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!

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

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