Lifestyle, Personal, Photography

Busy doing nothing

Hello friends and family! Again, it’s been two months since my last blog post. I’ll admit I’m having some trouble getting into a groove. I’m not sure if it’s due to the seemingly long winter months that lead to less and less inspiration or because I can’t find a quiet place to sit down with the laptop and bang out a blog post. There isn’t much to do during winter other than staying warm. It’s a season of rest which is definitely needed but resting doesn’t provide a lot of inspiration. Also, our house is an open-concept with no doors save the bathroom door. I like the open flow of the house but I’m unable to write if there’s any background noise and since the TV is usually on I haven’t even tried to write. At any rate, Spring is around the corner (despite what the calendar says!) so with the warmer temps and everything coming to life outside there’s no doubt I’ll be inspired to write a few more blog posts in the upcoming months.

Since my last blog post I took a trip early February to one of my favorite places, Snug Hollow Farm B&B. I went for a couple days to work on some projects for my former boss while Ronnie and LizzieBelle kept the home fires burning. Shortly after my arrival the snow start to fall and dusted the B&B with a beautiful layer of snow. It melted away about as fast as it started but what a treat it was to witness. (While I’m there I make sure the bird feeder is always full and pictured below right is the Cozy Cabin – the original structure on the property.)

Even though I haven’t been able to find my groove to write we have been busy and yet we’ve also been busy doing nothing. (I saw a man wearing a t-shirt the other day with the ‘busy doing nothing’ slogan and I liked it!) The biggest project that kept us busy for several days was painting the exterior of the house.

The dark stained wood exterior with the hunter green roof and shutters were OK but I feel like this house is more like a cottage due to its size and shape and the dark colors just didn’t suit the style of the house. I also this think the house just disappears amidst its surroundings. I’ve wanted a white house since living at the farm so guess what? We bought some Royal Ultra White paint and got to work. (Later on I bought some Valspar Pool Party blue and painted the front door for a bright pop of color.)

This was quite an undertaking. It took two coats of paint and five days of painting. We really like how it turned out so it was worth all the work. I feel like she’s standing tall and now complements its surroundings. I think the white paint now gives the house a cottage look and vibe (lighter, brighter, cheerier) that, in my opinion, correlates to the style of the house.

I mentioned earlier that the house is open-concept with no real bedroom. We had a contractor come out to give us an estimate on adding a master bedroom and bath at the back of the house as well as raising the entire ceiling at the back of the house. (The original back porch was enclosed but the roofline should have been raised before doing so.) The estimate came back at $90,000 – $100,000 for a 600 sq. ft. addition plus demo. Well, that’s just insane and definitely not going to happen at that price. Now that the back entry/pantry/mudroom/laundry room will remain as is I decided it was time to spruce it up a bit. This area would’ve have been part of the demo (raising the ceiling and relocating the laundry area) if we were doing the addition so I hadn’t bothered with it back when we were painting the inside of the house. But now that it is remaining as is this area was in need of a fresh coat of paint and some finishing touches. (As usual we were already prepping when I thought to grab the camera.)

This is a small, multi-purpose area so I wanted a bolder color in there. I decided to go with Valspar’s Peach Ice Cream. It’s a different color palette for me but I figured why not change things up a bit. Once it was painted we added some much needed trim around the doors, added baseboards and hung a cabinet that we found in the garage above the dryer. It fit perfect and is great for hiding all the laundry paraphernalia.

Here’s how it turned out…

Peach ice cream – mmmm! I like how this multi-purpose space is now warm and inviting and actually finished thanks to the addition of trim and baseboards.

While we are still inside the house I’ll show you how the upstairs turned out. (See previous post for the before.) First up, my sewing and craft storage area…

This area is to the right of the stairs. I still need to put a few things away but, quite frankly, I simply have far too many hobbies for the amount of space I have!

On the other side and to the left of the stairs is the guest bedroom…

Low ceilings so watch your head! We’ve already had our first guests and the set up worked out just fine.

Back outside Ronnie tackled a tree that had fallen in the back yard right before we moved in. Of course, since we left all of our farm equipment at the farm we’ve had to buy a few things. One of them being a chain saw.

Having quite a few trees in our yard it never hurts to have one on hand.

He tested it out on the fallen tree and it worked great. Then the axe that was left here broke while he was splitting the wood so he had to buy a new one.

He enjoyed the work but is thankful we get free fire wood with a simple phone call to the sheriff’s office. I’m thankful too since he doesn’t need to be doing such strenuous work. When one has health concerns finding that fine line between staying active and over-doing it is always a challenge.

We had a very mild winter causing many of the hidden beauties to bloom well before our last frost.

Daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, Japanese magnolia and forsythia, to name a few.). It’s been nice watching the earth come alive. I can’t wait to see what other hidden treasures there are.

Earlier I mentioned we were also busy doing nothing. Things I call nothing would be watching nature while sitting around the fire pit…

… reading, cross-stitching, crocheting, knitting and treasure hunting in antique and thrift stores.

Some of the goodies I found one day was a Straubmuller’s Elixir Tree of Life blue bottle, a vintage Hull Imperial ruffled planter, and a pitcher with an embossed bee. Score!

On the cold and/or rainy days there’s been a lot of movie watching which is Ronnie’s favorite way of doing nothing.

And here is LizzieBelle’s favorite way of doing nothing…

Sound asleep on my leg with her tongue hanging out. So cute! In spite of all her health issues she’s doing well.

Meanwhile, we’ve been privy to some beautiful sunrises during the winter months…

… and sunsets…

Watching the morning and night skies morph into such beauty is simply mesmerizing!

Overall, the house is coming together and feeling more like home. There are only a few totes stacked on the back porch that need to be unpacked. Currently each area is constantly evolving as I solve storage issues and try to get organized in a more functional way. Maybe one day I’ll get it right and the rest of the totes will get unpacked. Busy doing nothing!


Another home sweet home

It’s hard to believe that my last blog post was November 10th of last year and here we’re already nearing the end of January of a new year. Over two months have come and gone already. How did that happen?!

During the month of November we closed on our new house in Tennessee (more on that later) then celebrated Thanksgiving with Ronnie’s family in Arkansas. After Thanksgiving we lingered in Arkansas for several days to visit with our oldest daughter. From there we drove to our new house and parked in the driveway. We had allowed the seller another 30 days after closing to be out of the house. Not wanting to shell out money to park at a campground when we owned a house we had arranged to park the camper at the house and stay in it. The seller was appreciative of the extra 30 days while her house was in the final stages of being built so she had no problem with us parking in our own driveway. Upon our arrival we had a 30 amp outlet installed in the garage so that we had electricity however we had no running water or sewer hookup. Since it was only going to be for a couple weeks it was easily tolerable.

The day we parked the camper at the house we continued on to Kentucky. Our goal was to pick up our utility trailer at our friend’s house, stay there over night, pick up a U-Haul the following morning and then unload the contents of our storage unit so that we wouldn’t have to pay another month’s rent. We hired the fella that used to deliver wood to us at the farm house to help us. What a life-saver he was! We had all the contents of the storage unit loaded into the U-Haul in under an hour and a half. From there, Ronnie drove the U-Haul and I drove the truck and utility trailer back to the house. Thankfully it’s only about a two and a half hour drive one way.

On the nineteenth of December we were finally able to occupy our house and call it our own. Yay! We unpacked the essentials in time to head back to Kentucky on Christmas Eve to celebrate with our ‘adopted’ family. It was a slow and, at times, treacherous drive as Winter Storm Elliott had left his mark. The mountain roads and even a good portion of the interstate were iced over. We carefully inched our way there; had a wonderful celebration; stayed the night; and then left the following morning inching our way back as the roads were better in some spots but still icy in others.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s was spent cleaning, unpacking, cleaning, pondering where to put things, cleaning, refurbishing items left behind, cleaning, writing lists, did I mention cleaning? Never again will I buy a house without requesting that it be cleaned (preferably professionally) after exiting. I hired a girl from the B&B where I worked to help me clean the farmhouse before we left and I had hoped for the same. But, no. My hands and fingernails have paid the price of cleaning years worth of dust and nicotine buildup on walls and remaining furniture with lots of white vinegar. Anyway, I’m about to get it so maybe my fingernails will recover some time in the near future.

Now more on the house… After months and months of searching online we found a small house nestled on top of and amongst the mountains in northern Tennessee with two acres.

It was nothing like what we were looking for but we liked the location and the view and it didn’t need much work.

Our first project (before the previous owner even vacated the house) was to replace the rotted front steps and remove the gate.

We also walked the fence line and made any necessary repairs which, thankfully, weren’t many.

When we finally were able to occupy our house my first order of business was taking down all the curtains and drapes and either washing them or air fluffing them to get years worth of dust off them. We’re not really curtain type people but I’m keeping a few that I like then donating the rest. Removing most of the curtains has helped bring a lot of light into the house.

The next order of business was choosing a paint color. At first I wanted to paint the dingy walls a light gray color but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I saw samples of some beautiful rooms done in gray but I felt that I would tire of it quickly and I didn’t feel as though it would be very cottage-y. After hem-hawing back and forth I finally saw a paint color that caught my eye – Tempered Spring by Valspar. It’s a lovely light green that changes with the light. Part of the reason we’re not curtain-type people is because we like to see the outdoors (and we’ve lived in places where our neighbors aren’t near by so they weren’t necessary) and this shade of green helps bring the outdoors in. (The front door is still the original wall color. We’ll paint it when the weather warms up.) We painted the trim Ultra White in satin (also Valspar). We love how it turned out!

Between cleaning, painting, unpacking and shopping for project materials we were able to do a little fun shopping looking for items to fill the house. For those of you who have been following along for a while you’ll remember that before moving we sold almost all of our furniture except for two beds, our dining table, coffee table and the curio cabinet. Shortly after we moved in we were fortunate to find a couch and love seat that we liked at a local store and they were delivered the following day. Later we found a china hutch and a set of chairs for our dining table at a couple of antique stores…

… which means I was finally able to unpack a bunch more boxes! The dining room light didn’t work properly so we replaced it with the fixture you see in the above photo.

We bought a few pieces of furniture (the TV stand, desk, chest of drawers, dresser and some other miscellaneous pieces) from the seller which helped reduce the search for said pieces which completes any furniture needs.

Another purchase we made was a mower made to handle our two acres of rolling mountain top land…

The seller left a small John Deere mower but said it didn’t do very well with the terrain of the acreage. Our friends/adopted family in Kentucky own a small engine shop so we traded the John Deere in for a 54″ Cub Cadet Ultima Zero Turn mower. I think we’re going to have to flip a coin to see who gets to mow this summer! We also bought an Echo weed trimmer and pole saw from them. (I wish we had that pole saw before we backed the camper into its spot. Would’ve saved me from climbing on top of the camper with a Skil saw to trim the limbs.)

The remaining boxes (currently being stored in the open garage or rather double carport with a dirt floor) that are waiting to be unpacked will have to wait a bit as they will go upstairs which, at the moment, I have no words for that space if you can believe it. Now that the downstairs is basically done my nemesis has been the space upstairs. When we looked at the property there was a lot of stuff up there which ultimately hid a lot of things.

The house was sold as-is but when we looked at it there didn’t appear to be much that needed to be done other than finishing half of the upstairs (drywall mud) and adding a bedroom downstairs. Once the house was emptied, though, we discovered there were many small things upstairs that needed attention such as a hole in the wall, an electrical box not attached to anything and literally falling out of the wall, an unfinished floor with drywall mud caked on the edges, and a storage door so heavy that when opened pulled the frame away from the wall because there was no support behind the drywall to screw the frame to.

The past few weeks I’ve been chipping away at the copious amount of work that needs to be done upstairs. Here are a few before images…

I’ve removed more dusty curtains and dusty dowel rods on both walls that were used to hang clothes, cleaning and staining the bare wood floor, creatively mudding the walls to look like Venetian plaster (to hide numerous imperfections as seen above), mudding the ceiling, painting, installing baseboard and a new light…

Thankfully Ronnie has pitched in making the projects move along quicker.

The upstairs is an open space divided off-center by the stairs. The above group of photos is the space to the right of the stairs and is smaller than the other side. This will be my crafting & sewing space. It’s currently chock full of stuff while I work on the other side (shown below).

This side will be a guest room once I’m finished.

We scraped the merengue peaks (done prior to us moving in) off the walls and ceiling so that it’s easier to paint and doesn’t gather as much dust. Yesterday I finally finished staining the floor of the guest room which means the whole upstairs floor is finished, yay.

What a job that was crawling around on the floor and staining each board with a 2″ foam brush.

I know there are quicker ways to do it if you have the right equipment but with some sandpaper, elbow grease and lots of time this was the way to go since we didn’t have the necessary equipment.

Still left to do is painting the ceiling, installing baseboards on the bedroom side, and fixing the electrical box and storage door. Once that’s done I can get the bedroom set up and the rest of the boxes out of the garage and unpacked.

In trying to decide what to do with the two storage areas in the craft room Ronnie came up with the idea to turn them (you can see one of them in the right side of the photo below and the other one is across from it on the opposite wall) into built-ins. I thought it was an awesome idea. This way I don’t need to search for the perfect storage piece(s) and the built-ins will free up a lot of floor space. Here’s the current state of that area…

Yikes! Soon I’ll be able to get this area sorted out which will make me feel so much better.

As we’ve worked on the house we’ve had flashbacks of the farm. Thankfully this house doesn’t need near the amount of work that the farm needed but still, thinking we were moving into a move-in ready house and discovering otherwise has been a little disheartening. All the little things and projects are adding up, both mentally, physically and financially. But, we’re getting it done and each thing that’s fixed, painted or refreshed brings the house that much closer to being our cozy little cottage. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day but for some reason I feel the need to get it all done so day by day I’m working until I reach my goal or literally can’t move to get it done.

In the near future we’ll be searching for a contractor. Our plan is to add a master bedroom and ensuite. Currently, our ‘bedroom’ is in a little nook by the fireplace. Once the addition is complete I have visions of turning the nook into a library.

Like I said, the house is nothing like what we were looking for when browsing Zillow but I believe once we’ve put our stamp on it then it will be a place we’ll be proud to call home. After all, a house can be changed but the location and lay of the land can not. At least not without some major earth moving equipment, ha!

We’ve now been in the house one month and five days. We’ve gotten a lot done in that time frame but we’ve also enjoyed a lot of beautiful moments…

… rainbows, warmth of a fire, beautiful sunsets, and birds, lots and lots of birds which truly pleases me…

We have four porches – one on every side of the house – all covered except this one…

I’m looking forward to the warmer months to enjoy some outdoor moments and time spent on this porch sitting around the fire pit, reading and star gazing. But for now, I’m grateful we’re getting settled in and getting projects done during the winter months while there are few demands outdoors.


Still sitting tight (but not for much longer!)

We’re still sitting tight in a cramped site in Berea, Kentucky. I don’t mind the cramped site so much until I take LizzieBelle out to do her business and I wind up spending most of the time out there trying to keep her from going under something. Under the picnic table; under the truck; under our neighbor’s truck; under the camper; under our neighbor’s camper; and so on. There’s just not much room for a blind dog to wander around and find the perfect spot to do her business. I try to stop her because she’s been known to get under something and then stop and wait for us to pick her up. I wind up waiting for her to realize she’s not getting picked up and for her to eventually wander back out. Oh well. A couple more weeks and we’ll be moving on.

Even though we’ve been sitting tight we made a trip to Florida the beginning of October for a wedding. My nephew married a lovely girl and her young daughter and they make a beautiful family. We’re are so thrilled for them!

As usual, I had my camera and I snapped a few (OK, more than a few!) candid photos of the wedding and the venue. The venue was the gorgeous Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, Florida. We arrived early so that I could wander around and take some photos before the start of the wedding.

As I meandered around totally absorbed in the surrounding beauty it dawned on me that I shouldn’t linger or get carried away because I could miss the wedding.

I walked a bit further but never got very far as one thing after the other caught my eye and challenged me to capture its beauty with my lens.

I hadn’t wandered very far down the mile and half paved walkway before I headed back. I made it back in plenty of time to witness the usual pre-wedding jitters, anticipation and shenanigans.

We had a great time at the wedding and reception which was also held at the gardens and all to soon it was time to congratulate the newlyweds and bid them farewell.

Our trip down to Florida was a test of my patience in which I failed miserably. The drive consisted of simply hopping on I-75 (of which we are less than a mile from) in Berea, Kentucky and getting off on 200 in Ocala, Florida. It was a Saturday, the day before the wedding. It should’ve been an easy peasy trip with the usual delays around the Atlanta area. But no. Long before Atlanta three lanes were being merged into one for some construction that wasn’t even happening. We crept along the interstate for an hour before the lanes opened up. Our fellow travelers were once again happily zipping along and then BAM – we were creeping again as traffic was being merged into one lane. This happened one other time all with no actual work being done. Only in one slow down did we see a couple people picking up cones. I was beginning to wonder if we’d even make it to the wedding the following day.

Add to the extra time and creeping along is the fact that LizzieBelle has to relieve herself every couple hours thanks to the diuretic she’s on for her Congestive Heart Failure. We found ourselves pulling to the shoulder of I-75 during the creep-alongs so she could do her business and worming our way back into the line of traffic. I vowed right then and there that we would not be taking the interstate back to Kentucky. And we did not.

The following Saturday we left in the wee hours of the morning when LizzieBelle woke up and needed to go out. We chose to take the long way home by way of 301/441. We knew it would be a much longer trip but we knew we would be traveling in a lot of uncharted territory for us so we were looking forward to it.

Just as the sun was beginning to rise above the horizon we spotted something large and black about a mile away in the middle of the road. As we got a bit closer the large, black thing stood up and headed towards the woods. It was a bear! Our very first sighting of a bear in the wild. What a cool thing to see at the beginning of our long journey home.

Not a mile down the road was the intersection for 301/441. LizzieBelle had to go again so we stopped at the stop sign and I scrambled out of the truck and set her down in the grass so she could go. The whole time we’re out there I’m encouraging her to hurry up because who knows if there was another bear nearby that would amble out of the woods. Or maybe the same one. I’m not sure how fast they travel. I’m also not really sure why I continue to talk to LizzieBelle since she can’t hear me. I imagine it’s more for my sake than for hers. Either way, once she was finished I snatched her up and headed for the truck as quick as I could.

We drove through Paynes Prairie and saw parts of Gainesville that we had never seen before. Of course, since we’ve only recently seen the area around Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and the section between I-75 and Shands Hospital (where we would occasionally transport a patient when we worked in EMS) seeing any other parts of Gainesville would be easy to do since we hadn’t seen that much of it.

The slower pace of travel allowed us to enjoy the scenery; look at houses seemingly in the middle of nowhere and ponder their reasons for living there; easily stop to get fuel and let LizzieBelle do her thing; and the slower pace was certainly much more relaxing.

Soon we found ourselves driving through the Great Smoky Mountains. Many of the trees were showing off their Autumn colors which added to the beauty of the scenery.

There was one point along our drive through the Smokies where we crept along with hundreds of other travelers but the difference this time was that there was something to look at and we only crept along once.

Before we knew it we were coming into Pigeon Forge.

Now here was a place we thought we’d never see and my, what a busy place it was with all sorts of colorful, themed buildings being frequented by the tourists.

Pigeon Forge is not a place we would typically plan on visiting but we were glad we got to see it.

As we approached Knoxville I saw something that I thought I would never see again – the Sunsphere.

It was built for the 1982 World’s Fair and I had the privilege of attending. It was the only World’s Fair I’ve gone to and the one thing I remember is eating Haagen Daz ice cream for the first time. It was SO good! It figures my main memory of the fair would be food.

As we left Knoxville we decided to hop on the interstate. The hour was getting late and we knew there were no construction zones between here and our Berea exit.

The further north we went the deeper the Autumn colors were.

Soon the sun was dipping below the mountains and we were almost home. Seeing the beautiful colors was like the icing on the cake of our long journey home.

Taking the long way home was definitely longer than zipping (or not) along I-75 but it was much more relaxing and we saw things we never would have seen otherwise. It was worth it.

We’ve not been doing much since arriving back at the campground. My days are spent reading, knitting, taking LizzieBelle out, knitting, taking LizzieBelle out, reading, taking LizzieBelle out, knitting, and so on. Lots of time to chill. Ronnie has the task some time during the morning of taking her to some open sites to let her stroll as we call it. A place where she can wander without bumping into something or walking under something. A time where she can walk until her little legs become tired. We’ve been fortunate with some beautiful weather that allows this stroll to happen however those days will be coming to an end next week and then it will be too cold for her to be wandering about for very long.

The one thing we’ve both been doing is learning about cellular healing. That’s a whole blog post in and of itself but I’d encourage anyone suffering from chronic or autoimmune diseases, inflammation or gut issues (to name a few) to research it. It’s fascinating stuff. We’re making changes and taking back our health. Doctor’s try but in my opinion they’re going about it the wrong way. Just my opinion. But, if you’re not getting better with the route the doctor has given you then check out cellular healing.

We’re currently in the process of switching to organic everything. It makes a difference not only in the flavor but in the fact that we’re not ingesting pesticides which wreak havoc with our gut health. “All disease begins in the gut” as stated by Hippocrates. Recent studies are proving this quote to be true and many doctors are researching it and realizing the truth of it themselves.

Of course, not everything can be found as organic so we do our best and often do without. We’re using things up because with the current prices at the grocery store it would be foolish not to but once many things are gone they won’t be replaced.

The state of one’s health doesn’t decline overnight so improving it will definitely be a journey especially since we have much to learn.

Soon we’ll be leaving Kentucky and heading to Arkansas for Thanksgiving. Yay! We’re excited to be headed to another location and to spend time with family for the holiday. Eating better will be a challenge during that time but we’re going to make a conscientious effort to limit the things we know we need to stay away from. Will it be easy? Absolutely not. But, we hope that in reminding ourselves of the after-effects of eating something we shouldn’t will be the catalyst we need to stay away and not put it in our mouths. One can hope!

After Thanksgiving? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see (wink!)

Chill, Eat, Recipe, Travel

Sitting tight

It has been a month and a few days since my last post. Not much has been going on in our 30 foot world but I felt like writing today so I reckon I’ll give a little update of what’s not been going on. Ha!

After our time in South Dakota we made a mad dash back to Kentucky in order to get some blood work done in plenty of time for an upcoming follow up appointment. That mad dash cost quite a bit of money in fuel to get us back in time. We drove till dark (almost eleven hours) the first day then stopped overnight at a Love’s gas station. I had previously read somewhere that Love’s was going to start accommodating RVers with electric and water hookups. As the sun was setting I happened to see a Love’s billboard in western Missouri that offered sites for RV’s. It took us a bit to figure out how to make the reservation (which had to be done online since their kiosk wasn’t working properly) but once we confirmed it our water and electric was magically turned on and we promptly conked out for the night. There was a total of five sites at the side of the store and I believe it had just been opened up for business. In my opinion, I felt the nightly cost was a bit high (around $37) for a parking spot with water and electric only but I guess the convenience of a one-shot-stop (accommodations, fuel, showers, food, etc.) was worth it. I would do it again if push came to shove for a safe place to stay overnight.

The following morning we brewed the coffee, filled our travel mugs and were on our way. Halfway through Missouri my B&B boss called wondering when we would be back in the area. Was that evening soon enough?! That being said, after resting for a few days from our mad dash across half the United States I was back at work for a few days here and there working on a special project. Since we are staying put for a while to catch up on fuel funds the work was much appreciated and, as always, it was wonderful to see my former coworkers and boss again.

As we made our way back we were fortunate to see the arch in St. Louis…

… and a cool bridge (pardon the messy windshield) taking us over the Mississippi River and into Illinois…

… where we saw the arch again from across the river…

It’s something neither one of us ever expected to see as we’re not much for visiting big cities but there it is!

Our trip to South Dakota was made so that we could set up domicile there. (It’s the easiest of the three states – Florida, Texas, or South Dakota – to establish.) However, and it’s a big however, in my research on establishing a domicile I failed to actually read the necessary documents and discovered (once we were already in S. Dakota) that Ronnie would need an eye exam and a document signed by an optometrist in order to get his driver license due to his age. Since we had less than a week in western S. Dakota that was not an option. So, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves while we were there then made a mad dash back to Kentucky all for naught.

So, here we sit in a different campground (Walnut Meadow RV Park) in Berea, Kentucky for a couple months while we get caught up on fuel funds. Here’s the kicker, we rushed halfway across the US to get back for an appointment that was ultimately canceled. Had we known that it would be canceled be would’ve stayed out west, gone to see our grand-daughter in Montana, and seen more sights which would’ve ultimately saved us quite a bit of money. But, what’s done is done and here we are – sitting tight.

Even with working here and there sitting tight has given me a lot of chill time. I’ve read a couple books, finished another cross stitch piece that had been started years ago, crocheted some dish cloths, knitted some dish scrubbies and now I’m working on a baby blanket…

Shortly after our arrival in Kentucky we had several rainy days in a row. The morning the rain finally stopped these little ones brightened my day as I waited for the sun to make an appearance…

… robins taking advantage of a puddle in the road. I enjoyed watching their bathing antics for several minutes before they all flew off.

The weather has also cooled off significantly. In fact, I’ve spotted some early Autumn colors in some of the leaves ’round here…

In a couple weeks the rest of the leaves will be changing creating quite a show in the mountains and hills here in the Appalachians.

On a sad note, we had to make a trip to Arkansas last week for a funeral. It was expected, but still… We made the trip sans the trailer which saved us on fuel cost and we stayed with one of Ronnie’s brothers for the duration of our stay. Although it was a sad occasion we enjoyed seeing and visiting his side of the family. There was even a little time for some backyard fishing…

Once we got back ‘home’ I felt as though I could have slept for a week. Much like this little girl…

… so tired her tongue’s hanging out! What a trooper LizzieBelle is. Even with being blind and deaf and suffering from CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) she just goes along with the flow and as long as she gets her meds and we are nearby she’s good.

No sooner did we arrive back in Kentucky Florida was getting ready for the storm of a lifetime. Living much of my life in Florida and knowing the impending danger and devastation a hurricane can bring I kept an eye on Ian. We have family in south and central Florida so the path was of great concern. When the path became clear we spent days worrying about Ronnie’s brother and Mom as they live near Ft. Myers and we couldn’t get a hold of them. And then the possibility of it heading to my cousin’s in Georgia. Thankfully, they and their houses are all OK but the lives lost and the devastation is none like I have ever seen in all my years. The aftermath photos are heart-breaking and my prayers are with those that have lost loved ones and are beginning the long and arduous process of rebuilding their lives.

While in Arkansas Ronnie and I stopped at a Chinese restaurant that offered a buffet. I had a small plate of some of my favorites and a cup of Wonton soup in which I intentionally scooped up only one wonton and added lots of sliced green onions on top. (I was more interested in the broth and the onions!) I have been craving that broth ever since so today I decided to try my hand at making some to quench my craving.

I looked up some recipes online and using what I had on hand came up with the following:

  • 2 pints of home canned chicken broth
  • 1 smashed clove of garlic
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1//2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 drops ginger essential oil because I didn’t have any fresh ginger – note about the EO: I use Young Living’s essential oils which are 100% pure with no synthetics or fragrance. What’s in the bottle is 100% the plant(s) listed on the bottle so I am comfortable with using them for cooking. In fact, they have a whole Vitality line branded just for cooking. I would NOT recommend using other essential oil brands for cooking (as most are for aromatherapy use only) unless you can be 100% sure they are pure and plant based.

Combine all in a saucepan and simmer for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors meld together.

Ronnie had to go to the store to pick up some soy sauce and green onions. While there he grabbed some wonton strips as well but they were out of green onions. He went to two other stores nearby and there were no green onions to be had. Oh well. The broth was still delicious even without the onions and was just what I was craving. Maybe it’s the cooler temps but I’ve already made a pot of chili, drank copious amounts of hot tea and now I’m craving broth – wish I had more home canned chicken broth. Sitting tight has been relaxing, productive and delicious! Bring on Autumn!


Western South Dakota

From Sioux Falls we headed due west on I-90 to the small town of Keystone south of Rapid City.  We stayed at the Magnuson Rushmore View RV park right in town.  Upon our arrival I have to say that we were both a little disappointed with the campground as we were parked behind a cafe and laundromat and the only view of Mt. Rushmore was from the entrance to the hotel’s parking lot.  We should know by now not to have such high expectations. However, it wound up being a quiet campground with a nice bath house and was the perfect central location for all our adventures. We liked the view behind the camper and did get to see a family of deer checking out the vegetation one day…

After getting set up we drove around the bend into town to check out the shops along the boardwalk.  The first order of business was donning some old-fashioned garb and having a sepia toned photo taken.  Ronnie has always wanted one and what perfect place then while in an old western town. He was a confederate officer and gentleman and I was the sophisticated southern lady.

While we waited for our prints we dined at Ruby’s a few doors down…

Ronnie had buffalo ribs (which he said tasted like pot roast) and I ate a salad with grilled chicken.

Since it had been a long day on the road we headed back to the camper to unwind before calling it a day.

The next day we viewed the amazing Mt. Rushmore. 

I was intrigued with the way Gutzon Borglund was able to determine the proper perspective.  As I was studying to become a graphic artist the only subject I made less than an A in was drawing.  I understand the importance of perspective in a drawing or painting but drawing is not my forte.  Perspective on paper is completely different than perspective on a mountain side and the way he conquered it was nothing short of amazing if you ask me.  Mind blown!

After seeing such a creation by man that afternoon we drove through a magnificent creation by God – Badlands National Park.  (We got in the park for free thanks to our Interagency Senior Pass.)

It was breathtaking and reminded us of a miniature Grand Canyon and the Painted Rocks in Arizona.

I’m sorry for the photo dump of the Badlands but I could not pick out a favorite.  I mean, 244,000 acres of jagged buttes, spires and pinnacles popping up out of the expansive grasslands that surround it is a sight to behold.

We got to see a few residents of the Badlands along the way…

This was the first time I’ve ever seen a Prairie Dog. They’re adorable!

We drove out of there finding ourselves thoroughly amazed for the second time in one day.

On our way to the Badlands we stopped at the town of Wall. For miles and miles along Interstate 90 we saw billboards for Wall Drug. The more billboards we saw the more variety of stuff this Wall Drug seemed to carry. Our curiosity having been piqued we had to stop.

Come to find out the Drugstore encompasses several blocks and pretty much is the whole town.

It would’ve been a fun place to spend a couple hours but the Badlands were calling so off we went.

The following day we drove through the Black Hills and a portion of Custer State Park. 

On the way we got to see the profile of George Washington as seen above and the Sylvan Lake Lodge in Custer tucked amongst the rocks and trees as seen below.

This little guy (or gal) was so cute and so fast. I was thoroughly entertained by its antics.

Again, so much beauty to absorb.

We were home in time to board the vintage steam 1880 Train (also known as Black Hills Central Railroad) at the Keystone Depot which took us through the Black Hills to Hill City and back.

It’s a twenty mile round trip and takes about an hour to go one way. We got to see a couple abandoned remnants of mines and miner camps along the way and the narrator told us of local history as we chugged past.  It was a fun experience.

Our last day there we drove along the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway to Lead and Deadwood – more old mining towns.  Along the way we came across Pactola Lake – the largest and deepest reservoir in the Black Hills…

It was so beautiful! I wanted to find a cabin on the water’s edge and stay forever.

Deadwood was a happening place with tons of cool places in historic downtown…

We did not stop to walk around but there would’ve been tons to see and do (and eat!) if we had. The drive through the canyon was quite amazing as well. I did not get any photos of the canyon because there weren’t many place to pull over and our windshield was filthy.

The Black Hills area has so much to offer those who visit – from outdoor adventures to historic towns to simply driving around and seeing the beauty of the hills.  There were a few other sights we would’ve like to have visited such as Devil’sTower and the Black Hills in Wyoming but time and money ran out so we’ll catch them another time.

Dates at Magnuson Rushmore View RV campground:  August 17 – 22


A river runs through it

While the title of this blog post may not be original it is, however, true – the Big Sioux River runs through the heart of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and is where we spent a few days checking out the city.

It took us over eight hours to get from the east side of Iowa to the east side of South Dakota.  It was a long trip over some pretty bumpy roads.  In fact, we bounced along mile after mile so rather than continuing to bounce all over the place and rearranging our guts we turned north and went into Minnesota where we drove along the southern end of it to Sioux Falls.  Thankfully the roads were better the rest of the trip.

Since we didn’t have any internet service at Clark’s Ferry we decided to not book a place ahead of time which worked in our favor this time since we wound up leaving Clark’s Ferry a day early.  There’s usually a better chance of finding a campground with an open site during the week so we took a chance and found a spot at the Sioux Falls KOA.

After a long day on the road we were ready to relax and unwind so we headed to the Safari Bar & Grill less than three miles from the campground (there was a flyer in the bath house which is how we learned of the place).  The kitchen was backed up making service extremely slow but we really didn’t care so it was no big deal and the food was worth the wait.  In the end, our beverages and appetizers were comped so it turned out to be a good night out.  Then we went home and crashed!

The following morning it began to rain so we took advantage of having internet service and got caught up on emails and such and booked our next campground.  As the afternoon rolled around and the rain turned to a drizzle we ventured out to check out Sioux Falls.

Our first stop was Hotel on Phillips.  Back in the day this building was originally the Sioux Falls National Bank…

… built in 1918 and was the tallest building in the city at the time.  One hundred years later, in 2019, it was transformed into an upscale chic boutique hotel featuring 90 unique and elegant guest rooms along with many luxury suites.  The lobby boasts original high fluted columns and chandeliers.

The main focal point of the lobby is the original Bank Vault which serves as the entrance to The Treasury Lounge.

(In the center photo I am standing inside the vault looking into the lobby and that door… it is SO thick!)

This hammer was found in one of the ceilings during the renovations and is hanging inside the vault…

I’m thrilled that this beautiful historic building was restored and given a new purpose for many to enjoy for years to come.

In fact, there are many original historic buildings scattered amongst the modern ones that are still standing and being used today maybe not for its original purpose but like the Hotel on Phillips for a completely different purpose.

We walked around town for a bit…

… before heading to Falls Park at the edge of the city.

The view from the observation tower at the information center…

The following morning dawned bright and beautiful with perfect temps.  We headed back to the downtown area and stopped at Josiah’s Coffeehouse, Cafe & Bakery for some breakfast…

… before hopping on our bikes and tackling a portion of the Big Sioux River Recreation Trail.  One can cruise (or walk, run or rollerblade) around the city on 34 miles of pavement as the trail follows the course of the Big Sioux River.  We only made it about a mile and a half before heading back as the clouds were rolling in and we didn’t want to overdo it.

We stopped at Falls Overlook Cafe for some ice cream for Ronnie and a root beer float for me (they remind me of my Grandma who made them every time we visited).

(You can barely see my white bike at the corner of the building in the above photo.) This is another building that has been given a new purpose as it was originally a power plant.

Our three miles consisted of stopping several times so that I could get a photo.  One such photo was that of the Arc of Dreams…

This high-profile sculpture is part of the SculptureWalk and spans 285 feet across the Big Sioux River.  It is dedicated to the dreamers of the past and present and serves as an inspiration to dreamers of the future.

There is much to see and do in this city for locals and for tourists. Other than the restoration of old buildings for new purposes I think my favorite thing about Sioux Falls is that the city has something for everyone. I also like the recreation trail around town giving folks a safe place to get outside and get some exercise. I wish every city or town could do that or something similar to encourage its citizens to “get outside and blow the stink off ” as my Mom used to say to me!


Among the fields in Indiana & Iowa

Since our next stop involved visiting family we decided LizzieBelle needed a good bath before leaving Berea. Ronnie set up a table and used the outdoor shower to wash the stink off her.

I can truly say she did not enjoy it in the least. She does look forward to her treat when all is said and done but she’s never cared for water unless she’s drinking it. Poor baby. At least her hair is soft and she smells better now!

After leaving Berea we headed northwest to CharlaRose Lake & Campground in Waynetown, a small town in Indiana about an hour from Indianapolis.  We stopped there to visit with Ronnie’s brother and his wife who lived in another town nearby.

CharlaRose is privately owned and was really nice.  Our camp site backed up to the lake which gave us a nice view whether we were sitting in the camper or outside under the awning.  It was also convenient for Ronnie walk to the lake to do some fishing.  One day he caught three nice size catfish.  Another day his brother came by to fish but they didn’t have the same luck.  They did, however, enjoy shooting the breeze and spending time together.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?!

During all the fishing excursions and down time I wielded my hooks and needles and crocheted some dish cloths and a baby blanket (I chose the pink and green from the specks of color in the white yarn) and knitted some dish scrubbies from my yarn stash…

My goal is to use up most of my stash before buying any more yarn so that I don’t have to find somewhere to store it in the camper.  I had stuffed it under the dining seats but it wasn’t convenient to get to so one day I pulled all the cotton yarn out.  It’s now in various bags (according to yarn type for various projects) and sitting on the floor by my side of the bed.  The other yarns are still under the bench seat but if I can use up a good bit of my cotton yarns I will have made a huge dent in my yarn stash. And, it gives me something to do.

Traveling to the campground and to his brother’s house we passed field after field of corn and soy.

There’s lots of farm land in this area.  I would’ve liked to have seen some other crops though.  It makes me wonder where in the world our food is grown since all we typically see throughout our travels is field corn and soy.

On Sunday the campground was hosting their annual antique car show.  It started at eight o’clock so after our coffee we started to walk over to check out all the cars.  The owner was driving by on his golf cart and asked if we had eaten breakfast.  Since we hadn’t he invited us to head over to the pavilion at the back of the campground for a pancake and sausage breakfast.  He even flagged someone down and we were given a ride over there in a golf cart.  When we finished eating we were given another ride over to the car show.  What service!

There was a good turnout of cars and trucks…

Ronnie even found a couple cars he wouldn’t mind having…

Another day Ronnie’s brother drove us around and we checked out a few of the covered bridges nearby.  Parke County has 31 covered bridges.  We drove to three of them…

… and enjoyed some cold ice cream on a hot day at Bridgeton.

Every year Parke County hosts a covered bridge festival in October that lasts ten days.  We’re told that you’d better head out early in the day if you want to avoid traffic jams.

We enjoyed the campground and visiting with family and all too soon it was time to move on.


We drove across the entire state of Illinois and, again, saw field after field of crops.  And again, mostly corn and soy. Scattered amongst the fields in several locations were lots of windmills…

Watching them slowly rotate was mesmerizing.

We were headed to Clark’s Ferry campground in Montpelier, Iowa.  It took us a little over six hours and was an easy trip.

The campground was nice and on the Mississippi River.  

Here’s the view from the couch…

There was a small pier to fish from but an Iowa fishing license was needed so there was no fishing for Ronnie.

We drove through the quad cities (a region of cities in the U.S. states of Iowa and Illinois: Davenport and Bettendorf in southeastern Iowa, and Rock Island, Moline and East Moline in northwestern Illinois) crossing over the Mississippi River several times.

All the downtowns were alive with restaurants, shops and businesses. Another day we drove around Muscatine and found another lively downtown along the river. We stopped at Avenue Subs for a bite before heading back to the campground.

On the other side of the campground was a train track.  A very busy train track I might add.  We booked three nights here but wound up leaving after two because of the sleepless nights from being woken up seven times one night and five the next by the train whistle.  Not to mention the couple of times I’m already getting up during the night to take LizzieBelle out.  A third night was out of the question so we up and left right after coffee on what was to be our last day there.  Don’t get me wrong, I love trains but not when they wake you up all throughout the night. Toodles noisy trains.

Dates at CharlaRose Lake & Campground:  August 5 – 12

Dates at Clark’s Ferry:  August 12 – 15 14


Berea, Kentucky and a stopover in Versailles

Yep, we’re still in Kentucky.  It’s a good thing we love it here!

We spent, what seemed like, two very long weeks parked in Oh! Kentucky RV Park in Berea.  Again, we were waiting for another medical appointment.  It seems like we’re in a vortex; like we’re going round and round and not getting anywhere.  I guess, in a way, that’s the truth of it.  Honestly, it’s rather disappointing but we’re trying to remain positive praying that one day soon we’ll be heading beyond Kentucky’s borders.

Oh! Kentucky RV Park is a nice park just off I-75.  The bath house was nice and clean and offered a laundry facility and a nice pool.  There was no place to ride our bikes and the main road in front of the park was rather noisy but otherwise we enjoyed our stay here.

Ronnie went to Owsley Fork Reservoir a couple times to fish.  I spent those times finding a place to tuck the few books I brought along or have picked up at thrift stores along the way and tackled our home canned goods under the bed.  What a job that was!

I started by manhandling the mattress out from the cabinets above the bed and out of the bedroom through a narrow doorway then leaned it against the dining table.  I squeezed my way back into the bedroom and began removing all the jars.

I quickly took inventory of what we had then tried to figure out the best way to organize them so that they were easily accessible.  I labeled the jars that weren’t labeled and wound up putting like things together back into the heavy duty boxes we originally had them in — jams & jellies, pickled beets and pickles, vegetables, fruits, and various tomato products.

It’s now so much easier to find what we’re looking for while holding up the mattress with our head and shoulders!  I also found the salsa I was looking for last week and got a better idea of all the goodness from our farm that we had stored in our ‘pantry’.  Mission accomplished.

As the two weeks dragged on I was thinking that this was going to be another short blog post with very few photos like my last post until it dawned on me that there is so much more to Berea than just the campground.  Our farm was in the next town and I had come to take Berea for granted. I wasn’t looking at it with fresh eyes as if being here for the first time.

With that in mind I began to think of what might be interesting to others visiting for the first time.  Let’s start with the beautiful, historic Boone Tavern.

It’s a lovely building that encompasses an entire block and houses not only the hotel and restaurant but several unique shops, a coffee & tea shop, a favorite pizza place of ours – Papaleno’s, a favorite fudge and ice cream shop of ours – the Fudge Shop, and gift stores featuring lots of local artistry.

In the heart of Berea is the beautiful campus of Berea College.  It’s a private liberal arts work college founded in 1855. Berea College charges no tuition; every admitted student is provided the equivalent of a four-year scholarship and works at the college to pay for their tuition.  What a great concept!

A mile or so down the road, in historic downtown, is the Artisan Village where many local artisans have working studios.  When we bought the farm I had the silly notion that I would be frequenting these stores and taking classes in various forms of arts and crafts and meeting other crafty people.  What a silly notion that turned out to be!  Between renovating the house, beautifying the grounds, daily chores, working two jobs (at the local paper and a local B&B), blogging, building a cabin and opening up an AirBnB who had time!  I did frequent the fabric store from time to time buying fabric or having a quilt top machine quilted however I never made it to the rest of them. You can check out the working studios HERE.

Speaking of the Bed and Breakfast I used to work at I had the privilege of seeing all the girls I worked with and for.

What an amazing group of ladies! I wanted to see as many of them as possible so the boss formulated a plan to get them all together and I popped in and surprised them.  It was SO fun and SO good to see everyone!  Each and every one of these women hold a special place in my heart.  We’ve been through all the ups and downs in each other’s lives which gives us a special bond.  Not to mention that we’ve all had the privilege to work at one of the most beautiful places – Snug Hollow Farm B&B in Irvine (click HERE for more info).

After all the hugs and catching up I had the honor of actually being an overnight guest (Ronnie stayed with LizzieBelle in the camper). I stayed in one of the upstairs rooms in the big farmhouse (there are four other cabins on the property).

It’s a large room with a king size bed but I chose a twin bed in this cozy corner and slept with the door open.  I soaked in all the sounds from the night and had forgotten how dark it gets in the country.

And the view from my private porch outside my room…

… pure bliss!

After breakfast the following morning I walked around in the misty rain to take some photos.  I strolled by the flower gardens…

… along the trail…

… and around the pond…

There is so much beauty nestled in these 350 acres in the holler. It did my heart and soul good to see everyone and to soak in the peacefulness and beauty that Snug Hollow offers.

Other things to enjoy while in Berea: for hiking check out The Pinnacles (you can read more about it HERE); or maybe renting a kayak, canoe, SUP or e-bike from Get Outside KY (click HERE for more info); or maybe you’d like to check out some of the antique stores.  There’s also Tater Knob Pottery and Farm (click HERE) down a ways off scenic Red Lick Road.

I’m sure I’m missing more things to see and do but if you’re ever in the area I would say that there is something to see and or do for everyone.


From Berea we headed an hour and a half or so northwest to Camp on the Kentucky in Versailles.  We were originally going to stay there for two weeks but we decided that this wasn’t where we wanted to spend two weeks without full hookup and nothing to do.

The campground is on the Kentucky River but there is no way to access the river on foot to do some bank fishing.  There is a nice boat ramp just outside the campground but there are no piers or no steps to easily get to the river bank.  We did find a place where we could get close so we loaded up LizzieBelle’s ‘chariot’ (a rolling cart) with chairs and fishing stuff and made our way down the gradual slope where Ronnie set up to try and do some bank fishing.  During that time he caught one non-keeper, broke his line a few times and actually broke one of his poles.  Not a good day of fishing.  The Kentucky River is never kind to him! We did, however, enjoy being by the water and the shade from the trees was nice as it was quite hot and muggy while we were there.

Another reason for changing our reservation was our site itself.  It was nice and grassy but had quite a slope to it.  We did not have enough blocks to put down at the front of the camper to raise it up enough to get it level.  With the incline it was easy to lose one’s balance when getting up too quick.  So, with that we decided this wasn’t the campground for us and headed back to Oh! Kentucky where you’ll find Ronnie fishing at White Hall and me hanging out at the camper taking LizzieBelle in and out, blogging and relaxing.  This time our site is at the back of the campground so the road noise is more muffled and much quieter.  We also chose a site with trees on both sides of the camper giving us more shade.  After Camp on the Kentucky we’re happy to be back here where we can swim, fish, relax and are close to amenities.

Dates at Oh! Kentucky RV Park:  July 8 – 22

Dates at Camp on the Kentucky:  July 22 – 25

Dates at Oh! Kentucky RV Park:  July 25 – August 5


General Burnside Island and Fort Boonesborough State Parks, Central Kentucky

Our plan after leaving Piney Campground was to head to Conley Bottom Resort in Monticello, Kentucky where we would stay for a couple weeks – through the Fourth of July holiday and Ronnie’s doctor appointment.  It is a first come, first serve campground so we thought arriving on a Monday would be perfect. The weekenders would be gone which would leave plenty of camp sites available to choose from.  This was not the case.  We arrived early afternoon and stopped at the office to get the scoop on how we go about obtaining a campsite.  There was no one in the office so Ronnie asked a fella working on a boat just outside the office.  He said that we could just drive around, pick a spot and someone would come around to collect payment but he wasn’t sure of the nightly cost.  It seemed a little unconventional but Ooo-kay.

We did indeed drive around and much to our surprise the campground was literally packed with campers.  We found one or two sites that we might have been able to squeeze into but at this point my mind was saying ‘absolutely not’.  First, we had no idea of the nightly rate.  Second, the campground was packed and buzzing with people on a Monday (which is atypical).  Third, the sites were not very distinguishable one from another and they were so close together I really believe that our awning would have touched our neighbor’s camper.  As I was taking all this in I was also thinking that if we don’t stay here that we now faced the challenge of finding another place to stay. With the upcoming fourth of July holiday I had a sinking feeling that it might be difficult but there was no way I wanted to be here. Maybe if the price had been right but since we didn’t know the price that was a chance I wasn’t willing to take.

We drove out of Conley Bottom with our heads in a fog trying to figure out where to go from here. We headed to the nearest state park which was General Burnside Island State Park located in Burnside just south of Somerset.  The island encompasses 430 acres in the middle of Lake Cumberland and is the only island park in the state.  There were no sites available during the holiday but we were able to book a site for four nights.  While Ronnie and the gal at the check in booth were booking our site I was on the phone calling Fort Boonseborough (as I couldn’t think of another place near his doctor’s office) to see, if by sheer luck, there were any sites left since our time there would be during the holiday .  Thank God they had two sites left.  I immediately booked one of the two.  Whew!

The campground at General Burnside encompasses 75 acres with rolling hills and various loops with camp sites making the campground seem small and not crowded and therefore more cozy.  It’s a great place to stay if you play golf and/or have a boat.  There’s a nice boat ramp in the park but there’s no fishing or swimming allowed.  The pool has been closed for quite some time according to the gal at the check in booth which was disappointing. After doing some research I found an article from 2016 that stated the pool is in need of repair and no monies were appointed to General Burnside in the $18 million parks maintenance fund at that time. From the looks of it still no money has been appointed.

Despite not having much to do we were extremely grateful to have a place to stay.  A place to stay with full hook-up I might add.  The sites were a nice size so we enjoyed sitting outside under the awning watching the comings and goings of fellow campers and simply relaxing.

It was here that I started making personal jars of sun tea.

There’s not enough room in our fridge for a pitcher of tea so I grabbed two pint jars, filled them with hot tap water, stirred a tablespoon of honey in each until dissolved then put one tea bag in each jar.  I do this in the mornings and leave them for a couple of hours to steep.  I have a spot in the door of the fridge for each jar and it’s working out great.  I’m learning that creativity is your friend when living in a camper full time.

The four days went by quickly and before we knew it we were packing up and heading to Fort Booneseborough.  I spent my birthday moving from one campground to another – yippee!  We were recently there for a week over the Memorial Day holiday.  If you missed that post you can read about Fort Boonesborough HERE.

We crammed a lot into that week – fishing, a doctor’s appointment, a vet appointment, a birthday dinner with friends, a visit to our church to see our church family, a visit with my great niece and her family, a trip to the storage unit, and more fishing.

I went with Ronnie one morning to White Hall where I managed to make two dish scrubbies while he fished.  I stayed at the camper with LizzieBelle the other times he went.  He enjoyed his fishing time and did well…

We’ve been grilling the fish or blackening the fillets on the griddle rather than frying them and they’ve been delicious!  Served with rice and steamed broccoli it’s a much healthier (and tastier, in my opinion) way to eat them.

Although we didn’t do much sightseeing we were thrilled to have a place to stay.  When Conley Bottom didn’t work out as I had hoped I got a little nervous.  I think that’s the most difficult part of full-time RVing – finding places to stay especially on the weekends and over the holidays.  Once we are finished with doctor appointments and are free to travel beyond Kentucky I hope that we’ll be able to start booking places more in advance which should help.  Since none of our travel plans have worked out so far we’ll just see how it goes!  At least we’re able to be flexible and as I continually remind myself – we always have a roof over our head whether we’re plugged in somewhere or not and for that, I am grateful.

All too soon it was time to move on again. Till next time friends!

Dates at General Burnside Island State Park:  June 27 – July 1

Dates at Fort Boonesborough State Park:  July 1 – 8


Piney Campground, Land Between the Lakes in Dover, TN

The trip from O’Bannon Woods in southern Indiana to our next stop at Piney Campground in southwestern Land Between the Lakes in northern Tennessee was a long one – just a little over five hours and not, unfortunately, without incident.

Driving through one of the towns along our way we were fortunate that someone flagged us down at a stoplight to let us know that we were about to lose our fishing poles.  Yikes, not the fishing poles!  We pulled over as soon as we found a suitable place to check it out.  What we discovered was that we were about to lose the entire rack, not just the poles.  We had hit a rather bone rattling bump earlier in the trip and apparently the effects of the bump rattled the rivets on the rack and sheared them off…

Ronnie took everything off the rack and squeezed it into the back of the truck between the bikes.  The extra propane tank was put inside the truck and wedged behind our seats on the floor board where it remained until we reached our destination.  It was not ideal but we were so very thankful that someone let us know.  The rest of the trip was uneventful and LizzieBelle did extremely well for such a long drive.

Oh, the life of a traveling dog! I’m just truly glad I thought to do this. Being now blind and deaf I reckon her bed is her security blanket and as long as she has her bed and knows we’re around all is well in her world.

After a trip to the nearest hardware store Ronnie came up with a solution for the rack – heavy duty shelf supports mounted to the bumper with u-bolts.

He drilled holes in the brackets to align with the u-bolts. This rack was several hundred dollars so we wanted to at least get our monies worth before having to scrap it.  The supports should help.

After the rack hiccup and the long drive we definitely wanted to find a tasty local restaurant.  I was craving a pizza so Ronnie asked the camp host for a recommendation and he was told to check out TNT Pizza saying they would even deliver.  We prefer our pizzas hot and right out of the oven so we drove a few miles to the restaurant.  We were hungry so we ordered some cheesy bread as an appetizer and a medium pizza.  We ordered way too much, took the remains home and had two more meals from all that.  

Piney Campground is located right on Kentucky Lake and is a campers’ campground.  There’s no day use allowed so all the amenities the campground has to offer is strictly used by campers.  Piney has two boat ramps, a fishing pier…

… and a swimming area with a white sandy beach…

Even though the campground was almost full over the weekend it was still not crowded at the swimming hole or the fishing pier.  Awesome!

There’s even an archery range, ball field, biking and hiking trails, and primitive cabins with basic necessities are also available to rent.

While at the hardware store Ronnie bought a three day fishing license.  He spent a good amount of time fishing those three days but didn’t catch anything worth keeping.

Piney is a national park so we were finally able to use our Senior Pass and got a refund of $56.  We need to find more national parks! Our campsite (which we were lucky to get at the last minute) was electric hookup only so we filled the holding tank, used water sparingly and walked to the bath house often to use the facilities. Again, we managed to have enough water for the seven days we were here and our black and grey water tanks didn’t get full.

Piney is a large campground so we were able to get some good bike rides in.  We also rode them to the swimmin’ hole and to the camp store a couple times to cool off our innards with an ice cream cone.

Speaking of the camp store, it was probably one of the most well-stocked camp stores I’ve seen.  There were grocery items, camp gear, souvenirs, ice cream, bait and more.  We bought some mild ground sausage and made a delicious soup using leftover chicken broth (from cooking egg noodles), leftover yellow wax beans, leftover tomato sauce, leftover egg noodles (thrown in at the last minute), frozen corn, diced onions, a couple sliced carrots and Italian seasoning.  We had no idea if it would be any good but, thankfully, it was.  The wax beans, tomato sauce and corn were from last year’s garden.  It thrills me to be able to eat from our labors even while traveling.

I rode my bike to the store one another time to get some salsa.  (Since our fridge was quite bare I was grateful for the camp store). For the life of me I could not find the salsa I had put up.  All of our home canned goods are stored under the bed in heavy duty, open produce boxes. They’re not organized in any particular way so it’s difficult to find what you’re looking for especially while holding the bed up with your head and shoulders while looking.  Note to self:  get it organized one of these days to make life a little easier!  Anyway, I thought maybe we didn’t have any more so I hopped on the bike and headed to the store to get some.  (I grabbed a jar of pimento stuffed green olives as well.) That night’s dinner was to be a rice bowl topped with black beans, diced onions, salsa and green olives and the salsa is a must.  We usually add diced, grilled chicken but since we didn’t have any we left it out.  It was just as good.

The camp sites were close together but most were arranged in a manner where you and your neighbor weren’t so close you could hear each other breath.  We had a good spot with nobody directly in front of us.

We spent a good amount of time outdoors watching boats and barges on the lake (Kentucky Lake is a major navigable reservoir along the Tennessee River in Kentucky and Tennessee), enjoying the views, swimming, bike riding and watching the almost endless parade of golf carts drive through the campground and past our camp site.

Each day ended with the most gorgeous sunsets…

I was able to finish another cross stitch piece – another one that was started a long time ago by my Mom.

As I began working on it the shading was not looking right so after studying the colors I discovered that a couple of them were not labeled right. After getting the threads sorted out I now had to rip out the colors that were wrong and redo the stitches with the right colors. Once that was done the rest of it was fairly easy and before I knew it I was backstitching and it was done. Speaking of backstitching, it makes a world of difference in the final piece. The following image on the left is before any backstitching and the image on the right is the final piece with all the backstitching complete…

Are they not the cutest? I don’t know what I’ll do with it but I’m one piece closer to my goal of finishing pieces that were started ages ago either by me or my Mom.

Dates at Piney Campground:  June 20 – 27