's a good thing I was early, since it took that 30 minutes to get admitted for the test.

Once all the paperwork was finished, I was escorted to the test area. There were three technicians there who were going to help with the test. Part of the test involved inserting a needle into my right arm so a radioactive substance could be injected into my body. The lady who did this was as good as any I have seen for this part of the procedure. There was very little pain, and no searching for a vein.

Once I was all set up for the test, the radioactive substance was injected. Then, I laid down on a table, where a gamma camera was positioned over my body. A series of three different images were made with the camera, each taking five minutes. I was positioned where I could see a monitor of what the camera was seeing, but it didn't do any good. I had no idea what I was looking at. The doctor who ordered the test will have to tell me what's there, and I won't see him for another 12 days. Luckily, this test was not for anything that's life threatening.

While I was at the hospital, Carolyn was visiting her mother, as they talked about crafts they plan to work on. I visited for a short time when I was finished at the hospital, and then we returned to the RV. By that time, I was ready for some meditation. The rest of the day was spent hanging out, watching a little television, and surfing the web.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Billings, Montana: City Beneath the Rimrocks

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Busy Day

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 67 degrees, high 92 degrees, clear skies, breezy

A consequence of a day out doing our thing like yesterday is a day at home doing the things that keep us afloat. Things like laundry, which we hadn't done in two weeks. I should say that I hadn't done the laundry in two weeks, since that's my job.

I was down at the laundry bright and early, but someone beat me to the machines. So, I went back home and told Carolyn I was taking the truck to the WalMart Mall on the west side of Ocala so I could get it serviced. I've learned that if I wait until the early part of a week, it's usually fairly easy to get service performed in a timely manner. Today was not busy at the Mall, as expected, and I was able to get the work finished and headed home in about 45 minutes.

When I got home, I checked to see if the laundry was still busy. I found that the washers were empty, but the dryers were working. Okay, I'll start the laundry washing and maybe the dryers will be ready when the laundry is washed. Well, the dryers finished and the owner of the clothes hadn't showed up. I had decided that if the other person's clothes were still in the dryers when I needed them, I would wait a few minutes, then take the dried clothes out and put my clothes in the dryer. Luckily, about a minute before I needed the dryers, the other person showed up and removed her clothes. Whew! I didn't want to touch another person's clothes, but it is acceptable to do that if the machine is not being minded.

Once the clothes were finished, Carolyn had lunch ready (chicken fried rice, yum, yum!). We had lunch and watched one of her cooking shows. By then, I was feeling the need for some intense meditation, which had to be taken care of.

After the meditation, I had a couple more chores to take care of, as did Carolyn. Then, we took it easy the rest of the day.

Florida has a pest that rears it's ugly head two times a year, April and September. The pest is named the love bug, and is an innocent looking little bug that tends to congregate near highways. Here's why they are called love bugs.

These little boogers can cause tremendous damage to the paint on cars and trucks. Here's a couple of pictures of what they look like on the truck.

Luckily for us, the bug deflector on the hood is keeping most of the bugs off the painted surfaces. I knew there was a good reason for putting the deflector on.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Winter Park, Florida: City Of Culture And Heritage

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dusted Cob Webs Off

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 63 degrees, high 93 degrees, clear skies

This is the beginning of the dry season in Florida, and we're glad to see it arrive. The humidity is lower and the temperatures are moderating to the point that I can go outside and not feel as though a wet blanket was thrown over me. It's great!

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that we didn't feel 100%. We felt better this morning, so I suggested to Carolyn that we get out of the RV and see some country. I asked her to come up with a place to go, so she suggested a loop we ended up driving about 100 miles. That might seem like a lot to do on a whim, but we like doing things on the spur of the moment, so off we went.

Our route led us through Williston, where the only reason we slowed down was because of the speed limit and lights. We continued out of Williston on US 27-A, driving through farmland, timber, pastures, and swamps. About 12 miles from Williston, we entered Bronson, the county seat of Levy County. Aha, I thought, a courthouse. A photo opportunity! Well, not so fast, Jerald. The courthouse looked fairly recent, and I like to take pictures of the old ones, with interesting architecture. So, a lost opportunity. I think that lost opportunity set the tone for the day, as I didn't see anything that I wanted to take pictures of today.

Leaving Bronson, we continued on down the road a few miles to Chiefland. What's so great about Chiefland? My family lived there when I was a child for a couple of years. I have a lot of memories from that two years, but I didn't see anything that I recognized. Of course, that was a loooonnnnnng time ago. I was only about 11 years old then, and remember hoeing crops, pitching watermelons, and raking yards to make a little spending money. About the only building that was air conditioned at that time was the movie theatre, which had a big sign advertising their cold water air conditioning.

Boy, I'm really dating myself!

We drove through Chiefland for about 20 minutes, trying to find something that looked familiar to me, with no luck. That's to be expected, since Florida has never been known for saving their heritage. The town has grown, but not as much as I thought it might have. These little towns of the west side of Florida are out of the mainstream. We think they're good places to raise a family.

Our next little town was Trenton, a little town and county seat of Gilchrist County. The county has one traffic light, and all the roads only have one lane going each direction. Now, that's a busy county. It was created in 1925, meaning that it's the youngest county in the state. When we left Trenton, we headed east to Newberry, which we had visited a few weeks ago. Since we had already visited Newberry, our main priority was making a circle back home, instead of retracing our tracks for the day.

Once we got to Newberry, it was lunchtime. As we were driving through the historic district, I noticed a bar-b-que restaurant named Backyard Bar-b-que. Hmmmm. That sounded interesting, so we parked and went in. Now, the outside of the building was nothing to write home about, but the inside was something else. The restaurant was decorated in a way that made you feel welcomed. Very comfortable store to be in, and the service was friendly and helpful, without hovering. And then there was the food.


It was the best bar-b-que we've had since we were in Texas. Carolyn had the sliced pork on a bun, while I had the pulled pork doused in sauce on a bun. Add in sides of cole slaw and french fries, and we had a very good lunch. This was one of those local places that I love to eat at, and we would have no qualms with eating there again.

To complete our circle back home, we drove through Archer and some other little spots in the road, back through Williston, and on to the RV. It was a great ride to knock off some of the cob webs, and it reminded us why we love this RV way of life.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Bronson, Florida: The Heart Of Levy County

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Under The Weather, But Better

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 90 degrees, clear skies, breezy

Most days, we feel pretty good, considering everything. Once in a while, one of us will be a little under the weather. Then, there's the occasional day that both of us are not 100%. This was one of those days, where I didn't feel like going for my morning walk, and things didn't get better for me until late in the afternoon. Carolyn's vertigo acted up, so I think everyone knows what that does to her. The only consolation is that both of us are feeling better now, and are planning to take a little road trip tomorrow so we can shake the cob webs loose.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Shreveport, Louisiana: Port City

Not all who wande rare lost.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

College Football Day

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 90 degrees, mostly clear skies

When college football season arrives, the number one activity for me on Saturdays is watching the various football games. When Florida is playing, I try to get my chores finished before the game starts so nothing interferes with my enjoyment of the game. That is, my enjoyment if the Gators are playing well. This season has been shaky for the three first games, as the Gators seem to have problems doing anything early in the games, and usually don't start playing well until the second half.

Today's game against Tennessee was more of the same, as the Gators couldn't seem to get out their own way, offensively. The defense played a good game, and they're what's keeping the Gators undefeated. Florida seems to be finding a new offensive identity, and they better get their stuff together in a hurry. They play Kentucky next, then have to travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to play the Crimson Tide. If the Gators aren't playing better by then, they will be run out of the stadium. You have never heard an obnoxious Alabama fan until you hear my oldest daughter Terri crowing about how Alabama is winning. I don't need her calling me to rub it in if Florida loses. I know I wouldn't do that to her.

Just give me the chance.

I had some chores to do this morning, and I told Carolyn that I would do whatever she wanted, as long as we were at home for the game. She didn't have anything planned, so I went to the WalMart Mall to pick up some groceries. I wish I had gotten an earlier start, as the store was busy when I got there. It took me about 20 minutes to get through the cashier, even though plenty of lanes were opened. I don't think the economy is the reason for the busy store. It's Saturday, which is when many people do their shopping for the week.

Speaking of the economy, I saw a headline in the newspaper this morning that said the unemployment rate was up to 15% in Ocala. That doesn't count the people whose unemployment benefits have run out or have given up on finding a job. We know several people who are not working, and their job prospects are dim. I don't see things getting better here for a while. I'm thankful that I don't need to look for a job, and I feel for those who can't find work.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Jellico, Tennessee: What A Great Place To Be!

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Terri

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 69 degrees, high 90 degrees, partly cloudy skies

One thing we've noted about living in an RV is that most of the repair parts tend to be fairly expensive. Refrigerators for $1500 or more, air conditioners for more than $800. Then, there's the little parts like the air conditioner return air grill. That little part is made from plastic, which means it's fairly flimsy.

Several months ago, our grill suffered broken tabs, meaning we had to tape the grill in place on the air conditioner, rather than using the tabs. You can imagine how tacky that looked, and how Carolyn fussed about it. We looked in several RV parts stores for a replacement, as well on the Internet.

Up until Wednesday, we had not found what we were looking for. Then, I stopped at another store near the RV, and found exactly what we were looking for. Only one problem: the part was reserved for another RVer. The service person ordered six more of the grills, and I received a call this afternoon letting me know that the grill was ready for me to pick it up. All right! I went down to the store, checked the grill to make sure it was right, and laid down my payment of $19.30. Now, the new grill is in place, the tape is gone, and Carolyn is happy that it doesn't look tacky. If she's happy, I'm happy. I have to be careful when cleaning the filter so the new grill doesn't break.

We didn't take a long road trip today, but did get out in the northwest part of the county to enjoy the scenery on the back roads. Just about all the property in that area is made up of horse farms, and they are really shining. It's impressive to see horse barns that cost more than a family home. Those horses are pampered. I guess if I had the bloodline those things have, I'd be pampered, too.

I noticed in the news that Los Angeles created 55 new jobs with $111,000,000 of economic stimulus money, for a cost about $2,000,000 per job. I know I said I didn't want to work any more, but I might be persuaded to go back to work for $2,000,000. No wonder the economy still sucks.

Our daughter Terri is celebrating her birthday today. She's XX years old, and doesn't look a day older than 21. You didn't think I was going to give her actual age, did you?

Happy Birthday, Terri.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Aledo, Texas: Rich Heritage, Dynamic Future

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Umatilla And Eustis

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 91 degrees, partly cloudy skies

I'm feeling better since I'm able to sleep better, so when I got up this morning at almost 0800 hours (see, sleeping better), I asked Carolyn if she would like to take a little road trip. She asked where did I have in mind to go, and I said I don't know, but we'll figure it out.

So, we headed easy into the Ocala National Forest and ended up visiting the little towns of Umatilla and Eustis. We hadn't been there in about 40 years, and our impression of the growth was that the towns had aged gracefully. The growth doesn't seem to be overpowering, and the towns seem to have kept the small town flavor that we like so much.

Lake Eustis is a beautiful lake on the outskirts of Eustis. I stopped to take some pictures, and the first thing I noticed was this sign. They didn't have to worry about us feeding those boogers.

Here's a couple pictures of the lake. This lake is not unique to the area, as we saw several large lakes while there.

Check out the beautiful cypress trees on the shore of Lake Eustis.

The last time we were in the area, there were a lot of orange groves. Over the years, development and cold weather reduced the groves to a fraction of what they used to be. In fact, we did not expect to see the groves that we did, but it was nice to see that some of the old memories are still around. This is one of the groves that we saw.

One thing that both of us liked about the little trip today was that we saw a lot of the old style Florida houses that are standing the test of time very well.

We stopped at Alexander Springs on our way home to see what time had done to the springs. The springs were nice before, but we feel that they are even better now. The picnic area has been upgraded, and the springs are still great. It's a little out of the way, but well worth the visit.

Canoes can be rented to paddle down the run, and we think this run is even nicer than the run from Juniper Springs.

It felt good to get out, even if it wasn't new country we were seeing. Well, I shouldn't say it wasn't new country. It had been so long since we had been there, almost nothing looked familiar. Maybe I'll continue to feel better and we can get out and about more. Who knows where the trip will be to?

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Eustis, Florida: The City of Bright Tomorrows

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Great Weather

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 63 degrees, high 91 degrees, mostly clear skies, light breeze

Today was the nicest day, when talking about the weather, that we have had since being here. When I went for my morning walk before daylight, the air felt so good it almost made a tingle run down my leg. When I got back home from the walk, Carolyn had opened some windows and a roof vent so the Fantastic fan could be run to help move the cool air into the RV. We get to enjoy this great weather again for the next couple of days.

I'm continuing to improve from my breathing problems earlier in the weekend. I slept better last night, and the medicine seems to be doing the job. Now, having said that, I had an appointment with another doctor this morning to see if he could find out what the problem is. After talking to me and doing an examination, he prescribed another medicine that I will take for a couple of weeks. In addition, I am going to be scheduled for another test for something that today's doctor thinks is causing my problems. Then, I'll go see the doctor again to see what the long range treatment will be. I may be wrong, but I feel like we may be on the right path to getting this issue under control.

For many years, I have followed what's been going on in the political world. I understand that politicians, for the most part, make promises that they can't keep, or never have any intention of keeping. In other words, most of them go into politics with their own agenda being more important than what the people who elected want them to do. The last few years have been difficult to watch as our country has barreled down a road that seems to me to be detrimental to the our long term future. Overwhelming debt, wars with no end, the development and growth of a society that thinks the world owes them a living, higher and higher taxes that take away the incentive to excel, high unemployment, and the growth of big government to levels never seen before, to name a few issues.

This year, it seems that a movement has risen up that has the same concerns that I do. Finally, people are realizing that if we stay on the same path as a nation, we are going to lose our standing in the world, and the future of generations to come will be less affluent than we have had in the past. I don't know how the mid-term elections are going to go, but it's encouraging to see so many of the old school politicians losing their jobs to fresh, new blood that seems to have many of the same concerns as myself and so many others. The time between now and the election is going to be interesting.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Brookings, Oregon: Home Of Winter Flowers

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Doing A Little Better

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 93 degrees, mostly clear skies

My breathing problems were a little better last night, as the new medicine I started yesterday seems to be doing some good. The real test will be tonight as I get more of the medicine in me. If I can sleep better, then maybe the followup doctor's visit tomorrow will be something to keep building on. XXXXXX! That's fingers crossed!

We visited Carolyn's mother today, and she continues to look good for her age. Her attitude toward life in general is outstanding. She's doing great for 86 years old.

We had a little excitement in the RV park this afternoon. As I was taking some garbage out, three sheriff's deputy cars came blowing in and went down the street to an older RV. I'm not sure what was going on, but two hours later, one of the cars was still there. As is common in most neighborhoods, when the police showed up, people came out to see what was going on. I don't think anyone found out what was happening, but we have one old guy here who claims to know everything that happens in the park. I'll ask him tomorrow.

We were watching a program on television about the number of Burmese pythons that are in the Everglades, and how fast the population is growing. Just for the record, I'm not a snake lover, and when I see how big those pythons can get, I like them even less. I've been known to jump three feet in the air when someone says "Snake!".

The television program stated that a number of people have been granted permits to hunt the pythons. It would seem to me that as fast as the snakes can multiply, an open season should be declared on them. The balance of nature in the Everglades is fragile to start with. The ecosystem doesn't need another predator as efficient as these snakes are. If one is seen, remove it. If that means trapping, fine. But, if it also means killing them, so be it. Florida is about to be overrun with these exotic animals that are not native to the state. Poisonous frogs, iguanas, birds, fish (the walking catfish comes to mind), just to name a few. What's next?

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Carson City, Nevada: State Capital Of Nevada

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 13, 2010

ANOTHER Doctor's Visit

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 97 degrees, mostly clear skies

My breathing problems are getting to be like an old record. I go to the doctor because I'm having problems breathing. He tries something new. I start feeling better. The doctor says let's see how you do over the next week or so. I call the doctor about a week later with the same old symptoms. I go back to the doctor.....

I've been fortunate in my life to be relatively healthy, allowing me to do just about anything I wanted. Now, with the problems I started having again over the last three days, I find it hard to take my morning walks. In addition, I have problems sleeping soundly because the breathing issues wake me up all through the night. I finally got up this morning at 0430 hours and stayed up the rest of the night. When I was working, 0430 hours was a normal time for waking up. I would rather not wake up so early now that I consider myself retired.

As a result of a visit to the doctor today, my medicine has been changed again, and I have an appointment on Wednesday with another doctor to discuss the problem. I have my fingers crossed that we will come up with a solution this time.

When we came to Florida in June, we expected to be here 2-3 weeks. Being hospitalized with pneumonia for four days put a crimp in our plans to spend our summer visiting the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We felt it was important to stay near the doctors who treated me for the pneumonia until they told me I was good to go. The problem is that every time I thought we were about ready to go, I would suffer another set back, requiring more doctor visits. So, here we are, and we still have hopes that we can go north for at least a short visit to Tennessee before cold weather sets in. This is frustrating, to say the least.

Since I felt so bad from lack of sleep and breathing problems, we didn't do much of anything today except try to stay cool. If my new medicine helps, maybe we can get out tomorrow. It doesn't take long for me to get cabin (or in this case, RV) fever.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Boston, Massachusetts: The Hub Of The Universe

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

80 And Beyond

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 97 degrees, showers late in the afternoon

We were out and about today, and met a very nice older man who is 80 years old. What's so great about 80 years old? Well, we aspire to being that old and more someday, and to have a sharp mind with good health. The older man told us his name, but his accent was so thick that I couldn't understand what he said. Being the type of people who didn't want to embarrass ourselves or him by acting as though we couldn't understand him, we didn't say anything.

We did understand much of what the old man had to say, and he kept us busy as we tried to follow along as he told us where he was from and many details of his life. He and his wife, who is 74 years old, hold dual citizenship from France and Switzerland. He came to the US when he was 18 years old, and has lived here since. His career was in finance and real estate, and he still owns several pieces of real estate in Florida, with much of it in Ocala.

The old man seemed to be most proud of the quality of health that he and his wife enjoy. Neither of them take any medicine, and that's with going to the doctor every three months for checkups. He walks three miles a day, as well as rides a bicycle. They take care of their own yard, which is about an acre in size. His hair is white, but it doesn't look as though he ever lost any of it.

The old man has obviously been blessed with good health in his life. However, it was also obvious as we talked to him that they had tried to live a healthy lifestyle. He said that they had never eaten fried chicken! Can you imagine that? Maybe fried chicken is not good for us, but it sure is good! Now that I think of it, I don't eat fried chicken any more, since I have been advised to reduce my sodium intake.

Now that I think about it a little longer, I don't eat anything that tastes as good as it used to since I was in the hospital. Carolyn's a good cook, and she is adjusting to the new way of cooking. But I sure do miss pizza, fired chicken, Chinese buffets, hot dogs, juicy hamburgers, chili.......

With this new lifestyle, maybe I can make it to 80 and beyond.

As the reader might be able to infer, this was a slow day for us.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Chattanooga, Tennessee: The Attraction’s Only Natural

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 95 degrees, partly cloudy skies

There are several events that have happened in my life that have made such an impression on me that I can remember where I was and what I was doing at the time. John F. Kennedy's assassination, the space shuttle Challenger's explosion, and several other events easily come to mind. One of the events was the terrorist attacks that took place nine years ago today. Thousands of innocent Americans were killed and injured, and we watched on television as the attacks were unfolding. What a scary day it was, as all kinds of thoughts ran through our minds as to where the events were going to lead. Little did we know that our nation would still be involved in a war nine years later as the people who attacked us are still out there, trying to destroy our country and way of life. Who knows when and how it will end. We do know that we'll never forget what happened on September 11, 2001.

Up early this morning, I decided to go buy a few groceries at the WalMart Mall before they got busy and crowded. Plus, going early allowed me to have more choice to select from. Carolyn didn't want to go, but she said to make sure I got everything on the list. List being the operative word. With a little effort, I found everything, and even picked up a couple of items that were not on the list that I realized we needed. By the time I returned home and put everything away with Carolyn's help, it was starting to warm up outside. Since I had a couple of little chores I wanted to do outside before the football game started, I got busy on the chores. By the time I made it back inside where it was cooler, it was lunchtime and time to watch the college football game to see if the Gators had gotten the kinks out of their game.

The Gators didn't get a good start, trailing after the first quarter to the University of South Florida. In the second quarter, the Gators got their stuff together, and finished the game well, winning 38 to 14. They looked much better today, but still have some rough spots that they need to take care of.

That's about it for here today. Now, if the weather will cool off a little...

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - New York, New York: The Melting Pot

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 99 degrees, partly cloudy skies

99 degrees today! I'm tired of this hot weather!

Florida is famous for the bugs that live here. Mosquitoes (which we've not seen much of), roaches, palmetto bugs, horse flies, deer flies, yellow flies, regular old flies, red bugs (some folks call them chiggers), and many others. The most obnoxious to me are the little gnats that circle around your face in hot weather like this, trying to get into your eyes, nose, and mouth. When I'm outside, I'm continually waving a hand in front of my face to keep the little buggers away. If I didn't, a cloud of gnats would descend on me. I can imagine being tied up with the gnats as bad as they are now. It would be maddening.

Now that I've set the tone for this post of the blog, let's move on.

We didn't have anything in particular to do today, so we decided to take another drive over to the Dunnellon area. The last time we were over there, it was crowded with people taking advantage of the cool water from Rainbow Springs and the Rainbow River. Today, the roads were just as crowded, but the springs and river were not nearly as busy. It was a great day for cooling off in the water, but we didn't go prepared to take advantage of it.

Whenever we're out and about, we try to do a little sightseeing to see how much the area has changed. It appears to us that the Dunnellon area is on the verge of really taking off with growth when the recession is over. Dunnellon is a nice little town with a lot of natural beauty. And they have a Super WalMart, so all the shopping they need is right there.

It was the middle of the afternoon before we got home, so both of us were a little tired. By the time some meditation was completed, I was ready to take care of a few little chores.

About the time that I started wondering what Carolyn was fixing for supper, she started making noises about not having anything to cook. It didn't help that I pointed out some choices, because that wasn't what she wanted to hear. Suddenly, a light went off in my brain: she wants to eat out!

After asking a few questions, I finally figured out that I was supposed to cook at Cracker Barrel tonight. Well, that was a surprise to me. But, I am swift on the uptake - sometimes. I asked if she wanted to go to Cracker Barrel, and she said whatever I wanted to do. That's code for "Yes". It's amazing what you can learn about someone when you live with the as long as I have lived with Carolyn. Believe me, you have to be able to pick up those little signals that say so much.

So it was Cracker Barrel for supper, and it wasn't too bad. I think they probably make more money on the country store because that stuff is some kind of high priced. Carolyn usually makes a pass through the store to ooh and ahh over the stuff, but she seldom buys anything because she knows the rule about something having to go to make room for anything that's new.

By the time we got back home, I was ready to snuggle in for the night in the cool RV. Sure would be nice to see some cooler weather.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Bandon, Oregon: Cranberry Capital Of Oregon

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Computer Wireless Switch

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 71 degrees, high 94 degrees, partly cloudy skies

The past few days have been pleasant in the late afternoon, encouraging me to go outside and putter around in the cooler temperatures. Today was a return to the summer style humidity and temperatures. I'm ready for some cooler weather!

Carolyn decided she wanted to go to the Sam's Club and WalMart Mall located in The Villages, about 25 miles south of here. Now, why she wanted to go that far to a store when we have both of them about five miles away raised a question in my mind. When I asked her why go that far, she said that maybe they had some different stuff in the stores in The Villages. Okay.

So, we made a trip down to The Villages, and guess what? We only went to the Sam's Club down there, and even though it is probably the biggest Club store that we have seen, they had the same stuff as the one five miles away from where we are parked. Oh, Well. At least it gave us something to do with part of the day. By the time we were ready to leave the Club, Carolyn was finished with shopping and was ready to go home.

We continue to be surprised at how busy The Villages area is. You would never know a recession is affecting the rest of the county. Traffic was so bad that it probably took us about 20 minutes to drive through town, and it seemed like every light caught us. And, believe me, they have plenty of lights.

I ran into a problem with the wireless switch on our computer today. After we had rested from our little trip, I tried to use the computer to access the Internet. No success, as the wireless switch was turned off, and all the old methods of turning it on failed to work. After working on it too long, I gave up while we ate supper. Then, I tackled the problem again, and discovered that it was probably a problem with the startup. Through a series of fumbles and luck, I found that if I restarted the computer and pressed the shift key and f10 key at the same time as the computer was starting, the wireless switch came on. I wrote the fix down so if it happens again, maybe I can save some time.

Now, if I can just remember where I put the information........

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Gonzales, Texas: The Lexington Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 92 degrees, partly cloudy skies

This was the day that we were going to be back on the road, seeing what was around the next curve or over the next hill. As I wrote in yesterday's post, leaving has been postponed for a couple of weeks. At least when we do get away, the leaves should be changing colors in Tennessee, and the weather should be cooler.

Speaking of cooler weather, we are starting to see some moderation in the temperatures here in Ocala. The average high temperature is about five degrees cooler. It is especially nice in the late afternoon, as the humidity is lower and light breezes help make it pleasant to be outside.

We decided that we needed to get away from the RV for a little road trip today, and ended up going all the way to Palatka. Many times when we're out exploring, we never know where we'll end up going until we get there. Today was one of those types of days. We headed north through Citra, Lochloosa, turned east at Hawthorne, passed through Interlachen and finally arrived in Palatka. This route we took is not that densely settled, and it seemed even less busy with the kids back in school. As we passed through Interlachen, I noticed that the little town has several of the old Cracker houses that were so prevalent when I was growing up in Florida. Here's a Cracker house that we saw in Interlachen. If anyone's interested, it is for sale.

These houses were built in a style that took advantage of open windows and doors before the use of air conditioning became wide spread.

We were surprised to see how many lakes there are in this northern part of central Florida. It seemed like we were almost never out of sight of a lake during our trip. It would be interesting to know how many lakes there are in Florida.

By the time we arrived in Palatka, it had started raining and it came down in a deluge. As a result, I was unable to get out and take pictures like I usually do. The town has a population of about 15,000 people, but it seemed much busier than that.

The downtown area is really attractive, and I saw a lot of murals painted on the sides of buildings. The courthouse and city hall have a definite Florida accent to them. Here's the Putnam County Courthouse.

Here's a picture of Palatka City Hall.

Note that the sun is shining in these pictures. It was raining cats and dogs when we were there, so I got these pictures from Wikipedia.

Palatka is famous for the vegetables grown in the area, including potatoes. Most of the economy is based on agriculture and tourism. The St. Johns River flows by the east side of the city, providing some of the best fishing around.

I would have liked to walk the downtown area to explore the history and sights, but it looked like the rain was set in for awhile. I have got to find the time sometime in the future to go back and look around a little more.

By the time we got back home, our wander lust had been scratched for the rest of the day. Knowing how easily we start getting nervous feet, it won't be long before we get out and see what else we can scare up.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Interlachen, Florida: Between The Lakes

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good Doctor's Visit

Ocala, Florida

Weather; low 72 degrees, high 92 degrees, partly cloudy skies

I started doing my thing early this morning, finishing my walk before it was daylight. I guess it was the excitement starting to build with possibly doing some rambling, starting tomorrow. I felt like a kid last night as I tried to go to sleep. All kinds of thoughts were running through my mind as I tried to drift off. Unfortunately, I have never been able to just turn my brain off and go to sleep if there's something on my mind. Eventually, I managed to get to sleep, but woke early.

After breakfast, I took the last three loads of clothes to the laundry and washed them. Since my doctor's appointment was not until early afternoon, I found some other little chores to stay busy until lunch. Then I went to see the doctor, where I received a good report on my breathing issues. The last X-rays taken two weeks ago showed that my lungs were recovering well from pneumonia. In addition, I'm breathing much better, allowing me to sleep well at night. Most nights, that is. The doctor told me to stop taking one medicine, which is always a good sign. I have to see him again in six weeks as a followup.

Now, the bad news. We are not going to be able to leave tomorrow as we have been planning. Some personal business has come up that we need to take care of before we can leave, and it looks like it will be another three weeks or so before we can hit the road. Drat! We were looking forward to seeing new country and meeting new people. The consolation is that Carolyn can keep visiting her mother, and we have some day trips planned around the state to places we have either never been to or we want to see how they have changed with time. It won't be the same as taking the RV down the road, but we'll make the most of it.

At least everything is nice and clean. Just think, we get to do all this hard work again before we leave.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: Pattern After Us

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 6, 2010

More Preps For Moving

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 93 degrees, partly cloudy skies

When we got up this morning, it never crossed our minds that it was labor Day. Holidays don't seem to mean that much since I'm not working. Since we thought it was just another day, we decided to continue our preparations for leaving on Wednesday if I get the okay from my doctor tomorrow.

Since I'm the washer-person in our family, I took the bed linens and area floor rugs to the campground laundry and washed them. Wash, wash, rinse, rinse. Nothing to it. I have more to wash tomorrow, and then all the laundry will be completed. With everything washed, we can last for about two weeks without washing again. That's important to us when we're traveling.

While I was doing the laundry, Carolyn was doing her thing in the RV: dusting, putting things away, vacuuming.... I've learned that when she gets busy, it's best for me to find something to do outside.

It didn't occur to me that it was Labor Day until I went to the WalMart Mall after lunch to pick up a few groceries. I was really surprised at how many people were shopping. Then, it was like a light bulb went off. Duh!! It's Labor Day! No wonder all these people are here!

So, did knowing it was Labor Day change what we did the rest of the day? Not at all. Since we're retired, every day is like Saturday. The only time we pay much attention to the holidays is if we're traveling and need to get into a place to stay before all the RV parks are full. Or, if we have something going on with family, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving Day. The rest of the time, it's just another day.

When I got home from the Mall, I checked our tire pressure, adding a couple pounds to two tires on the RV. I'll check the pressure again tomorrow to make sure we don't have any slow leaks.

After supper, it had cooled off enough that I decided to put some more wax on the truck. That went well, and all I have left to do is the back of the truck beyond the doors. Maybe I can finish that tomorrow.

We should be ready to leave on Wednesday, if the doctor cooperates. If he still wants to see me in the near future, we'll decide whether to change our plans.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Marshall, Texas: City Of Seven Flags

Not all who wande rare lost.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Battery Maintenance

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 92 degrees, light sprinkles in the late afternoon, partly cloudy to mostly cloudy skies

Sunday is usually a day that we tend to not do anything except rest and possibly go out to eat. Just like people who live in a house. After a busy week of doing whatever it is we happen to be doing, we're usually ready for a slow day. That's pretty much what today was. A day that was slow, but restful.

I still got in my morning walk, which I try not to miss. About 1000 hours, I got a little restless and decided to check the batteries on the RV and truck as part of our preps for leaving here this next week if the doctor gives me a good report. The RV battery was fine, except for having to add a little demineralized water to top off the cells. The truck batteries, on the other hand, needed a little more work. Both batteries were a little low on water, which was easy to take care of. The corrosion had built up on the battery posts for the two batteries, so I took everything apart and cleaned the crud off. Then, I used some WD-40 spray to put a good coating on all the parts. That's a tip I picked up this week that's supposed to retard the growth of the corrosion. We'll see how that goes.

The really hard part of this work was that it was in the sun, with about 95% humidity. By the time I was finished, I felt like I had been in a sauna. It seemed like the smart thing to do was get inside the RV and hug the air conditioner, which I did for the rest of the day. I have gotten too hot two times in the past, and it seems that I can't take the heat like I used to be able to do.

Recently, Carolyn has been working on her family tree, finding information that takes her maternal line back to 15oos Wales in England. Her paternal line goes back to 1200s Scotland, and she thinks she will be able to find information that goes even farther back. My maternal line is fairly easy to trace, while my paternal line only seems to go back to the 1850s so far. It looks as though I am going to get more involved in the efforts on my family tree, which is only right. I would like to know more, and Carolyn is going to help me find what's available. The problem we see now is that my paternal line is so sketchy. We'll see how it goes.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Renaissance City

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cleaned Outside Of RV

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 69 degrees, high 92 degrees, partly cloudy skies

I was sore and stiff after this morning because of the hard work I did on cleaning the roof of the RV. I knew I was out of shape from being sick, but this was ridiculous! It's obvious to me that I need to step up my exercise so I get my strength back. So, how do I do that? More walking, exercises with stretch bands, and doing more on the RV and truck, instead of letting them go like I have been. It won't be easy.

Even though I was sore and stiff this morning, I decided to try to get the outside walls of the RV washed and cleaned up. We're parked under oak and pine trees, and as I've said before, they are a mixed blessing. The shade they provide is nice, helping keep us cooler in the summer. The problem is that the trees also have bugs and ants fall out of them which try to get into the RV. Worse than the bugs is the dirt the trees put on the RV. Drips, stains, debris, etc. falling almost continuously. In many cases, the problems are not noted until a cleanup starts, when the stains and bug poo are so hard to remove. It took me most of the morning to do what I did, but the RV looks much better. At least it'll do until we get out from under these @#$%&* trees! Then, maybe I can remove the rest of the stains and get some wax on it.

Carolyn went to lunch with her mother and sister Teresa while I stayed at home. I usually don't go along to these kinds of things because I think Carolyn needs that special time with her mother. Besides, I was wore out after the hard work of cleaning the RV.

An ulterior motive for me to stay at home was that I wanted to watch the start of college football, especially to see how the Florida Gators did. Well, how did they do? They played awful, looking nothing like what we've grown accustomed to seeing. They won against Miami of Ohio, 34 to 12, but it was not as easy as the score might seem to indicate. The Gators started flat, and never seemed to get up off the mat. The couldn't hold on to the ball, couldn't get the ball from the center to the quarterback, dropped passes, etc. If they had been playing a team from the SEC, I think they would have lost.

The question now is whether Florida is overrated. Right now, I would have to say they are. There should be plenty for them to work on in practice this next week.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Gainesville, Florida: Title Town

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cleaned The Roof - Whew!

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 94 degrees, partly cloudy skies

The morning temperatures seem to be moderating a little, and we're ready for it. We're expecting it to get down to 67 degrees tonight, which means the air conditioner won't be running so much. We're looking forward to even cooler weather next week if we're able to move north for a few weeks.

I think I did as much physical work today as I've done in the past year. We are parked under some trees, and although they help keep us cooler, they are a scourge for helping make an RV dirty. I cleaned the roof back before I got sick and had to go in the hospital here in Ocala. Since we're getting ready to move, I knew that I needed to clean the roof and sides of the RV again. Logic says I needed to do the roof first, then the sides. In a more normal time, I could have cleaned the entire outside of the RV in less than a day. Well, this is not a normal time for me as I'm still trying to recover my strength. With my physical strength still not up to par, and it being as hot as it was, it took me most of the day just to clean the roof. At least that big chore is done. Tomorrow I'll do my best to clean the walls. That is, if it doesn't interfere with watching the first Gator college football game of the season.

While I was outside working, Carolyn was cleaning the carpet inside the RV. Remember when I said the RV has to be spotless inside and out when we leave on a trip? Well, all this hard work is an example of what she wants to get done before we leave. I think I've got the hard job, with what has to be done outside. Hmmmm, maybe we should sit here. Nah, I don't think so. I'm ready to see some new country and scratch our hitch itch.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Ozark, Alabama: The Home Of Fort Rucker

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Toilet Seal Repair

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 74 degrees, high 94 degrees, partly cloudy skies

Our preps for leaving here next week continued today. That is, if the doctor gives me the okay. If he doesn't, at least we will have gotten a lot of things done that needed doing. But, we tend to be optimistic people, so we fully expect to leave next Wednesday.

My first job was to wash the truck. It has been about six weeks since I've cleaned it up, and it was overdue for a good cleaning. It looks better now, and when I get a good coat of wax on it, it'll look really good. I managed to get some wax on the hood late this afternoon, but the quality of light was such that I couldn't tell how the wax was looking. I'll continue the wax tomorrow, after I clean the RV roof and sides.

While I was washing the truck, Carolyn was taking care of some chores in the bedroom. Most of her job consisted of dusting and cleaning. We've gotten rid of so much stuff that we didn't feel the need to go through the closet or drawers. In addition to her cleaning, Carolyn also fixed a pot of soup for supper, along with some good corn bread. Some meals just seem to go better with corn bread, and home made vegetable soup is one of them.

In between resting and working, I managed to find time to go get a haircut and pick up a new air filter for the truck. Carolyn usually cuts my hair, but she hasn't felt steady enough to do it, with her vertigo acting up from time to time.

Probably the most important thing we did today was take the toilet apart and clean the flapper seal. The seal tends to accumulate a buildup of calcium deposits, which allows the water in the bowl to drip into the black water tank. That means the bowl eventually goes dry, which is not a good thing. That job was one we had been putting off because of the nature of what we had to deal with. Finally, today was the day we decided to stop the drip. Suffice it to say that we don't want to go through that again any time soon. One of those little tasks that we have do in an RV that a house doesn't have.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Spokane, Washington: The Inland Empire

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Unique Motorcyle

Ocala, Florida

Weather: low 73 degrees, high 92 degrees, partly cloudy skies

Today was about as perfect a day we've had since we've been visiting in Ocala. Sure, it still got a little warm, but there was a breeze, the humidity was down a little, the sky was beautiful with puffy little clouds...... The late afternoon was even better, with that intangible something that tells us that maybe the fall season won't be so far off.

I had a photo opportunity at the park today that came about because a former resident brought his home-made motorcycle in for a visit. Check out this beauty.

It's a two-seater with the passenger riding behind the driver. The cycle is a three wheeler with an automatic transmission gear shift from a car. The rear end is also from a car. The vehicle is composed of one motorcycle and two cars, and the owner built it from scratch, including the body work and paint. The trunk is a full size car trunk and it has a car motor. Pretty neat!

We managed to dredge up a little more gumption today, and got some things done in preparation for a road trip next week if my doctor doesn't have different plans. We finished going through the cabinets and storage areas in the living room and kitchen, including consolidating stuff and wiping everything out and down. Over the years, we've managed to trim the amount of stuff that we have to the point that we hardly ever have to get rid of anything. Today was no different. A big part of today's work was to ensure everything is in it's place and the load is properly distributed.

When we finished inside for the day, I decided to tackle the basement to see if I could find anything that needed to go away in there. Again, nothing needed to be gotten rid of, except for some old and wore out fishing rods. I vacuumed the floor and rearranged things to the point that I had an empty container that came in handy for books that we're read and are hanging onto for our daughter Lori. She likes to read as much as we do, so we save our old books to share with her when we're in Texas.

After a little meditation (gotta have it!), I moved our satellite dish so we could pick up all our channels. We have cable TV here and have not had as much need for the satellite dish. However, football season starts Saturday, and I wanted to make sure I could receive the Florida game that's being played this week. The place where the dish was set up had a tree that blocked most of the channels that will have the football games, so I couldn't put up with that. Eventually, I found a place that the satellite dish works much better. Now I'm set for college football, at least for this coming Saturday. If everything goes well, we'll be on the road for next one, and will worry about that game when the time comes.

Both of us were pleased with the progress we made today. If we can keep up the momentum, we shouldn't have any problems being ready to leave. Of course, I still have the truck and RV to clean up on the outside. Carolyn says that belongs to me.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Biloxi, Mississippi: Buck City

Not all who wander are lost.