01.13.14 And now….Introducing RVillage! PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REBLOG!!!

And Now…….Introducing RVillage!

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REBLOG!

rvillage_logo_roadRVillage.com will soon become a household name amongst RVers and RV parks.

Mark this day on your calendar as the day you first heard about it here on Rosalyn and Roy’s blog!!

We were invited to an unveiling webcast sponsored by Workamper News back in December of last year (boy does that sound weird, December was last year!!).  The presentation was a little over an hour which included questions and answers.  It’s primary target was RVers who might be interested in working for them.   We learned enough to be super excited about this new product that will be extremely useful to RVers and RV parks everywhere so I want to share what we know with ya’ll today.

The first thing I want to tell you about it is that IT IS FREE – YES, NOT ONE THIN DIME do you have to part with as an RVer or an RV Park.

RVillage.com is a website where it will all happen. Today is the the unveiling of RVillage BETA.  There are still rough edges to smooth out, plenty of big and little bugs to squash, and a lot of potential that is still evolving as we work out the implementation details.  No one has ever created a site and community quite like RVillage before – and RVillage decided to invite the public in before the site is perfect.  If you encounter a problem, please let me know and I’ll pass it along to the person who can look into it!

Here’s a description of what it is and how it will all work for RVers and RV parks.

Every RV park in the country will be able to “claim” their park, giving them a web presence in RVillage.com.  There will be a place for them to tell about their park’s amenities (amps, hookups, WiFi, laundromat, etc.)  Also a map of the community showing where all the businesses are located that advertise with RVillage within a 75 mile radius of the park. The park can announce social get togethers such as pot luck dinners, bingo, card games, etc through the “Get Togethers” button. They will also have the capability to push out to their RV guests announcements about anything including power shutdowns, water shut downs, or  high winds advisory so we can bring in our awnings. Gone will be the days when the park has to go RV to RV knocking on doors to let their guests know about these events or the days of us RVers having to depend on happening to see a notice on the office door.

The park is also given a supply of colorful flyers about RVillage.com to hand out to each guest when they check in. All the fliers and the capabilities described above is at Zero expense to the RV Park.  They just post a sign like the one below at their office and give every guest one of the fliers.

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For RVers, like ya’ll and us, it opens a whole new world of social networking amongst us and other RVers.  When you get that flier from the RV Park it guides the RVer to complete their profile in the Village.  Your profile tells about you, what type and size RV, your interests, etc.  Once you’ve done that you’re pretty much set, except that when you arrive at an RVillage Park you’ll check in on RVillage.com at the park you’re in.  Many times RVers have friends at the same or nearby RV park, but don’t know they are there so you don’t get to hook-up and visit.  Or you would have gone to a particular RV park if you knew your friends were also there.  With RVillage you will be able to see where anyone of your RVillage friends are throughout the country on their big map.   You may decide to travel on to the next city when you find out that Suzy Smith your high school cheerleading buddy whom you haven’t seen in ages is staying there.  If you haven’t stayed in touch over the years, how else would you know that she’s there without RVillage.com

RVers can create get togethers on RVillage.com at a specific RV park and others who see the get together can sign up to come, or best of all sign up for what food they are going to bring! We will all be better informed about what’s happening at whatever RVillage park is our current home.  We all walk around the park and waive at other RVers but most of the time we don’t strike up a conversation and get to know others.  RVillage.com’s get together feature and us just clicking that we’re here (with our interests already posted) will provide a smoother, more comfortable way for us to meet each other.  RV life is certainly much in need of this type of acceleration to the 21st century in the use of technology.

RVers have particular needs from local businesses.  We need things like a good dentist for a tooth ache, an urgent care that accepts your insurance, a pet groomer for our precious pets, RV repair or detailing for our homes, or a local restaurant serving our favorite cuisine.  RVers don’t have the luxury of checking with a friend to see who they use or where they eat.  Our usual option is to sift through Google results to hopefully find something.

Prior to RVillage.com our main source of this information was the fold out printed fliers that the RV Park gave us when we checked in similar to the one below.map with ads

With the arrival of RVillage.com comes movement into the 21st century for these advertisers to web based advertisement.  The advertisers in the area you’re looking at will show up as a link on the side of the page.  When you click that link a mini-web page ad will appear giving you way more information that a small business card size paper ad could possibly do.   Say you’re looking for some RV service and you find the company that does it near an RVillage Park you’d probably stay at that park to have the work done. You can plan your travels accordingly and contact the advertised company well before arriving to schedule your visit which saves a lot of time waiting like we’ve all done.

RVillage.com brings tremendous benefits to everyone from the RVer, the RV Park and the advertisers. Next time you check into an RV Park ask if they are members of RVillage.  If they haven’t heard about it yet (and it will probably take many months to spread the word and get them all signed up) just let them know it’s here now! They can go to RVillage.com and claim their own park even before someone contacts them about it!  If they give you one of the fliers I recommend highly that you go straight to your RV and sign up (IT’S FREE AFTER ALL!), create your profile and start connecting with other RVillagers as we travel and experience adventure after adventure discovering our beautiful country.

I know this has been long and I didn’t really cover everything exciting about this new product.  If you would, please reblog this so that the word can be spread faster.  I don’t really mind if you don’t give me credit for writing it. I asked the RVillage.com company to review this posting for accuracy and to fill in any blank spots I left out.  Wanted you to know they gave the okay so you’ll know all the information is correct and feel more comfortable re-blogging it!

There are employment opportunities available with this company through the http://www.rvfriendnetwork.com website.  Fill out the application and who knows you could become a virtual employee having fun working from your RV spreading the word to RV Parks and RVers!  Please send me an update if you pursue employment or join RVillage.com as an RVer  I’d love to watch it grow!

All you RVers -head over to http://www.rvillage.com, complete your profile and check out the site.    I’ve heard that within the first hour of it being unveiled they had 40 RVers sign up on the site!  Ya’ll get on over there so we’ll know where our friends are and maybe get to visit some time!!

I wrote this blog several weeks ago and had to wait for their official website unveiling to post it.  Since the time I wrote it, both Roy and I have started working for them!  We both create some of the web ads and I also have some administrative responsibilities related to advertising.  I’ve written about what we’re doing, just not about the company we’re doing it for.

And that, my friends, is the rest of the story!

Ya’ll come back now, ya hear!

01.09.14 You can go home again! and leave again!

Wednesday started off fasting for blood work.  Mine!  After the nice lady draining me of blood and giving me the obligatory cotton and bandage I was done with that for a while.

We told many of our church friends goodbye on Sunday and today was our good-bye day for family and some friends.

We went to Cracker Barrell for a good-bye lunch with my sister Harriett, her husband George and their granddaughter Annie.  Our pictures with Annie didn’t come out good enough to post them but she’s a beautiful young lady whom I love very much! We enjoyed delicious food, and even better fellowship. I miss my big sis when we’re on the road but we stay in touch and it’s very special when we get to see each other!

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After lunch we went to Southeastern to visit our ex co-workers to tell them all goodbye.  There’s a lot of people in our old building we care about and it was nice seeing them even if it was to say good-bye.

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Our last goodbye was with our granddaughter, Madisyn and her daddy (our son) Chip.  We went out to Don’s Seafood for dinner where we all enjoyed some delicious seafood.  Madisyn even at some boiled shrimp and we enjoyed ever minute we got to spend with her and Chip. Saying goodbye to them at their apartment later was hard even though we know we’ll see them when we come back through here in a few weeks going out west.  Madisyn makes our hearts smile every time we see her which makes the goodbyes harder!

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We’re spending today, Thursday, cleaning things, filling the tires with air, cleaning Boots our toad (truck) and making sure everything is ready to roll first thing in the morning.  We’ve been here at Berryland Campers way longer than the two weeks we thought we’d stay, more like 4 weeks now and it’s been very nice here.  I’d highly recommend it to any RVer in the area who needs a place to stay for a few nights.  They provide water and electricity and pleasant surroundings.  Even here in the winter when a lot of things are dead it’s still pretty here.

We’ll be staying at TLC Wolf River Resort in Pass Christian for a week or more.  This is the resort we visited to sign up for our Coast to Coast RV membership.  Can’t wait to be on the gulf coast in hopefully some nice weather for a while.  Maybe some nice walks on the beach are in our near future!

Here’s some pictures of fun times we’ve had while home and our new Darren Sproles tin man (we call him Sproley Ooley!) who helped the Saints win the first playoff game.  We got him at the flea market we visited with Madisyn and he’ll be traveling with us from now on.  The Karaoke picture is from Soul’s Harbor’s New Years Eve party we went to with Chip and Kim.  We did lots of fun things while home that didn’t get captured on film.  We also took care of all our medical visits and check ups.  Hammond is a wonderful place and it was wonderful being home, if just for a little while!

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Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

11.16.13 Corvette Assembly Plant and National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY

corvettes
The two pictures of the white corvette are the same car. Yes they parked on carpet in the garage!!!@! These are our two corvettes we had when we were younger!

Next on our field trip list was the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, KY.  Some may know and some may not know that Roy and I owned two corvettes back at different times in our younger wilder days so this was a tour we really looked forward to.

There are signs posted all around the walkway to the plant saying that you cannot bring in a purse, bag, camera, electronic device, cell phone, etc.  So what do I discover is in my pants pocket when we get inside and are waiting for the tour – my cell phone.  Honest I didn’t mean to bring it and was so afraid someone would catch me and kick me out.  I turned it off and didn’t once take a picture. The pictures I have below were from after the tour and we were on our way back to the car.

This plant is the coolest, cleanest, most interesting place we’ve been to.  We got to walk through the plant seeing the assembly line from the beginning to the end where a completed corvette rolled off the assembly line ready fo2013-11-11_10-03-17_490 2013-11-11_10-03-33_604 2013-11-11_10-03-56_366 2013-11-11_10-05-03_232 2013-11-11_10-05-47_493 2013-11-11_10-06-24_503 2013-11-11_10-13-39_91 2013-11-11_10-15-02_854 2013-11-11_10-15-53_161r its new owner.  The only place we couldn’t go into was the paint shop which they do first so the cars we saw being assembled were already painted, mostly black, white, red, yellow and a few blue.  Crisp, beautiful Corvette colors!  It was amazing to watch the car go through the many steps in the process.

Especially cool was when the body gets married to the drive train and are no longer two parts but one car!  These 2014 Corvette Sting Rays are very special and it was quite a privilege to get to watch some being built.  They complete 173 cars a day and they are only built if they are already sold. If you buy one you can come to the plant in Kentucky and go through the build process with your car.  If you have the money to buy one of these fine cars you probably have the money to go there to see it made!

When the cars are complete they are wrapped up before being shipped out.  A couple of the pictures below show that.    IMG_20131111_112310_669IMG_20131111_112321_969

I would highly, highly recommend this fantastic tour to anyone interested in seeing a beautiful car being assembled!

We went next across the street to the National Corvette Museum where they have on display Corvettes as old as 1953 the first year they made them.  Several of the models are displayed in scenes depicting the era they were made in.  You’ll see this in the pictures.

Many of the Indy 500 Corvette pace cars were on display in this upside down cone shaped building that was highly ultra modern.  Every bit of the decor in the whole museum was Corvette styled.

We saw cars in the years of the ones we owned (1971 and 1976) which brought back memories!  Car seats weren’t required back then and we strapped our oldest son (he has requested that we do not use his name) and Chip together in the passenger seat when they were really little and then they sat behind the seat when they got bigger. That is an unthinkable thing to do now but it was considered normal back then.

Remember I said that walking through the Mammoth Caves made my leg muscles hurt? Well you can imagine how they felt after walking through the assembly plant and the museum the next day.  If it hasn’t been such a highlight of our travels I wouldn’t have made it.

Roy was feeling a lot better when we did all this in one day or we wouldn’t have done all this.  We’re thinking his case of shingles is a mild one and we’re very thankful for that. Enjoy the pictures and ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

IMG_20131111_112343_921IMG_20131111_112408_1772013-11-11_10-25-35_397 2013-11-11_10-29-53_526 IMG_20131111_104428_272 IMG_20131111_104633_199 IMG_20131111_104715_032 IMG_20131111_104736_787 IMG_20131111_105049_285 IMG_20131111_105216_125 IMG_20131111_105324_609 IMG_20131111_105410_169 IMG_20131111_105530_371 IMG_20131111_105900_076 IMG_20131111_110016_669 IMG_20131111_110025_780 IMG_20131111_110132_433 IMG_20131111_110259_457 IMG_20131111_110354_151 IMG_20131111_110943_347

10.15.13 Fantabulous tour at Fleetwood!

We went to the two and one-half hour Fleetwood Motorhome Factory Tour here in Decatur, Indiana this morning. The tour is conducted Monday – Friday at 9 am and it is freeeeee!!! There are five Fleetwood factories in Decatur. The factory we toured, shown below, is on 95 acres, 1.2 million square feet with a paint shop that’s almost 1,000 feet long. On average, this factory produces 18 units per day. They do not build any RVs that are not pre-sold.

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This tour was far superior to the Winnebago tour we took last week.  The tour guide, Tom, had been with Fleetwood for over 20 years and knew just everything.  We all wore safety glasses and headphones so we could hear Tom no matter what the sound level was in the factory. He took us down on the factory floor for the whole tour.  We got to touch and see up close every aspect of the build. We learned that it generally takes 4 weeks for a class A RV like ours to go from start to finish.  They are not making any more the Excursion at the length ours is.  They’ve reduced it to around 33 feet.

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Fleetwood also makes American Coach RVs which is a higher level and cost between $400,000 to $650,000 for the 2014 models.   A little bit out of our price range but it was fascinating to see those up close.  The tour was an all walking tour and when we got back to Dora I was so tired I took a long, long nap.  Again we were not allowed to take pictures so I found some on the internet that others sneeked of this tour so you see some of what we saw.

Not only did we take this fantastic, informative tour today but the act of sale on our Brenda Drive rental house was held today!!!!!!!!!   Very happy to have this completed and we thank everyone who helped make this happen.  We are blessed with friends and family who pitched in to help get the house cleaned up and ready to put on the market.  Big, big thanks to our phenomenal real estate agent Jamie Johnson for making this happen so fast and go so smoothly.

We’re hoping for  6 am wake up call telling us to bring Dora in for servicing. Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

10.14.13 Fleetwood Factory and Service in Decatur, Indiana

521539_403488166393197_604151436_nWe left Grand View Bend Resort this morning and guess who drove Dora from our parking space to the end of the road where the resort ends – me!!!!!!!!!!!! It was my first time in the drivers seat and while I didn’t have to do anything fancy it was my first step towards learning how to drive this big girl!

We traveled south to Decatur, Indiana where the Fleetwood Factory and service facility is located.   We’re signed in and parked in spot #34 waiting for our number to be called.  We need to have the service department check out a few things including having our a/c checked. Not the living area a/c but the part that cools us while we’re driving in the front.  We’re hoping our extended warranty covers this!  We’re going to the 9 am tour of the plant in the morning and then on to Berne Indiana to see a Swiss cheese plant, a woodworking plant and more Amish folks.  Don’t know how long we’ll be here yet so we may be able to see even more.

We’ve been on the road for two weeks and traveled over 800 miles since leaving Lake Kabetogama.  We have over 900 miles still to travel until we reach Hammond, Louisiana  which is our home where we started from. We’ve both been a little homesick, especially missing our granddaughter Madisyn who just moved back to Louisiana with her mama.   We’re enjoying seeing this part of our country but are really looking forward to seeing familiar things again soon!

The act of sale for our Brenda Drive rental house is scheduled for tomorrow.  It will be nice to have that behind us and have those loans cancelled.   We’ll get to meet the folks who are renting our house on Wardline Road when we get back to Louisiana.  There is still a lot of country to see before we get there and I hope ya’ll stay along for the ride.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

08.25.13 Tools needed – house for sale soon – Thanks Chip!

We seem to find ourselves in the position of having an empty rental house and a lot of work to be done to get it in the condition to sell it.

And we are 1500 miles away from the house here in Minnesota!

After several email and telephone conversations with our tenants they have moved out this weekend and the cleaning fun begins!  We loved this young couple who were renting from us and while the house now needs a lot to get it ready for the next step they were good tenants until they fell into very hard times financially and couldn’t pay their rent.  We worked with them a couple of months but don’t have the financial security to keep it up.  So they are leaving and unfortunately for Chip he’s left with the clean up.  Thank goodness for Chip willing to take this on while we’re so far away.

Thanks Chip!!!

In addition to this not being a convenient time while we’re so far away we also own none of the tools that we use to that are now needed for the work to get done.  He’s going to need a lawnmower, ladder, pressure washer, hedge trimmer, carpet shampooer in addition to whatever tools are needed to replace a kitchen counter and possibly two doors.

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Some of the tools we sold we could really use about now!!!

I am quite thankful that so many of our friends and family have responded by letting us borrow their tools.  Fred Lavigne is coming to the house with his super duper lawn mower (which was ours before we sold it to him!!!) to give the yard a good cut which we hope Chip will be able to keep cut with the old push mower.  Scott Morrow is loaning us his hedge trimmer which Chip is going to pick up today in Amite to get all the hedges (and there are many) and the palm trees trimmed. Another friend Ronnie Glover is going by the house to see the two doors we believe need to be replaced and get us a price on doing that.

We’re still needing a pressure washer and carpet shampooer.  If any of our readers are local and wouldn’t mind loaning us either of these two please give me a call at 320-496-7061!  Roy and I have never been people who borrowed things from people. That’s probably why we owned every tool in the world, we bought what we needed.   This is probably a first for us and while it feels odd to be asking we’re thankful for friends who are willing to help.  Chip use to live in the house and knows all the neighbors so I’m hoping they will be willing to help with the small tools he’ll need.

This is a good example of issues RVers run into while on the road if they maintain ties like this back home.  Once the house is cleaned and showable we’ll be putting it on the market to sell so this tie will be cut.  Unfortunately we need the rent to cover the note and the 1st of the month is coming really quickly now!  Thank goodness our other tenants in our house on Wardline Rd are paying on time!

If all this can’t be handled long distance we’ll have to go straight home after October 1st so we’re really hopeful it gets done so we can do some traveling around and seeing the USA as we planned.  I have faith in Chip he’ll do all he can to make this happen! Now we get to have the electricity put in our name and contact the realtor!

This is the house before we rented it last year.  Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

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08.25.13 Reviews of purchases for Dora our RV

999102_511469705603721_529031575_nWe’ve been living the “on the road RV life”” since April 29th of this year.  We lived the “off the road parked in our own driveway RV life” for 5 months prior to that and we’ve learned so much about this unique lifestyle we and millions have chosen to live.  We’ve made several RV specific purchases and thought I’d review some them in case someone else is thinking about purchasing one of these items and wants some user information.

For our outdoor cooking grill we chose the Weber Q 200 with the separate  rolling stand.  I read a lot from other RVers and product reviews on the web before we purchased it.  When it arrived I was able to put it together and I am very low on the mechanical ability poll.  Roy has often said how much he loves cooking on this grill.  He said it doesn’t flame up like others and it cooks very evenly.  It also folds up to fit very easily in a small part of the under RV storage.  I love the flavor of the food cooked off of it too!  We purchased ours from Camping World for $199 but they sell it lots of places.

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We purchased a two burner electric GE cook-top unit which lasted a little while but it was soooooo slow we started looking for an alternative.  I wouldn’t recommend spending money on that one unless you don’t mind really slow cooking and always just looking ugly after it was used for a while.  We found, again at Camping World, an electric induction cook-top and love it especially for it’s speed of cooking and ability to keep it clean.  It’s a Fagor induction. It came with a medium sized induction frying pan. The old two burner is now strapped in under the sink for those times that the induction skillet doesn’t work for a larger size pot, like maybe a pot of gumbo that you don’t mind cooking slow! I cook almost all our vegetables and pasta inside in it and Roy does all our frying outside in it.  In case you aren’t familiar with induction cooking I copied the details from the Camping World website.  The cost of this appliance was $89.

Safely use this Portable Induction Cooktop anywhere an outlet is available — now includes a 9 1/2″ induction-ready cast aluminum Skillet! Induction cooking technology warms only the food and pan – not the cooking surface! Energy produced by the cooktop is directly supplied to the cooking vessel by a magnetic field. There are no open flames or heating elements, so the glass surface remains cool to the touch. Energy-efficient cooktop uses 90% of energy produced. Self-adjusting burner detects the size of the cookware base and adjusts output automatically. Two independent zones allow for precise, immediate temperature adjustments. Food won’t stick to the safe, stay-cool surface, so it’s easy to wipe up even the messiest spills. Ideal for RV, boat, tailgating, dorm room, deck or patio—anywhere a 110-volt outlet is available. Included cast aluminum skillet features a non-stick surface and stay-cool ergonomic handle.

Features:

  • Cooktop uses safe, efficient, flameless induction cooking technology
  • Lightweight and compact — only 11 3/4″W x 14″L x 2″H and weighs only 5 pounds
  • Crystal glass panel is easy to clean because it stays cool and food won’t stick
  • Display panel chart relates cooking levels to temperature and cooking function
  • Soft touch controls with 10 power settings from 140ºF to 430ºF
  • Shuts off automatically if no cookware is detected
  • Convenient built-in 150-minute digital timer

induction cooktop

We recently purchased and received a Garmin GPS model RV 760 LMT.  I can’t do a review on that yet since it just arrived and we aren’t on the road but this one is specifically designed for RVs but can be switched over to automotive mode.  Roy’s entered information into it about Dora and one of it’s features is that since it knows her height it will guide us away from overpasses that are two low for us to go through.  It also has a much larger screen than our telephone GPS which we previously used and had difficulty seeing since the screen was about 1/4 the size of the Garmin.  When we’ve  had a chance to use it we’ll review it.  Roy did a lot of research before he decided on this one.  It’s cost was $400 and it was purchased straight from Garmin.

One very small yet important purchase was the dozen or so little round plate like rubbery things that you put between the dishes and pans so they don’t rattle when driving. They are called Grip-It China and Dish Separators. Before we purchased those everything rattled up a storm when we’d go down the road.  Now it’s much quieter and are nerves are saved a lot of rattle too!

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I wrote about the satellite dish we recently purchased in a post at: https://rosalynandroy.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/satellite-dish-upgrade/.  We spent $761 off Ebay including delivery.  It would have cost $1400 new.  I would highly recommend this dish.  We never lose reception any longer and it’s always clear.  Big improvement over the other one.

We purchased a front window screen for when we’re parked and while I previously wrote about that I’ve copied it to here  and updated the information with new pictures in case you are interested.

siberiantigerscreen2 siberiantigerinsidescreenRoy ordered this front screen  from a company that makes sunscreens for Dora’s front window. It is used in place of closing the curtains since you can see out of it but no one can see into the RV except at night when the lights are on.  I like the curtains open most of the time but it gives you no privacy and this will. We picked out a design that is the face of a White Siberian Tiger.  It’s silver and black with blue eyes and will go perfectly with Dora’s black, silver and grey sides and now Dora has blue eyes like me!  If you’d like to look into getting one for your RV, the company’s website is www.heritageartltd.com.  They have lots of designs and other purposes you can use these for, like hanging one from the end of a patio so it’s not just for RVers.  Our managers, Rick and Debbie, have one which is where we first saw it.  Theirs is a Bengal Tiger and no they are not LSU fans, they picked it because the colors match their RV.  We’ve gotten several compliments about it and it works very well thought we don’t see through it as clearly as we hoped but still well enough to see what’s going on outside.

The table we use outside is a compact expandable aluminum table.  It also was purchased at Camping World for around $70.  We use it to eat on, fry food on, make crafts, work on plants and all sorts of things and it still looks brand new. It’s very easy to clean and still looks brand new even after frequent use these last few months.  It’s also very lightweight and easy to move around plus it can be smaller for normal use and expand if you need it to.  We always use it expanded since we’ve been here.  Camping World’s  website description is here:

This lightweight, versatile roll-top table offers two tabletop sizes: 28 1/2″L x 27 1/2″W or 48″L x 27 1/2″W.  The roll-top style table tops are constructed of heat-dissipating aluminum. The 28″ x 27″ top can be used with the un-telescoped frame to seat four people. Simply telescope the frame and add the additional table top piece for a 48″ x 27″ table top, which seats six people. The Compact Expandable Table features the double-duty Close-It Hold-It Strap System which tethers any handled trash bag to the side of the table while set up. When the table is folded, the Close-It Hold-It Strap System secures the table top dividers together for quick and easy packing. A telescoping table leg adjusts to uneven ground. Weighing only 12 lbs., the Compact Expandable Table supports 60 lbs. Includes a zippered carry bag with handle for transport and storage.
table That’s all the reviews I’ve got in me for today but all this kept me inside in the cool air conditioning while we’re experiencing the only summer we’ve had up here.  The highs the last few days have been in the 90s and I feel like I’m back in Louisiana when I open the door to the RV to walk outside!  Next week’s forecast shows it going back to mid 75s and before long the leaves will be changing and the Minnesota chill will be back in the air.  There are no air conditioners in the cabins and I’m quite thankful for my air conditioned RV now!
We only have one more horrible Saturday cabin turnover left to live through and in case I haven’t made it clear this is the day we’ve been waiting for many weeks and weeks.  Yesterday’s cabin cleanup was especially horrible with the high heat with no air conditioning and the fact that the two boys who have been making the beds the last few weeks had to start football practice so they couldn’t be here and we had to make all 65 beds plus clean all 12 cabins.  Yes our bed makers were football players!!!  After next Saturday we stop having children here since they are all in school and we begin having guests come in for shorter visits and less and less are rented each week before our final close down starting in mid September.
Well our Saints won today and I hope ya’ll will come back, ya’ hear!

07.11.13 Chipmunks, Loons, Awnings and Chives ~~~~~

say what you will

My old boss Donna sent me this when we first moved.  I don’t think I’ve ever included it in a blog post.  I guess this sign was talking about us since we retired up north!  We’ll be back south during the winter but at least for now we’re retired Northerners.

We have two little chipmunks that live here and entertain the guests and us!  Some of the guests have told us the chipmunks have been here in previous years.  I think they are tiny but I understand that’s their normal size.  I guess after seeing Alvin and the Chipmunks I just imagined them to be sort of cat size but they are not.  They are so friendly and use to humans that they will come up to you and hangout but they are frightened away if you make a sudden noise or sound.  Here’s a picture of one of them I saw while going from cabin to cabin on Saturday.

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There are very special duck like birds here called Loons.  The common loon is the state bird of Minnesota.  It is black and white and looks like a duck but that’s where the similarity with a duck ends.  It doesn’t quack like a duck but rather has this eerily beautiful call that can be heard on the lake in the evenings and at night.  They mate for life and I’ve heard it’s illegal to own or kill one.  We hear them every night and we understand that their calls are the mates calling to each other to keep in contact.  The other day a baby loon followed some of our guests in and was separated from its mama.  It went all over our part of the lake looking for her and finally scampered (that’s how they get across the water) farther way than we could see.  While it was up close we took some pictures.  It’s a tiny little thing so I cropped the picture so you could see it better.

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Roy is outside installing the replacement door awning we ordered on line. Before we left Louisiana a wind and hail storm tore the awning over the front door off.  The insurance paid to replace it and we asked Dixie RV to order us a new one.  After a couple of months and us already being on the road it arrived here in Minnesota broken.  We returned it and received a replacement, again broken.  The second time Roy asked Dixie to give us our money back and he’d order it elsewhere.   Roy found a company that makes them and ordered one from them, received it in three days and it’s not broken so he’s installing it today.  It will be nice to once again have an awning over our heads when we walk out Dora’s door.

 Yesterday evening we cooked some good old Louisiana catfish that we brought with us from Louisiana, built a campfire and enjoyed the outdoors all evening until it got dark around 10 pm.   We’re barbecuing steaks this evening so we’ll probably do the same thing since the weather is so beautiful and clear right now. It’s so quiet outside in the evening without Annie and Russ to share them with.  We really miss their presence and I wanted to let everyone know that Annie is healing well and she has been recuperating at a friends house in NC.

We have an herb garden here for all the guests to enjoy and I just came back from picking some green onions for our baked potatoes.  I chopped up a bunch of sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano and parsley the other day from the garden and froze them.  I’ve never had an herb garden before and look forward to using them in my cooking.

b chives

We’ll be heading out to our first BINGO night at the Kabetogama Community Center this evening!  Ya’ll get outside and enjoy the beauty of God’s world and come back now, ya’ hear!

05.30.13 A true fish story with pictures!

581772_381111721997261_331492798_nWe’ve heard much about the Northern Pike being really slimy and hard to clean. Then some people started telling us how delicious they could be once you’ve done the cleaning.  This evening, after baking the cake that didn’t come out so great looking but really did taste fine, I decided to go back to the lake to see how Roy’s evening was going since he was still working. Have I mentioned it is so cool living right next to a lake!  I found him sitting at the end of the pier (like he was in an earlier picture) still fishing!  As I got closer I could see he had hooked a fish and it was a Northern.  The fish up here don’t bite like southern fish do.  The bobber (that’s what they call the cork) just goes under a bit and you know you’ve got a fish, unlike the big jerk you feel when a nice trout is on the line.  He reeled the Northern in and we were both so proud.  I’d say he was about 16 inches long with lots of speckles on him.  Since all we had to do was walk from the end of the pier to the cleaning room I knew the fish wasn’t dead yet.  I’ve seen the other workers knock the fish on the head to kill him but never my own hubby, but kill him he did and in fine fashion!  Roy started in on filleting him like the seasoned professional he’s become. Looked like a good bit of meat on the fish and then he told me “now I’ve got to make the pants”.  Okay well that’s an odd northern saying so curious as I am I watched as he removed what they call “the Y bone”.  You can hear the scary music playing in the back ground when they say that like some people say “mother in law” with that dread and inevitable torture mixed in!  It’s a fairly long row of tiny bones that have to be removed.  This little part of the whole cleaning process takes as long as everything else and it leaves you with what looks like a long pair of pants, hence “making the pants”.  I so understand now.  This was a learning experience for me as I watched my hubby do his job (only this time on the fish he caught), then package fishy up to take home.  I’m posting a series of pictures I took this evening from when Roy caught the fish through the part where he makes “the pants”!  The pics are at the end of this post.

The resort is a licensed packaging place so there are lots of rules and regulations you have to follow to clean and package the fish.  I think our guys doing this is very cool and the guests sure like this free service.  I hope to never be included in the cleaning part, but the packaging and delivering I’m up to.  I’ve been told that many times the wife gets called in to help her spouse when the fish cleaning piles up.  We’ll see how I do on that one!

The pictures below are in reverse order because  I couldn’t figure out how to get them rearranged so please start at the bottom and follow the story up to the top!

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Roy holding up “the pants” he made from the fish
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And finally these are the pants
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Roy removing “THE Y BONE”

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Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!