Monday, April 30, 2018

Gypsy Jabbers: Beachy Keen

I got to go in the truck. I likes goin inna truck. The man guy made a special  thing he called a platform so's me and Tucker have a smooth flat place to lie down behind his seat. I gist call it wood onna count it smells like wood. If I stands really tall I can see where we is being going down the road. It isn't hardly soft enough for a doggie princess like me. I am so spritely I can jump right up onto it. Hah! That lazy Tucker dog has to take a running jump. He's bigger n me, too. He says cause he's bigger he weighs more and gots more to lift up. Lame excuse if I ever heard one!


The day before this day I got in the truck and when I gots out I wasn't any place where I'd bin before. I was at the beach. We was camping at a place called Beverly Beach Camptown. The rolling noisy water was practically at our door. So was the three pretty ladies in a camper right next to us. I liked it cause I could get petted whenever they came out. One lady even got down and hugged me and scritched me special like. There was a people walk way right by the back and I could get pats from them, too. We was just that close. The Lady Who Feeds Me took Tucker dog n me down steps to the beach. I likes it. It smells good like food. I found a dead critter. The Lady Who Feeds Me says it was a crab. She pulled it outta my mouth. Rude! It was gonna be good. It was just the right kinda slimy thing. If I hadda found it a day later it'd be perfect for rolling on. That Tucker dog annoyed me onna count he wanted to wrestle and pretend bite. I just wanted to smell some more and maybe find somethin else to eat. That Tucker dog finely left me alone. He went to get a drink of the water. Ha ha. You shoulda seen his face when he got a drink. I don't know if it was onna count of the water moving or cause it was salty. I just smelled good things some more. 

The Lady Who Feeds Me got outta bed real early, and of course she stepped on me more than once. Is she blind? Can't she see me lying here on the hard floor right at the end of her bed? Ya know, if she'd a let me sleep on the bed this wouldn'a happen. But no, she makes me stay on the floor. Anyways, she takes me n that Tucker dog out to see the sun comin up. Seriously? This is worth  gettin up at the crack of dawn? I'd a rather have stayed sleeping... preferably on a princess kind of bed. We walked on the beach agin. I smelled more food stuff. Then later, after eating, I jumped back inna truck and we was back going down the road. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

LaBelle to Beverly Beach, FL

After leaving our winter oasis we turned north and east. We landed at Beverly Beach Camptown RV Resort. This is an outrageously priced campground for what you get.... but our tiny piece of gravel and concrete, shoehorned between two other rigs, was smack, dab on the sea wall of the beach with an unobstructed view of the Atlantic. 




Sleeping with the roar of waves practically beneath our feet was the best. Oh, and speaking of things beneath our feet, we have the dogs! 



They always manage to lie down where we want to walk. But they are getting more comfortable with having us step over them, something Tucker, especially, doesn't care for. 

Our first days on the road tested my memory skills, and I failed! Miserably! Where did I put the dog food? Where is the wine bottle opener? What cabinet holds our stash of sodas? 
For the moment life in the Silver Bubble is as if we are living in a number slide puzzle.

Picture from the Internet
We have a few extra bags of stuff that we haven't found a place for... so, when it is time to take a shower we move things out of there and next to the bed. When it is time to go to bed we move the bags to the couch (because the shower is too wet since I can't find the microfiber cloth we use to wipe down the shower), when we want to relax in the "living room" we have to move the bags again. Me and the Mister get to do the number puzzle dance as well.

Last night we settled on eating two frozen dinners we have been holding onto for a while. This may be our choice of cuisine as we chug along westward. Opening two boxes and nuking two entrees sure beats trying to find space for preparing and cooking more than one thing, given less than three square feet of counter space. However, I did decide that bacon and eggs sounded doable this morning. New discovery, having a smoke alarm on the ceiling four feet from the cook top is not a good thing! My new dance: turn the bacon, turn around, fan the smoke alarm, turn around and repeat, all on eight counts!

I woke early... sat up and saw this:


I got up to take the dogs on a last walk on the beach. Gypsy was all about smelling all of the wonderful smells dogs smell. 


It's time to move bags and get ready to head on down the road. More later. 



Saturday, April 28, 2018

Westward Ho!

... and so the journey begins!



Yesterday we parked the Airstream (the Silver Bubble) on the street next to our motorhome (Big Red) and transferred clothing, canned goods and more. Since our resort does not allow pull-behind campers, we took it to our storage garage for the night. We could plug it in there and get the refrigerator cold so we could transfer items from the motorhome to the Silver Bubble. Scott drove Big Red down today, I backed the Silver Bubble out, and we installed the motorhome in her summer quarters.



Tonight we are at a local campground in LaBelle, FL. It is fairly new and has a lot that travelers like about campgrounds. The sites are all covered in pavers (is it coincidental that the owner's oldest son manages the local paver company owned by his family?!) The sites are flat and access roads are adequate. There is a man-made pond/lake in the center of the campground with a nice pavered walk all the way around. Many sites front on the lake. This is a 55+ Mecca for snowbirds. The owner said they are generally full all winter, and they are building more sites. It will be a lovely park when plantings mature.






Knowing I have a penchant for bursting into song and changing words to fit the occasion... sing along with me… 

(Leaving on a Jet Plane)

The coach house is packed,
We’re ready to go,
There is so much in there, we could barely shut the door,


We’ve had so much fun it’s hard to say goodbye.
But the kids are calling,
They want their mom
The grand kids are bawlin’
It’s time to go home,
Already we’re so tired
We could cry….

So next year we will see you
We’ll have fun with things we’ll do
You’ll think of us like we will think of you
We’re leaving on our Airstream
RiverBend is an amazing  dream
It’s gonna get hot, we surely have to go….


(A Long, Long Way to Tipperary)

It’s a long way to California,
It’s a long way to go.
It’s a long way to California
To see the grand kids at their home.
Goodby, RiverBend


Farewell to all our friends.
It’s a long, long way to California
Soon we’ll be where summer never ends.

(See You in September)

We’ll be far away each and every night
We’ll miss RiverBend, it is such a delight;


Bye-bye, so long, farewell.
Bye-bye, so long.
See you in November,
See you when the summer's through.
Here we are (bye, friends, goodbye)
Saying goodbye from the road (bye, friends, goodbye)
Our trip to another home (bye, friends, bye, friends)
Is taking us away (bye, friends, goodbye)
We’ll have a good time but remember
Our travels give us things to think of
And we’ll see you in November
‘Cause RiverBend’s the place we love
(counting all the days ’til we come back)
(counting the miles and plotting our track )
Bye, friends, goodbye
Bye, friends, goodbye
Bye, friends, goodbye (bye-bye, so long, farewell)
Bye, friends, goodbye (bye-bye, so long)



Sunday, April 22, 2018

Loggerhead Marinelife Center

We took a trip to the Jonathan Dickson State Park near Jupiter, Florida, for a "shakedown cruise" of our Airstream camper. Before we head west in it we wanted to test out all systems. We did discover a water leak. After having driven through heavy rain we found a bit of water on the floor at the front edge of the camper. There were only two other issues we found that must be addressed. One is that the dead bolt lock can only be locked if you lean heavily against the door. There is no way to lock it from the inside. The other problem we discovered is that the awning is a bit longer than the brackets, and thus doesn't fasten securely. We had a few other small things... like adjustment issues and some cosmetic things. But, this post isn't about the camper!

While we were at the park we took a trip down the coast to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. We took a tour, and learned a bit more about sea turtles than we had already known.. and just a bit more than what we could have read on placards at the center.

Like the Georgia Sea Turtle Center we visited two years ago, the Loggerhead Marinelife Center is striving to be a leading authority in sea turtle education, research and rehabilitation. There are many turtles undergoing rehab, and information is displayed about each turtle. It seemed that most of them were malnourished and lethargic.

Each turtle had a placard describing where he/she was found, his condition and his treatment. This information, and the turtle's progress,  can also be found online. A quick check online let me know that TFD is no longer receiving parenteral nutrition. He is eating well.



Each turtle is housed in a fairly small tank. Sometimes the tank is divided for smaller turtles. The tour leader explained that the turtles are supposed to rest and they don't want them swimming a lot.


Turtles could often be seen "sleeping" with their head propped on the bottom of the tank.



This is Tiffany, a Hawksbill sea turtle. 


DeeDee and Lil' Buddy are Green sea turtles sharing one tank. This species of turtle has green fat. As adults they are the only sea turtle that is strictly herbivorous. 




The center has a large veterinary hospital with viewing windows (presenting a bit of a challenge to get pictures without reflections.) The day we visited a new Loggerhead sea turtle was brought in. He is now a patient at the center and has been named Sebastian. I watched as they took measurements of his size and weight. Then he was scrubbed. This picture shows him after his bath.


A few other patients were waiting, not so patiently, for treatment of one kind or another. The turtles are strapped onto the tables. 


The center is involved with monitoring sea turtle nests on the beaches. Sea turtles apparently return to the beach where they hatched. They lay 80-120 eggs that may be fathered by different males. Sea turtles may return up to 5 times to dig nests and deposit eggs. The eggs incubate in the sand for about 60 days.  The temperature determines whether the babies will be male or female. If the turtles hatch at night, they crawl toward the water, directed by light reflected from the stars and moon. There have been programs for years to teach people with shorefront homes to turn off their lights or shield them. Turtles that hatch in the daytime will often be the targets of birds and other creatures. The center will collect a nest that is hatching at the wrong time, and release them at night, or even take the babies out to floating islands of sea weed. Many years ago I was lucky enough to see a nest of sea turtles as the babies began to emerge. It was truly an amazing experience. Since it was morning, members from the local turtle-watch organization came to collect the babies and release them later that night. Turtles generally begin to hatch in June. It won't be long before the center is busier than ever!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Making Lemonade out of China

A few weeks ago a package arrived that was addressed to me. It was a surprise. I hadn't ordered anything. Hmmmm. The package rattled. It didn't sound good.


The Priority Mail label showed that the box had been sent to me at my Colorado address, and had been forwarded to my new address. The box was full of china. My old "everyday" china. China that I had either sold or given away when we were preparing to move away from Colorado. Now, most of it was broken china. 


A few plates survived.


The return address was a company called "Linda's Quilters". I called the shop to enquire as to why they were sending me plates in the china pattern I used to have. They had no clue. They had no record of sending anything to me.


Then I looked at the label again... the date on the postage label was 2016. Hmmmm....
So what I am thinking is, after a discussion with the Post Office, the china was put in this box by me. A box that was originally sent to me in 2016. The china was either sold or given away and was sealed with packing tape (even though the plates were not carefully packaged.) Wherever the box went, whether it was a thrift shop or a resale shop, someone looked at the label and exclaimed, "This box has been misdelivered! It needs to be sent to Cyndi in Parker, CO." The PO looked at it and said, "Oh, no! Cyndi doesn't live in Parker, she's in Florida. Let's send the package to her there." No one looked at the original date of the mailing label. And so, the packaged was jostled and bumped, and dropped, and tossed and it finally arrived where I am currently living.... mostly in pieces!

Well, I had chosen to sell, or give away the china a few month ago, so I wasn't too saddened at its sorry shape. But, instead of throwing it out I decided to use it for a project. I took the pieces...



and used a hammer to make the pieces even smaller!


I used mastic and adhered the pieces, as well as those of other broken plates, pieces of glass and sea 
shells, to a terra cotta pot. 




Once dried I applied grout to stabilize the pieces of plates and glass. 


And, ta da.... just like the saying, if life gives you lemons.... make lemonade! Well, er, make mosaics perhaps!

The Best Laid Plans

Traveling by RV has its challenges. It requires a bit of planning if you want to assure that you have a place to park each night. I spent a ...