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!)


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


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


Kincaid Lake State Park, Falmouth, KY

From Fort Boonesborough we headed north to Kincaid Lake State Park in Falmouth, Kentucky.  It was a nice, short trip.  LizzieBelle is beginning to enjoy having her bed to lay in as we travel and I’m enjoying having a free lap!  It makes the trips much easier on everyone.

Kincaid Lake State Park is huge with lots to offer those who visit:  golf, swimming, hiking, camping, fishing, boating, miniature golf and much more.  As we entered the park we spotted the golf course first…

Ronnie was wishing he hadn’t put his clubs in storage.  Being left handed I knew the odds of borrowing or renting a set of clubs would be slim so I encouraged him not to store them.  However, they are quite bulky and heavy and can be in the way whether they’re stored in the  back of the truck or the camper’s cubby so into storage they went just last week.  Sigh.   As Ronnie has been looking at various campgrounds to book he’s noticed several golf courses at or near the campgrounds so I think we’ll be pulling the clubs out of storage when we are back that way for his doctor’s appointment.  

The next thing we noticed were the boat ramps then a country store…

… and to the left of the store was the pool sitting above the lake…

What a beautiful setting! The pool is a community pool and there is a small fee to swim. Campers get $1 off.

We continued on passing a large picnic pavilion and a recreation area before entering the campground.  There are 84 camp sites with water and electric and at least that many, if not more, primitive camp sites.

Our lot was at the front of the campground, site 5.

We had a couple neighbors here and there throughout the week but most of the campers were towards the back of the campground.  And the weekends?  Oh my!  On Friday’s we find ourselves saying “here comes another one” and on Sundays “there goes another one” as camper after camper file in or out.  We’re glad that so many people hit the campgrounds on the weekends.  They’re “getting outside and blowing the stink off them” as my Mom used to tell me to do in my younger years – probably when I had pestered her one too many times!  Anyway, by Sunday evening after most of the weekend crowd has gone back to their reality, we find ourselves decompressing from all the noise and activity that a full campground brings.  Once again we hear and see more natural, soothing sounds and sights – the birds singing their song, the leaves rustling in the breeze, the serenading cicadas, fireflies (or lightnin’ bugs as we say!) twinkling in the night and it feels so good.  We consider ourselves lucky to be able to witness so much beauty and peace.

As I mentioned earlier, we were at the front of the campground and there was no bath house near us.  The closest one was quite a distance from our site and uphill both ways. Just kidding! It was only uphill on the way to the bath house.  I chose to walk for the exercise but we decided it was not wise for Ronnie to attempt the walk so he drove in order to avoid the possibility of having chest pain from the exertion of walking uphill.

We put our bikes to the test as the campground is on a ridge with lots and lots of hills.  The hill coming back from the boat ramp was very steep.  We bumped the Pedal Assist up to 2 and combined with our pedaling we made back up the hill without any problem (or chest pain!).  I have to say, I am quite impressed with our Lectric bikes.  The battery power is still above the halfway mark, they are sturdy, great for traveling and easy to operate.

Resting, relaxing and recuperating (from our busy camping trip last week!) was the agenda for this week.  Of course, for Ronnie, it was fishing, fishing and more fishing, ha! I’d say he’s getting his monies worth out of his Kentucky fishing license.

After trying out a couple different fishing spots we finally found the perfect spot…

… in one of the primitive camping areas.  There was no one there during the week so that was his go-to spot until the weekend when the campground was full.

He caught quite a few fish keeping some but releasing the others.  One time we decided to take the bikes.  It was quite a feat figuring out how to strap everything down but we were determined.  And we’re off…

Ronnie had a 5 gallon bucket, fishing pole, chair and tackle box to deal with whereas I only had to strap my chair down.  My camera was around my neck and my knitting was in a plastic bag hanging from my handle bars.  While Ronnie fished I took pictures…

Great Blue Heron

… and made dish scrubbies.  I managed to complete the dish scrubby order of ten scrubbies…

I have some extra scrubby yarn so I’ll make some more when I get the urge to grab my knitting needles.  Knitting and crocheting small projects is a nice, portable craft – great for impromptu fishing trips.

Another project I worked on was the backing for the Yuletide Bell Pull.

I set everything up on the picnic table, cut the fabric then sewed the cross stitch piece and the backing together on three sides then turned it inside out.  I’ve ordered the bell pull hardware and once it arrives from England I will fold the top and bottom over and sew together respectively making sleeves then I’ll insert the hardware and it will be finished.

We did leave the park a couple times – one to find a local restaurant in Falmouth and the others to get bait. We wound up at Howard’s Place the day of arrival. Howard Jerome Hoess was a U.S. Army Veteran who had owned the local Dairy Queen since 1989. He restored it after the horrific flood on March 1, 1997 but years later it burned down and he opened up Howard’s Place – a Western themed restaurant with foods similar to Dairy Queen. It was not the healthiest place to eat but there really weren’t many places to choose from. I got the impression that the town is still trying to recover from the flood as we saw several downtown buildings crumbling from neglect. I must say that their ice cream was some of the best I have had. I got the smallest hot fudge sundae with nuts and the ice cream was so creamy. Yum! The rest of the week we ate better and got some exercise.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Kincaid Lake State Park.  If we are ever back there again we’ve picked out site 73 as one we’d like to book.  It’s closer to the bath house, mostly level, a nice size site with lots of shade, and somewhat private.  And next time, we’ll have Ronnie’s golf clubs so he can play a round!

Dates at Kincaid Lake State Park:  May 30 – June 6


Fort Boonesborough State Park, Kentucky

Our next stop was a campground that we had actually booked a couple years ago with our adopted family.  Then the Covid pandemic hit and all campgrounds were closed.  The following year, 2021, the campground was closed yet again. The Kentucky River reached historic water levels from rain and snow melt earlier in the year flooding not only our town but the campground as well causing damage to the electric hubs at the camp sites and trashing the bath houses. Two years later we finally made it to Fort Boonesborough State Park just north of Richmond, Kentucky.  Better late than never!

Our camping crew occupied seven camp sites and there were as many as thirty plus people at any given time over the course of the Memorial Day weekend.  It was an awesome week of catching up, relaxing, fishing, playing games, hanging out at the camp fire and eating.  So much so that I failed to get any photos while at the campground.

Since fishing was high on the agenda for many we discovered a beautiful spot to fish about seven miles from the campground – White Hall Lake.  I went with Ronnie one afternoon when no one else wanted to go.  He packed his fishing stuff, I packed my camera and knitting needles, we each grabbed our chairs and we were on our way.

White Hall is a beautiful property with a mansion, picnic area, walking trails and a lake.

While he fished I walked around with the intention of taking photos but just after the following shot by battery died.

Sigh. One of these days I’ll get a spare battery.

White Hall has some interesting history associated with its inhabitants.  In case you’re interested you can read about it HERE and HERE and while you’re reading up on it you can see photos of the mansion which I was unable to get.

Saturday was camper appreciation day at the fort where campers were allowed free admission from 1:00 – 1:15.  We found out about it just before one o’clock but since we weren’t really doing anything in particular we decided to check it out.  We like history and we really like free!

The fort we toured had actually been relocated and rebuilt a few miles away on higher ground.  After all the flooding we’ve witnessed since living in Kentucky that was a smart move.  The original fort had fallen into disrepair and was smaller in scale than the new fort.

Several volunteers were dressed in period style and were demonstrating things like candle making; weaving and blacksmithing.  Of course having weaved a thing or two myself I was very interested in the weaving process.  Back in the day it would take a year or more from the time the hemp or flax seed was planted before the fibers inside would be ready to be spun into wool or thread.

Can you imagine having to wait that long to have access to thread or wool just so you can make a necessary item of clothing or blankets?  I simply can not fathom it.

The fort was a community with a tavern…

… where important meetings and business also took place…

and a store…

I find it fascinating that there is so much Transylvania history and mention of Transylvania in Kentucky.  (Transylvania University is in Lexington. It’s a private university founded in 1780 and was the first university in Kentucky.) My family ancestry goes back to Transylvania.  The sign in front of the store reads Transylvania Store, R. Henderson, Est. 1775.  How cool is that?

Another thing I found really neat was the living quarters…

So simple and cozy with everything you need.

We thoroughly enjoyed touring the fort.  It’s something we never would’ve done had it not been for some camper appreciation that weekend.

One day we ran some errands. We picked up a trailer we had to leave at the farm and took it to our friends’/adopted families place. In return for allowing us to store it on their property we offered the use of it to whomever of the family needs it. After that we tended to some business at the bank then stopped for a few groceries before heading back to the campground. Another day we spent a few hours at a doctor’s appointment. A day later we found out that we needed to hang out in Kentucky until at least July 5 for another doctor’s appointment. Once again our travel plans have changed so we’re playing it by ear until we get the outcome of that appointment. It’s a good thing we’re able to be flexible.

While we were at the farm we bought some of our ol’ girls’ eggs…

… so pretty and so tasty. One thing we sure miss is our farm fresh or country eggs as they say in these parts!

We’re discovering that a lot of campgrounds don’t offer full hook-up. What that means is most camp sites offer water and electric but no sewer. Water + electric + sewer = full hook-up. We’ve learned that we can get by for at least one week without needing to empty our tanks – both black and gray water tanks. That’s good to know. However, that also means that the use of the toilet is minimal; showers are taken at the campgrounds’ bath house; and water used for washing dishes is used sparingly at sites without sewer. So far, all the campgrounds have had a dump station or two so we’ve been able to dump our tanks before heading to the next campground.

All too soon the week was over and we were packing up and saying goodbye. Or rather, till we meet everyone again, Lord willing, at Christmas.

Till next time friends!

dates at Fort Boonesborough: May 22 – 30


Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park, London, Kentucky

From Asheville we took the scenic route between the Smoky and Appalachian mountains and headed to our next destination – Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park in London, Kentucky.  It was a longer drive than we typically like to take but we wanted to be closer to our next destination.  LizzieBelle was over it after about three and a half hours.  She was antsy and wouldn’t settle down on my lap.  I finally put her towel on the floorboard between my feet and put her down there.  It took her twenty minutes or so before she settled down but she finally laid down and went to sleep.  That’s when I decided that from now on I would put her bed down there and see if that makes the trip easier for all of us.  By the last half hour of the trip we were all more than ready to arrive at the campground and get set up and settled in.

Speaking of her towel, there was a little incident right before we pulled out at the KOA.  I was walking her around trying to make sure she was all tinkled and poopied out before we started our journey when the neighbor dog wanted to say hello.  Even being blind and deaf LizzieBelle doesn’t mind other dogs ‘checking her out’ within reason.  This dog was a Boxer and as the owner was telling me that he sometimes will attack smaller dogs if they growl or snap at him I was thinking that I should grab LizzieBelle because there are times when she’s had enough of being ‘checked out’ and will snap at them to tell them so.  Before I could even finish the thought it happened.  She had had enough and snapped at him.  He attacked and before we could separate them they were both rolling a few feet down the hill right into the lake.  Thankfully it was shallow but poor Belle was laying in the water with her head and feet sticking up wondering what in the world just happened.  I snatched her up and did a quick assessment and found that she was OK, just a little startled and a muddy mess.  Since we were ready to pull out I had to squeeze between the slide out and the kitchen counter to get her towel while Ronnie dug a garden hose out of storage.  We rinsed and dried her off outside then we were finally on our way.  Dogs – ya gotta love ‘em!

We reached our destination – Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park in London, Kentucky – around mid-afternoon.  We were there on a weekend so the campground was full.  It was a large campground with nice facilities and a unique history.  You can read about it HERE.

We backed up to the woods but our site was right across from the basketball court which wound up being a bit too much for these two old fogies.  It seemed the best time to play some basketball was in the evening.  Multiples balls constantly bouncing even after quiet time which was ten o’clock.  The bouncing balls could still be heard inside our camper and with the fan running.  Since falling to sleep was out of the question for me I got back up and edited some photos until the bouncing finally stopped and the court lights were turned off.  Whew, now this ol’ girl can get some sleep!  The next night we just planned on watching a movie hoping it would end about the same time as the bouncing balls.  Thankfully the timing worked out well.  And, thankfully, we were only here for two nights.

As has become our custom, after getting all set up we headed to town to see what’s there and to find a local place to eat.  We like checking out Main Streets and old downtowns so that’s where we headed.  We found two restaurants across from each other – The Abbey and The Butcher’s Pub.  Finding no more options we turned around and chose the one on the right, The Butcher’s Pub.

As I looked at all the flags and memorabilia from England displayed in the restaurant it dawned on me why there was an Abbey and a Pub downtown – we were in London, of course!  Well, London, Kentucky that is.  Having been to London several times I was curious as to how the town got its name.  I found the following from Wikipedia – “Upon the establishment of Laurel County in 1825, a vote was held to provide for the new area’s seat of government. The land offered by John and Jarvis Jackson was selected, along with their suggested name of London, honoring their English heritage.  The town was founded the next year, its post office established in 1831, and its city rights granted in 1836.

During the late1930s and early1940s, London served as a central collection agency for books donated to the Pack Horse Library Project. It also had a pack horse library which delivered books to rural residents in the mountains.”

Discovering the tidbit of information about the Pack Horse Library Project was a nice surprise.  I love books and libraries and have read the fictionalized version of the Pack Horse Library Project ‘The Giver of Stars’ by Jojo Moyes.  I had the privilege of meeting her at Snug Hollow B&B where I was employed at the time.  She was working on the book while there and I couldn’t wait until it was published.  To imagine people delivering books on horseback to the most rural parts of the Appalachians astounds me.  Anyway, if you like to read I’d encourage you to check out her book and make sure you read the acknowledgements!  As I said, it’s a fictionalized version but you’ll get the idea of the work involved in organizing such a library and the tenacity of those that thought getting books into the hands of the most rural peoples was of utmost importance.

I digress. Anyway, we enjoyed a tasty meal then headed back to the campground.

Since we were only here for two nights we used this time to do some errands.  We weren’t far from our old stomping grounds so we decided to put a few more things in our storage unit then head over to see my great-niece.  We picked up some pizza’s and headed over to see her and her family and to pick up our mail and some packages that we had sent to her place.  One of the items, OK two items, we were anxious to get was the electric bikes we purchased.

A couple at Salt Springs had a pair so I got the scoop from them.  They had nothing but good things to say about the brand and the bikes so we decided to bite the bullet and get some for ourselves.  They each weigh 64 pounds and they fold in half making it easy to put in the back of the truck when on the road.

We enjoy bike riding but with Ronnie’s bad knees and my out-of-shape legs riding bikes was out of the question.  With the aid of Pedal Assist when going uphill riding bikes would now be doable.  We couldn’t wait to charge the battery and check them out.

We enjoyed time spent with family and all too soon it was time to head back to the campground.  Once back in London we stopped to have the oil changed in the truck.  It was almost closing time and we were the only ones there.  Once we were good to go Ronnie asked the guys if it would be possible to have air put in our bike tires.  They graciously filled the tires and we were on our way.  Now all we had to do was charge the batteries and we could take our inaugural bike ride.  The batteries charged in about four hours but since it was already dark we would have to wait until tomorrow for that bike ride.

Tomorrow finally arrived and we were off and riding first thing in the morning.  It took me a bit to get the hang of getting on and off and getting started but the old saying “it’s just like riding a bike” is true.  It wasn’t long before I had the hang of it again and I began learning about the bike and how it operates.  The inaugural bike ride around the campground was awesome!   We did most of the pedaling with only a few pedal assists here and there.  The exercise was invigorating and much needed.  Now that we have no farm work to do we’ve both packed on a few pounds since we began full time RVing.  Lots of delicious food and a more sedentary lifestyle is not a good combination. Here’s hoping for some lost pounds in the future!

After our bike rides we casually began the process of packing up. Time to head to the next destination which was less than two hours away. Yay!

dates in London, Kentucky: May 20 – 22


Asheville, North Carolina & a piece of the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway

The trip from South Carolina to North Carolina was another short trip.  At the first sight of the mountains we both found ourselves smiling.

There’s just something about the mountains!

We spent four nights at the KOA East in Swannanoa just outside Asheville.  This was a campground with a view…

The camper backed right up to a small lake and the mountains could be seen through the trees.

No sooner than we got set up Ronnie was wetting a hook…

No sooner than he wet the hook he was pulling out a nice size fish…

He was one happy camper! He threw it back in but catching something right off the bat was a nice way to start off our stay in North Carolina.

You never know what you’re in for when choosing a campground sight unseen. Thankfully this was a beautiful campground…

… with nice facilities and amenities.

I enjoyed watching the young geese and ducklings imitate their parents and the turtles basking in the sun.

While we were in and near Asheville we thought we might check out the Biltmore Estate again.  We were there several years ago during Christmas and we toured the estate in all its glory while the halls were decked out in holly.  It was a sight to behold so we thought we’d like to see it this time of year with the gardens bestowing all their glory.

The days of just showing up and buying your ticket are gone.  As I got online to check out the prices I discovered a) that ticket prices had gone up considerably since the last time we were there and b) that reservations with time time slots needed to be made then paid for and c) tickets needed to either be printed or could be shown on one’s phone.  The first two were surprising to discover but not really a big deal.  The third one posed a problem as we don’t have a printer anymore.  I did manage to get my email set up on the phone so that would have taken care of the tickets.  However, I waited a day to make the reservations and in that time of waiting I decided that we probably wouldn’t get our monies worth since Ronnie is not able to be on his feet for very long.  He was willing to go because he knows how much I love that place but there’s a lot of walking involved between touring the estate and walking the vast gardens and I didn’t want him to be miserable.

Instead, we took a drive a short ways along the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at almost all the scenic overlooks.  Such beautiful views!

We drove through tunnels; saw a waterfall and lake; and enjoyed the cool weather.

It was a wonderful day spent absorbing the beauty of nature.

On the way back and not far from the campground we ate at Okie Dokie Smokehouse for supper.  We like checking out local restaurants and this one was worth the stop.  It was delicious!

Another day we walked a block or two around downtown Asheville.  We spent quite a bit of time in two of the stores in particular – the Asheville Gem Mine and The Bee Charmer.  We stopped at the Bee Charmer first.  Oh my!  Honey and bee themed stuff galore.  I love them both so I’m pretty sure my mouth was open for the first few minutes after entering the shop.  They had such a variety of honey from local to around the globe.  There was even a taste testing bar.  I think we were both a bit overwhelmed so after walking the entire store we walked out empty-handed.

The next store we spent a lot of time in was the gem mine or rock shop.  Rocks are so cool because what may look plain and simple and possibly even ugly on the outside may have a beautiful gem inside.  I’ve always like rocks.  When I was a kid I had a rock tumbler.  It was a kit and came with some rocks and sand.  I remember it being noisy so I had to put it in the garage.  I can’t remember how long those rocks tumbled but when I finally turned it off and opened up the tumbler I had the smoothest, shiniest and pretty rocks.  They were so different from the rough and jagged rocks I originally put in. To this day I still have all those rocks stored in a glass Walt Disney World candy jar.

Ronnie and I must’ve checked out every rock and gem in the store and I walked out with this inexpensive but beautiful necklace…

…plain on the outside but beautiful on the inside!

We wound up back at the Bee Charmer and this second time around we weren’t quite so overwhelmed.  This time we sampled several various infused honey’s and walked out with quite a few of the one’s we sampled – Chai infused honey, Cocoa infused honey, Fireweed honey and Firecracker Hot honey.  When I saw the hot honey on the shelf I couldn’t imagine how it might taste but it was delicious!  It’s going to be so tasty drizzled over goat cheese or used as a glaze on chicken or salmon.  The Fireweed will pair nicely with Greek yogurt and the Chai and Cocoa infused honey’s will be lovely in a cup of hot tea and maybe over some ice cream.  I’m sure we’ll discover more uses for them but this bee and honey-loving girl was in bee themed and honey heaven!

We also snagged an adorable drip-free honey server sporting a honeycomb design. The honey comes out the bottom and you can put warm water in the stand to keep the honey from crystalizing.  It works great although I do have to put it in a cupholder in the truck when we’re on the road because it’s glass and I don’t want to take the chance of it toppling over or breaking.  It’s worth the precaution though!

After we were finished walking and shopping we stopped at the Mellow Mushroom for lunch.

It’s a converted gas station and in case you’re wondering what those colored things in the wall are they’re bowling balls.  How fun!

We started with a Bruschetta appetizer which was delicious…

…then we enjoyed an equally delicious pizza for lunch.  I failed to get a picture of the pizza because it was gone before I thought to get a photo. oops!

After lunch we drove around looking for a place like a park or something where we could sit and enjoy the French Broad River.  We could not find any such place on the river so we drove to the Historic River Arts District.  What a neat place!

I really like that these wonderful old buildings are being used as artists’ studios and shops and not sitting vacant or being torn down.

These buildings are part of our nations’ history and are still creating history and art.  We like trying to determine what the buildings were used for back in their day from old signage or writing. If those walls could talk I’m sure they would have some stories to tell!

While in the Historic River Arts District we did find a spot where I could see a portion of the French Broad River…

Shortly after snapping the above photo a couple of kayakers and rafters came floating by.

The rest of our time in Asheville was spent at the campground relaxing, enjoying the view, fishing for Ronnie, and blogging and knitting for me.

Speaking of knitting, I checked email one day and discovered a request for ten dish scrubbies.  I had a little bit of scrubby yarn left so I was able to get started but I’ll have to get some more when we’re out and about.

And speaking of email, we’re finding out that there’s not too many campgrounds with Internet or WiFi available.  A few days without it is OK but we may have to come up with a solution so that we’re not without for too long.  Personally, I don’t mind being disconnected but I’m getting behind on blogging and we don’t want to miss any important messages or emails.  Hopefully we’ll find a solution that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Till next time friends!

dates in Asheville, NC: May 16 – 20