Saturday, April 27, 2019

Holy Crap! Snow! (Piedmont, SD)

We spent most of this month traveling and visiting family.  We managed to dodge several severe thunderstorms along the way, but not the cold fronts.  This was our first morning greeting to South Dakota.  From the posts I saw on Facebook, we are not alone with the surprise snow covered ground.  I am hoping it will be the last for this Winter....hmm, I mean Spring.
Dan spent a lot of time searching for the perfect campgrounds for us to stay along the way.  This is the first time we have driven this route.  We stopped to visit my brother in Huntsville, AL while staying in Redstone Arsenal FamCamp.  A very nice RV park with plenty of walking paths and close to shopping.  
US Space & Rocket Center
From there, we drove through Tennessee and stayed at Cherokee Landing Thousand Trails in Saulsbury.  
Cherokee Landing Thousand Trails
This park needs a lot of work.  The employees do a great job of keeping the areas clean, but the building and sites need to be renovated.  If you are looking for a more back to nature experience then this is perfect for you.
The cats loved this park with all the trees and wildlife to explore.  Since the park was not busy, they were able to explore quite a few sites away.
Dusty did not want to leave, but he was very happy with our new location at the USACE Maumelle Camp near Little Rock, AK on the Arkansas River.
All three cats even took a walk down to the river with us.  The park was busier than the last one, but the sites were large with plenty of space for the cats to explore without going into another site..
Maumelle Camp Near Little Rock AR
And Dusty did not want to leave.  Then he saw our new location at Chicken Creek Camp Tenkiller Ferry Lake near Gore, OK and he was happy cat once again.  This time I wasn't too happy to hear that the campground had emptied out earlier that day due to warnings of severe thunderstorms with hail and tornado warnings.  There were only four campsites in use besides us and the camp-hosts.  We decided to stay because there really was no place to get away from this storm front.  Lucky for us, the storm went around this area.  We got a little bit of rain and some gusts of winds, but otherwise it was a quiet night.
Chicken Creek Camp Tenkiller Ferry Lake Near Gore OK
Dusty was once again 'not a happy cat' about leaving.  Are you wondering how we know he is not happy with us moving?  Well, he starts crying as soon as the motorhome starts moving.  He'll even go to the door and cry.  If he doesn't like the site, he just goes to sleep.  "No worries.  I didn't like it here anyway." 

Dusty was not happy with our new site in Ft Sill either because he did not beg to out every other hour.  Sites are tight and boring according to cat's standards until we had visitors.  Dusty says Celeste gives very good belly rubs and makes rolling in the grass more fun.
We spent Easter weekend visiting with our daughter, granddaughters, and getting to know our soon-to-be son-in-law.  We spent Saturday afternoon at Ft Sill so the girls could enjoy the FamCamp's lakeside playground and had a delicious Easter dinner on Sunday.  It was wonderful to see our grandchildren again and to visit with Misty and Jeff.
photos by Misty
Back on the road again and heading north to South Dakota, we stopped in another US Army Corp of Engineer's park near Alma, NE.  Here's a unique sight.  While driving on the road to Hunter Cove, we passed a guy leading two packhorses down the street.  We saw him again the next day about 8 miles down the road in Republican City.
After we were settled into our site, we let all three cats out knowing they were going to love this park.  The first thing Hitch did when he was allowed outside was to climb this tree.  He climbed it a couple of more times and must have decided it was too easy because he took off at a full run towards the other trees.  He never got as high, but he was happy.
Hunter Cove Army Corps Of Engineers, Alma NE
Max was quite happy to find a nice soft spot among the big tree's roots for sleeping.  The campground wasn't busy when we were there, but it sounds like it will stay busy once school lets out.  In the meantime, we had a pleasant stay and the cats did a lot of exploring.
And of course, once again, Dusty was not happy about leaving.  I told him there would be other great sites, but I don't think he believed me.
Yeah, right...😒
We made an unscheduled stop at Wall Drug since it was along the way.  A nice change of pace from all our traveling lately.  We did a little shopping and had lunch.

This guy looked like he had a snack and was looking for his lunch....grrr
So, we are done traveling for the next month while we take care of our driver's licenses and do a little sightseeing in the Black Hills area.

On The Cutting Board
I haven't been in the mood for starting a new quilt.  I have been spending most of my time embroidering the A to Zzzz Snowman blocks.
Kris and Lights
I'm amazed how fast these are going.
At this speed, I should have all the embroidery done before the end of the year.
Maybe by that time I'll be back in the mood to sew together the blocks into a quilt.
and Ornaments
Until then, I will keep on 'Stitchin'!
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

So Long Key West (Clermont, FL)

Before the end of February, we said good-bye to Key West.  Below are highlights of our winter outings since I never got around to posting them earlier.  

We have been spending the past month in central Florida enjoying the cooler nights and mornings.   As much as I enjoy warm winters in the Keys, I have to say I'm glad we decided to leave early.
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
Dry camping was more of a struggle this year due to record breaking heat all winter long.  We spent most of our dry camping days sitting with our cats outdoors in the shade.  Nights brought little relief from the heat and humidity which left a lot of the dry campers looking a little exhausted at times.  

After the winter most people in the north experienced, I am grateful for the warm winter and not having to experience the constant blizzards of ice and snow, but I am more than ready for a change of weather and full hook-ups.
We did manage a few outings.  We spent a couple of hours watching the Super Boat races, but even that became almost unbearable with no shade.  
A view of our 'hot spot'
After a couple of hours of sitting in direct sunlight, I started to worry about my Nikon.  The black casing started to flake off, so I tried using my body to keep it in the shade.  I'm happy to say the camera is working well.  At least the inside was not damaged.
Still, it was fun to watch the boats fly by.  I think they spent more time flying over the water than in it.

For my birthday in December, we spent the day downtown.  We walked the boardwalk looking for Tarpons along the way.
We checked out the marina for interesting yachts, sailboats...
and holiday decorations.
We had to stop for some Key Lime Pie and to try some different free key lime flavored samples such as nuts, cookies, and even dipping oils for breads.
Isn't this gorgeous?  This is the sitting area offered by Kermit's.
We walked all the way to Mallory Square to visit the shops and the Sculpture Garden.
Shipwreck Salvaging 
But, my favorite part of the day was visiting Hemingway's home.  Look at those paws!  The place was packed with visitors.  I am truly amazed with how mellow the cats can be with so many people trying to pet them.  I even saw one woman pushing a cat down to keep him from walking away.  He was struggling to get out from under her hands without a hint of wanting to fight back.  She stopped when she saw me looking at her and the cat just sauntered off with a twitch of his tail.
This one told me exactly what he thought of all the tourists:  "Talk to the paw, Lady.  I'm not interested in having my photo taken, so just move along."

Later in the year, we visited the Key West Botanical Garden.  I will never tire of visiting the gardens.  I took a lot of photos, so I decided to make a collage to keep this post from getting too long.
I was disappointed to see the old tree and arch fell during Hurricane Irma.  Photos below are from our visit in 2015.
Our last outing before we left was a drive up Hwy 1 to Bahia Honda State Park.  We walked around a little and checked out the campground.  This would be a nice place to stay for a couple of days with access to the Gulf  and ocean-side beaches within walking distance.  Maybe next time.
All in all, it was a good stay.  I finally got back into my walking routine.  I often started before sunrise when it was a wee bit cooler.  The best part was watching the birds.  I got quite a few shots of this Little Blue Heron catching his meal for the day.
Can't say that I find lizard appealing for lunch, but he seemed quite happy with his find for the day.
Dusty (our older cat) also thought lizards were a great catch.
He not only caught one, but he almost had the lizard in our coach before Dan caught him.  Surprised, Dusty dropped the lizard and yep, sure enough it was still alive and quite fast on disappearing under our car.  That was a close one.  Dusty never forgave us for making him give up his catch-of-the-day.
The Ibis were my favorite birds to watch with their funny walk and grunting sounds.
On my walks, I loved watching the Ibis cross a road.  They always cross the road in a single line.  I rarely saw two walking side-by-side.
We are starting our trip north.  Our plans were to visit family in Alabama and Oklahoma, then start heading towards Oregon by way of New Mexico and Nevada, but that got changed when we realized we needed to go back to South Dakota to renew our licenses.  Sooo, change of plans: after Oklahoma, we will drive directly north through the mid-west to Rapid City, SD then we will head to Oregon.
On The Cutting Board
Since my last post, I have signed up for four Craft sales.  I am finding that I enjoy it more because I can actually talk to people interested in my hobby.  
Sigsbee NAS
I also sold close to half of my inventory of mug rugs and quilts.  
Thousand Trails Orlando
But, no one has bought my Angel Bears.  I'm not sure why they are not selling.  Looks?  Price? or maybe because they are not a toy.  I would think an eight-year old would be all right with the bear.  Anyway, I'm hoping to find them a home in the near future.
Since I am no longer making items for my Etsy shop, I pulled out a lot of my UFOs.  I decided to start with my A to Zzzz Snowman quilt project.
Now that I can concentrate on one project at a time....
...Okay!  more than one project, but not as many as before.............
......This project is going a lot faster.  I'm actually on M for Mittens now.  
from our full hook-up site in January
One last shot of what it is like to sit outdoors with such a peaceful view of the ocean and palm trees while quilting.  What a life!
Happy Quilting!

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