Monday, February 27, 2012

It is raining here again

We've been in Florida since Thanksgiving and we have not had a really good rain until today.  It is pouring, straight down and we're loving it.  Actually it is a slight inconvienence, but it keeps us inside. Actually, it isn't bad.  It is warm out and we're surfing.

I forgot to post Saturday's blog until an hour ago, so make sure you read it also.   This one is probably no barn burner, but since we're confined to quarters, why not bore you also!

I forgot to mention that when we came in, there was a large turtle in the middle of the forest road. So we stopped and I asked Sandy to to herd it off of the road.  Well, a lot of good that did!  She poked it on the head and it turned and ran under the motorhome.  (Of course, you know how fast a turtle can run.  She just stood there and watched it.)   She may have been raised on the farm, but she certainly doesn't know how to heard livestock.)   It was not about to come out from under the motorhome, so I asked Sandy to get in and drive it slowly forward while I made sure it stayed in the middle.   I think she put it in gear and never looked back!   In the end, everything worked out fine.

We found out at the visitor's center that the turtle is an endangered species, the desert gopher tortoise and this one was no juvenile.   It was a good 10 to 12 inches across the beam.  They told us where the home borrow is so we'll try to see if it made it home.  Or since it is spring, it may have been out catting around and who knows which borrow it ended up in!

We're about 60 miles west of Daytona Beach and the Daytona 500 race.  The race was delayed yesterday and if this rain is any indication, I think it will get delayed again today.   One of our members here is a race fanatic and she said that the race is never canceled or delayed until the concessionar runs out of food.  They were at a race  when they noticed that the TV crews were packing up, but nothing had been said about delaying the race.  When they asked the TV crews, they were  told them that yep, it was canceled.   I guess that since the concessionar is part of the race track owner, they want to make sure that all of the food is sold before the people go home.

We are expecting two more rigs to come in today.  However, I suspect that they'll not arrive until tomorrow, after the rains have cleared.  (Both of them are in a full hookup park at the moment and have no idea how good the roads are here.  So if it were me, I'd sit tight until the sun shines.)

This is going to be a quiet lazy day inside.


Shanty Pond, Ocala National Forest, Florida

On Thursday, we moved from Bushnell to Shanty Pond Campground in the Ocala National Forest.  So we're back to living the good life without hookups and loving it.  We have 8 RVs as part of our group, with 2 or 3 more expected.

Surprisingly, there are only two other campers in the campground suitable for about 60 rigs.  I guess folks are just not camping in these difficult economic times  The two other rigs are "homeless folks" according to the campground host.   If you have the camper, I guess it is cheaper to park  it here verses a commercial campground.
(I wrote this Saturday and forgot to post it online.  Sorry.)

Our stay in the campground at Bushnell was rewarding to say the least. Sandy used the opportunity of having electricity  to bake a  short cake (for strawberries) plus some cornbread. They both go well with my diet.

Today we checked out the local flea market, only 8 vendors with nothing of any value or interest to us.  We checked  over the fruit stand and at least remembered the hours  It isn't much, but when we run out of grapefruit, there is a possibility of perhaps getting some fresh ones there maybe.  The supply on the shelf today looked like they have seen more than a few days of waiting for a customer. We'll be back there on Wednesday when our mail should be in from Beth, Sioux Falls and Williamsburg.

The weather continues to be unreal, with the temperature in the range of 55 to 75 degrees.  We love it.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Time Marches on even if I don't

Looking at the history file, I see that it has been over a week since I've posted a blog.  Woh, time flies when you're having fun.  Only in this case, it was more opportunities or challenges.

A week ago Monday we went to the Webster Flea market 10 miles east of here to acquire a super-duper TV antenna.  It had all of the bells and whistles that we thought it should have and the price was reasonable.  So we bought one, just like 6 others in this park have done over the course of the winter.

Once back at our rig, it was dive in and check it out.  However, nothing went right. We had no picture on the TV and it was a wipe-out.  Eventually the neighbor offered to substitute his unit for mine and presto, we had a picture on the TV.  It took a couple of days for us to realize that the red light on the antenna head wasn't illuminating like it should.  So while the rotator part worked, the amplifier part wasn't.   So a call to their tech support only offered me a replacement board for cost since I didn't have a receipt number.  Rather then pay and wait a week, it was easier to just return our unit to the seller at the flea market and get a replacement.

So Monday morning, we were off to the flea market again.   We thought it was busy a week ago, but it was nothing compared to this Monday    We expected a bigger crowd since it was President's weekend and it was bigger.  But we made it into the market and found our dealer.

Of course, he denied that it could be bad and said he'd hook it up and show us.  Yes, they hooked it up and yes, the light didn't come on. "Oh, that means it is a bad cable" was his response!  So he grabbed a replacement cable and hooked it up.  (I wanted to see it work.)  He finally got the new cable unwrapped and installed.  Then without making an issue of it or an apology or anything, he quietly told his wife to "get them a new unit".   So finally, we left with a new unit under our arms.

Back at our rig, we proceeded to hook up the replacement and it works.  Will we like it?  I'm not sure at this stage.  The built in rotator does not have a read out as to where it is pointed, and that is a big short coming.  It would not be a problem with the old style TV format, but it is a problem with the new digital format.  The TV takes so long to lock in, that the antenna has rotated past the opium direction.   It has an automatic reversal but who knows where it will be pointed.   It won't be a problem if we mount it on top of our old mount and manually point it.

With the TV issues put to bed, yesterday was my turn to get under the weather. It is an inner ear infection that I've had before.  It makes walking difficult because I get dizzy.  But we had some pills left over from the last time it occurred 3 years ago and we took some.  Later in the day, I was so tired.  Sandy checked on what the side effects were.  One of them is being extremely tired!   That certainly was me yesterday.  But today it is a whole new world.  (And we are up-right and not spinning!)

Today is to be a busy day.  Sandy says it is time to do the laundry (I'm out of fresh clothes) and we need groceries.   Perhaps tomorrow we leave for Shanty Pond in Ocala National Forest and more boondocking with our friends.   I'm ready!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside

Okay, Florida got its "come uppance" or what ever you call it.   Old man winter zapped us a good one last night.  Tonight is to be warmer, but it is still cold.  After tomorrow morning, the lows are low 60s and the highs are upper 70s.

Today we went to the flea market in the neighboring town of Webster and I picked up a TV antenna which included a built in rotator.  Well, as luck would have it, I got a bummer.  It rotates about 30 degrees and dies.  So back it goes next Monday.  There are 6 here in the park and everyone loves them.

We were amazed by some of the prices in the fruit market. At Immokalee, (the source) a half lug of strawberries sold for $8.  Last Sunday we bought from a road side vendor near the park and paid $11 and thought it was reasonable.  Today one of the vendors was selling strawberries for $6 a half lug.  (We didn't get any,  as Sandy said we had plenty in the refrigerator yet.)

Let's keep this one short.  Perhaps more tomorrow.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ouch, the cold wave is arriving tonight!!!!!

Well, winter is showing us that it can get cold around here.  Supposedly, we'll have frosty temperatures by morning.   But we have hope that in a couple of days (they promised us), the daytime temperatures will be back into the 70s.  What I really love is that the night time temperatures are to be in the lower 60s.  Folks, that isn't bad!

Supposedly, there was a drive way sale this morning.  However, after having pancakes in the club house, I walked all of the streets.  Not one lot was selling anything.  I'm beginning to think that the only  place for fleas is the market about 15 miles east at the little town of Webster.

It is to be bone chilling cold until  Monday morning.   My neighbor has a new fangled TV antenna  that he claims works like "gang busters".  We need one, as this piece of junk we have is a sad  excuse for an antenna.  I originally thought it worked well, but we're currently not happy.

So here is a short blog.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bushnell, FL for a few days

I've been very busy and haven't written a blog entry since Jan 30.  I'm not sure what I've done, but it was obviously very important.    We have really been relaxing out in the prairies of Florida.  I'm sorry about neglecting other more mundane things, like writing a blog.

Today we left our spot at Three Lakes WMA (Wildlife Management Area) and headed for civilization again. For starters we passed by the southern edge of Orlando and was on the highway just south of Disney World.  I didn't want to be there, but there was no other way.  So we grinned, bit our teeth and intended to bear it.   What a joy to finally clear highway 27.  We  headed west on a good county road.  From a very urban environment (Disneyworld traffic) to lots of country peace and quiet.  It was a contrast one rarely sees.  It was another hour before we arrived at the Sumter Oaks RV park and checked ourselves in to the last motorhome site.

Actually, what happened was that I observed a bit of burn out in Sandy as far as roughing it with limited electricity.  So we are taking break between two rendezvous, so why not live in style for a little bit.  While here, I'll update my part of Quicken so that we can also get serious with our taxes.  (Quicken does a nice job of grouping related entries together if they are recorded!)

At the social hour this afternoon, we met another couple that is a member of the Escapee Boondockers.  However they  haven't attended any of our  east coast rendezvous gatherings.   So we have a week or so to do some arm twisting.   We had a wonderful time comparing notes on where they have traveled with the boondockers out west.

For those of you that remember we had hydraulic slide and jack problems a couple of weeks ago.   I'm happy to report that the slides now work flawlessly.  However, the jacks are still a problem, but we are not letting them be a show stopper.  (We know how to open the emergency return valves to retract the jacks if need be.)  We can ride with it this way until we get back to Iowa and then we can visit HWH at Moscow, IA.   We'll let the real factory experts fix it verses paying some shade tree mechanic to make an educated guess!

This is long enough.  When I posted the previous blog, I got myself into lots of problems.  My resident critic was not too happy about what had been written.   So it was fixed a couple of days later.  Proof reading is not one of my strong points!