Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Routine Stuff

Yes, we’ve had several days of great weather in a row.  Yesterday was even pushing toward the hot side with quite a bit of humidity, however, it was far and away better than the cold/damp weather we had seen for the rest of May.  We’ll take it!!!  It’s nice to see the sun shining when we roll out of bed between 5 and 6 each morning.

Yesterday was a busy day for both of us.  Judy had a lot more activity in the office, still no where near as busy as KOA or LGE, but at least kept her occupied for awhile.  I, on the other hand, was busier than a one legged sailor in a butt kicking contest.  There were 24 departures which left lots of trash to be picked up, dirty restrooms, and lots of raking.  I ended up putting in a five hour day and was a pooped pup when I arrived home.  Today will be back to normal with only a half dozen sites to prep.

The sad part of this whole experience is that we haven’t even unloaded the bicycles from the bike rack.  It’s been way too cold and wet to think about riding, but now we only have a week and a half left here in Scarborough.  Hopefully the good weather will hold out and maybe, just maybe, we can get a bike ride in.  Who knows, our play mates, Mike and Peggy, might bring their bikes south on Friday and join us on the Eastern Trail (there are no hills on that trail).  We could ride out to Bug Light and back (that would only be about twenty miles round trip).

Come June 10th, the first thing that I’m going to do once we get set up at Topsham Fairgrounds is start washing the rig.  It is filthy.  Parking under the pine trees during the spring with all of this rain has left it dirty from top to bottom.  Pine trees are messy; lots of pine dust, pine needles, and, worse yet, pine pitch.  I’ll have the old Lestoil out for that job, that’s for sure. 

Lestoil is a pine based cleaner and removes pine pitch with little effort.  When we were just young tadpoles building “camps and forts” among the pine trees, my mom would soak our clothes in Lestoil and cold water over night.  They would come out of the washer clean and ready for us to head back to the pines.  Maine is the Pine Tree State, after all.

The count down to Randy and Terry’s arrival has begun.  Mike, Peggy, Judy, and I have been brainstorming some ideas for the six of us.  Randy, whose birthday is today (Happy Birthday, Randy), wants to visit DeLorme’s in Yarmouth, Terry would like to visit Boothbay Harbor, and we may take a trip to Rockland to visit the Transportation Museum; that’s a great tour if you like cars, trains, and planes.

Well, that’s all I have. It’s time to say so long for today.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day.  The one day of remembrance that was set aside each year to honor those who have died in our nation's service.  Over time, this day of remembrance has been extended to include all those deceased who have served our nation.  Today many people also include recognition for all our men and women who are currently serving our nation.  You know, that’s a good thing.  And we thank God for all of our military men and women throughout the ages who have served our nation.  Freedom is not free and all of our service people have made sacrifices in order to preserve our freedoms.  Everyone of them deserve this day of recognition. 

As a lad, growing up in small town U.S.A., I remember the traditional Memorial Day parades held each year.  The parades would begin at the Anderson school on High Street, march to Main Street, turn west heading toward post office square, and continue up the hill to Grove Cemetery.  The parade would include the honor guard, a marching band or two, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, members of the armed forces, jeeps, Army trucks, and an Army tank, a couple of floats, convertibles carrying city dignitaries, and the fire trucks.  Once arriving at the cemetery a Memorial service would take place with a couple of short speeches, a prayer, and taps being played followed by a 21 gun salute being fired.

My brother and I have marched in a couple of those parades during our Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts years.  After the activities were concluded, our family would visit my dad’s father’s grave.  He served in World War I and my dad served in World War II.  Flags and flowers would be placed on graves throughout the cemetery.

We would return home where hot dawgs and hamburgers were burned over the charcoal while soda and potato chips were being sampled.  There was always some of mom’s famous potato salad on hand serve with the dawgs and burgers.  But the main thing was that we remembered.  We remembered why we had freedom and liberty.  We remembered why we lived in the greatest nation on earth.   And we remembered those who went before us.

Thank you to all of those who have served our country in the past, who are serving in the present, and who will serve in the future.  May God Bless Each And Every One Of You.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Memorial Day BBQ

There’s notin’ bettah than an ol’ fashioned (an Old Fashioned, now that’s good) BBQ on the Memorial Day weekend.  With a phone call to Mike and Peggy, that’s exactly what the four of us arranged.  We drove to their house and Mikee prepared his world famous BBQ’d ribs.  Peggy applied the rub to the ribs and then Mike slowly cooked them on his neat BBQ grill (a man’s gotta have his toys). 

We all sat outside on the deck smelling the ribs as they readied themselves for lupper.  It was too cool to eat outside so when the ribs proclaimed themselves to be done, we moved the operations to interior portion of Mike and Peggy’s little abode.

Judy had whipped up one of her world famous potato salads to accompany the ribs.  Peggy had also prepared some raw veggies to have to add some color and flavor to the meal.  It was a yummy meal with the company of good friends.  You can’t find a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Being that it was another overcast day, that was the extent of our outdoor activities.  We returned home around 6:30 and donned our PJ’s for an evening of sitting around with our Nooks in hand.  That and a small bowl of Hood Ice Cream rounded out our day.

Take Care Until Next Time  - - - - - - - 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shopping, Rays, and Quacks

Yesterday was one of the top ten days for the week.  Actually, it was the best day that we’ve had since arriving at Wild Duck Campground.  We woke up to the sun shining brightly outside and it stayed that way all day long.  Temperatures got up into the seventies making it just plain nice.

We got up early and headed out for our shopping day at Uncle Wally’s (we did our produce and meat shopping at Hannaford’s on Thursday).  Let me say this about that.  Groceries are getting expensive.  We are going to be hard pressed to hold our food budget for the year (hard pressed nothing, we just ain’t gonna do it).  Fuel is also expensive, but our budget was based on $4.25 per gallon and we’ve only hit that once so we’re holding that budget (so far).

After we returned home and got our wares stashed, out came the lawn chairs, iced tea, and Nooks for some sun time and reading.  We also did a couple of walks about the campground to meet and visit with several other “campers”.  Dawgs are popular with adult RVers, so we were able to get several “dawg fixes” along the way.  Oh yes, we did work on our hobbies for a little while as well; Judy did some sewing and I did some painting. 

The ducks didn’t show up yesterday, they’ve probably gone away for the long weekend.  Chris said he hadn’t fed them this spring like in the past.  The population was getting too large and they tend to be very messy beings.  Don’t you just hate “campers” who don’t clean up after themselves; especially after you’ve been kind enough to feed them.

Well, I’m rambling with nothing really important to say.  We’re not sure what today will bring, so . . . .

Take Care Until Next Time  - - - - - - -

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Little Dance

Well, the summer of 1958 continued on with William and Peter joining in with our little tribe (if you remember correctly, it began with my brother, Larry, Charlene, and myself).  William and Peter lived less than a quarter of a mile down the street from Mike and I.  Their dad and mom had a dairy farm that was right within the city limits of Belfast.  So I can honestly tell people that I grew up on the farm in the city. 

Also, William’s dad had some sort of a lease on the Belfast Airport so that he could cut the hay along the runways.  So, we kids had acres and acres and acres of land to play on.  We would seek out neat places in the woods where we could build ourselves little “camps” and “forts”.

One nice sunny afternoon while we were constructing one of our masterpieces, my brother Mike began dancing around.  He did several pirouettes and did a little jig in place for about 30 seconds before hauling butt heading for home.  Well now, let me tell you that there’s nothing meaner than those yellow jacket bees that build there nest in the ground.  Especially when you disturb their pleasant little abode which is exactly what Mike had done. 

He was running so fast that he could have easily passed a motorcycle.  When we finally caught up with him (two miles later), we took him to the pond and made some mud to apply to his many “stings”.  Man, those things did a number on him.  He’s still allergic to bees to this very day.  Lesson learned:  Check the area out before erecting your “fort”; like any good realtor knows, it’s all about location, location, location.

Another time, we were down along Little River building a raft.  Little River is part of the water supply for the City of Belfast which is dammed up providing a nice little pond for paddling a raft around.  There are no cottages or houses along the river so we had plenty of woods to support our “shipbuilding” activities.

We put the last log in place and launched our “yacht” into the river with visions of Huck Finn.  All of a sudden cousin Larry began a soft shoe routine on the front of the raft.  He did a plie or two along with a couple of patadas before bailing overboard. 

It seems that the last log that we had added to our sea worthy vessel was home to some red ants.  Now these are not fire ants, but they have a mean bite none the less.  And they were none to happy about having their home set afloat so they began crawling up Larry’s legs and chewing on him to register their displeasure.  The abandon ship alarm was sounded and it didn’t take long for all or us to be treading water while our newly constructed unmanned raft make it’s way toward the dam with a cargo of unhappy ants. 

Ah yes, those lazy hazy crazy days of summer.  We had soda and pretzels, but weren’t old enough for beer.  Those were fun times and ever locked in our memories.  Our Gang had nothing on us.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -         

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Great Very Good Wonderful Day

Being that we whine about the no good very bad horrible weather, we need to rejoice in the much better very good wonderful weather.  Tuesday brought us a good day with the sun breaking forth here and there, but yesterday was a great day with the sun most of the day.  Even though it was a little cool sitting in the shade, it was nice to have the sun shining for a whole day.  We should be seeing more of Mr. Sunshine over the Memorial day weekend with occasional thunder storms passing through.  In spite of all of this, Whahoo for the sun.

Things are definitely beginning to pick up here at Wild Duck.  There are quite a few “campers” already here with nine more sites filling up today.  This is our “Friday” and then we’ll have two weeks left here in Scarborough.  Hopefully the weather will hold so we can do some of the things that we had planned to do while in this area.  Then it will be off to Topsham Fairgrounds for the 2011 mini Maine Event.

Here are several pictures taken around the campground:  the entrance, the office, some of the landscaping, and the duck pond.

The Entrance DSCF7616DSCF7609 DSCF7614

Here are a couple of pictures of the ducks.  These are not the mallards that were here a few days ago with their babies, but are wood (not wooden) ducks.  We tried to feed them, but they wouldn’t have anything to do with us.  Do you suppose that that duck trying to “mother” the red winged black bird?

DSCF7606 DSCF7605

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - - -

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Getting Ready For A Long Weekend

I really, really, really wished that I had something new and exciting to write about this morning, but all we did yesterday is w*rk and come home.  However, one thing that is exciting is that the sun was shining when we rolled out of the sack this morning.  That’s an unusual occurrence around here.  Maybe the weather is changing in spite of the weather dudes predictions.

We’re gearing up for the Memorial Day weekend here at Wild Duck.  The campground is just about full, just four tenting sites left to fill.  “Campers” are already arriving to make it a longer weekend yet, but this is an adult (in the old sense of the word) campground.  I think we’ll miss seeing families enjoying the camping experience, but we’ll definitely appreciate the quiet.

Our prayers go out to all our fellow Americans that have suffered due to the tornadoes, flooding, etc..  It has been a rough spring in the United States with total communities being “wiped out”.  With America’s economic problems, the price of fuel and food escalating, the devastation inflicted by all these storms, and the weird weather patterns that we’ve been experiencing over the past couple of years, one can’t help but think that the affluent way of life, as we know it, is slowly ebbing away.

Oh well, in the meantime, Life Is Good – RV Life Is Better.  We are certainly blessed to be able to make our annual rounds seeing family and friends up here in the Northeast, in the Midwest, and in the Southeast.  Now, if only we can hold onto the sun for a few weeks.  “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy”. 

Take Care Until Next Time  - - - - - - -

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Travel Plans And Squirrels

Yesterday was another one of the those “winter” days.  It was damp and cold for w*rking outside.  Even Mainer’s are whining about the cold with some of them going to the closet and breaking out their winter duds.  The temperatures are definitely below average for this time of year in Vacationland.  We’re in a “weather block” situation with this inclement weather just sitting on top of us.  The weather dudes say it’s gonna be another couple of weeks before we break free, however, the temperatures may improve a little.  Supposedly we’ll see the sun a little bit more over the next couple of days before reverting back to rain.  We’ll see!!

We finalized the rest of our summer travel plans which means that we tentatively know where we are going to be and when we are going to be there.  When we leave Maine, we’ll go to Hancock, New Hampshire for several days so we can get another grand kid fix. 

Our original plans called for a trip to the Cape to see my aunt, however, she is not going to be there, but will be with her daughter (my cousin’s) in Litchfield, Connecticut.  So, in a conversation with Cheryl, we will be able to park at her house; they have seven acres with several parking spaces available.

From there, it will be a one day’s drive to Lickdale, Pennsylvania where we’ll spend three nights which will give us an opportunity to meet up with Randy and Terry.  Then it will be off to a county campground in Manassas, Virginia for a couple of nights before going to Prince William Forest to w*rk in the visitor’s center for a month.

Now, even though these plans are “finalized”, they are still etched in putty and subject to change as our whims kick in.  So there ya go!

Even though the weather has been cooler, the squirrels have been playing outside.  There is a big pine tree right outside our dining room window.  The squirrels must have a “nest” in that tree because they are up and down the tree all day long.  Alex has been “going nuts” watching them.  He thinks it’s better than bird watching while he sits on the table and chatters at them.  Katie, on the other hand, doesn’t give a damn, my dear.  She’s just not interested in a rat like animal that hasn’t bathed.  I could care less about the squirrels just as long as they stay away from our truck’s engine.

Take Care Until Next Time  - - - - - - -

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Non Invitation

It was July tenth somewhere near nineteen hundred and fifty six (give or take a year).  My brother and I lived on the corner where Wight Street ended at Congress Street.  Charlene, who was four days older than me, lived on the other corner.  It was her eighth birthday (give or take a year) and her mother decided she should have a girls only birthday party.  Francis, Charlene’s mother, didn’t like to think of her only daughter as the Tom Boy that she really was.

My aunt Eunice, who lived just across Congress Street from our house was taking care of my cousin, Larry.  It was the first and last summer for that arrangement (for some unknown reason).  Anyway, Larry, my brother Mike, and I were not invited to the “girlie party”.  Needless to say, this did not bode well with the three of us.

So, being the victims that we were, we decided to stand out on Congress Street, in front of Charlene’s house, and taut the little brats.  Then we began tossing a few rocks onto the patio umbrella.  Nothing serious, mind you, just enough annoyance to let them know that we weren’t happy about the non invitation. 

Francis came out and “yelled” at us a couple of times telling us to go find something better to do.  Something better?   You gotta be kidding?  This was the most funnest thing that we’d thought of all day long.  We weren’t about to give it up anytime soon.  Well, about her third trip out to scold us, Francis came “flying” around the corner of the house wielding a yard stick.  “Feet, do your thing!” 

That summer my dad had agreed to display some fishing boats in the field next to the corner of Congress and Wight Streets, so Mike and I made tracks toward the boats and crawled up under one that was sitting upside down on some saw horses.  Larry, however, chose the high road.  He ran down the street with Francis on his heels just missing his little butt with that yard stick.

Mike and I rolled with laughter under the safety of that boat while Larry was making tracks down Congress Street with his whole life flashing before him.  He managed to out run Francis; she gave up chase and reassumed her position as the birthday party guard dawg in case of another assault from us neighborhood hoodlums.

Now, that’s not all of the story.  My mom and aunt Eunice had watched “the chase” scene from the safety of Eunice’s dining room while sipping iced tea.  They had decided to “lay low” until Francis retreated; they didn’t really need or want “a piece of her mind” that afternoon. 

Larry, Mike and I regrouped behind our bunk house (dad had built us a bunk house out behind the garage where Mike and I slept during the summer months).  That’s where my mom found us formulating our next assault strategy - let the inquisition began.

We told her the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; that is, that it was all Francis’ and Charlene’s fault for having a party without inviting the poor neighborhood urchins – that be us.  Somehow we escaped being punished for that incident; I think mom was more amused than mad (her inability to keep from chuckling gave her away). 

Anyhow, she told us that we needed to “find something better to do!”  Really?  What could possibly be better than what we’d just pulled off?  But we were more or less forced to set aside our strategic planning session and do the “cars and trucks” thing for the rest of the afternoon.

That’s pretty much how the summer went; one neighborhood incident after another.  We still don’t understand, to this very day, why Aunt Eunice decided not to take care of Larry the following summer.  I can tell you that we didn’t always get away without punishment and that was back when parents weren’t afraid to, as dad would put it, “Battle Your Ass”.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Funny Thing Happen On The Way Home From The Brunch

While sitting here sipping coffee yesterday morning, I asked my bride if she would like to go out to breakfast.  She thought about it for a minute and stated that that might be a good idea.  Then I asked if she would like to drive to Topsham and have breakfast with Mike and Peggy at the Copper Kettle.  She thought that that was a great idea.  We could have Brunch instead of breakfast.

So, after a phone call, the brunch was all arranged and we met Mike and Peggy at their house around ten o’clock.  Then we made our way to the Copper Kettle for another fine meal.  It was well worth the drive, besides, Judy J. wanted to visit JoAnn Fabrics to pick up a few crafting items.  Unfortunately they didn’t have the “stuff” she was looking for.

Being that JoAnn was unable to meet her needs, I told my bride that we would stop by Michael’s on our way home.  It was on our drive back from Topsham when a funny thing happened.  The clouds parted, the sky opened up, and, for a minute, I thought that maybe it was the end of the world, but, alas, the sun broke through.  Yep, our good old buddy showed up.  It was a short stay, only a few hours, but it was great to see him once again. 

“Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy!!!”  When we got home, I got out my painting “stuff” and worked on my current painting, what fun.  Judy found her supplies at Michael’s and spent the afternoon working on her projects.

So, it was a good day.  Brunch with friends, shopping at craft stores, working on our hobbies, and a visit from our oldest, bestest friend – Mr. Sunshine.  Life is Good, RV Life is Better.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -   

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ain’t No Sunshine

Mike and Peggy showed up a little after eleven and we carefully strategized a plan.  But, before implementing said plan we stopped at Dave’s Famous BBQ to sample the wares.  And, they have some pretty tasty wares to taste.  We had a sampler plate for two which included BBQ’d ribs, BBQ’s beef brisket, BBQ’s chicken, French Fries, corn bread, and a side of BBQ’d baked bean.

My favorite was the beef brisket, but everything was good.  One thing that we did learn is that Famous Dave’s is real proud of their drinks.  The sampler costs twenty-two bucks and the drinks costs us eight bucks.  Add tax, tip, and title and the dinner costs almost forty bucks.  We’d do it again, but next time we’ll just ask for water.

After lupper, the four of us began our quest in search of the sun.

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

But, no matter how hard we searched, there just wasn’t any sun to be found.

Ain't no sunshine when he's (Sun’s) gone
It's not warm when he's away
Ain't no sunshine when he's gone
He's gone much too long
Any time he goes away

We really, really, really want whoever stole the sun to put him back because:

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

Well, our quest was unsuccessful.  Like Mikee says, “Some days it’s peanuts, some day it’s shells!”  But, even though we didn’t find the sun, we did get a “rain check” :-)

We did a drive around Sebago Lake, but, in my infinite wisdom, I left the camera behind.  Even though, to be honest with you, we didn’t find any “purdy views” to snap a picture of.  Everything is very, very wet and, with overcast skies, it just wasn’t all that appealing.  We did stop for a soft serve ice cream cone to brighten our day on the way back home.  According to the weather dudes, we have another five or six days of this sh-, eh, I mean stuff coming our way. 

Regardless of the weather conditions, we did have a fun outing with Mike and Peggy.  They had been away for a week visiting grand daughters in Jerzee.  It was dance recital week along with a soccer game or two.  They had a great visit with their son, Brian, his wife, Nikki, and grand daughters, Alyssa and Emily.  We’re just glad to have them back in the Pine Tree State so our playmates will be available for play time.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pizza And Bikes

We get a day off from w*rk, but not from the rain; however, we may get to see a few rays here and there today and tomorrow.  Sunday is supposed to be mostly sunny before overcast rainy weather returns on Monday.  With all of this rain, did we make a wrong turn and end up in Seattle?  The uniform of the day is rain gear, again!!

Dog gone television ads!!!  Freschetta Pizza has a new line called Inspirations which made me drool when I saw the ad on television (note to self: quit watching television).  Well, I swept up my bride yesterday afternoon and made a bee line to Hannaford’s to investigate said pizza as a possibility for our dinner.  We came home with the Chicken Bianco 14 inch pizza and, wouldn’t you know it?  It was tasty!!!  Actually, good enough that we’ll do it again sometime.  No where near as good as Pizza Time pizza in St. Augustine, Fl or the Shrimp Scampi pizza at the Cabin in Bath, ME, but good none the less.  I would have to say that it is as good as Papa Murphy’s or Mellow Mushroom pizzas.

Rain or no rain, today is a play day.  Mike and Peggy are coming down sometime this morning and we intend to get into some sort of trouble; just not sure what.  Maybe we’ll go to a salon so we can work on our tans (it ain’t happin’ around here).  Maybe we’ll go to Cabela’s.  Maybe we’ll go to the Kittery Trading Post (ain’t never been there before).  Just don’t have a clue what kind of mischief we’re going to decide on, but when you get four heads together someone will come up with something.

We had great intentions of doing some biking along the Eastern Trail, but I’m not sure when that’s gonna happen unless they move the trail indoors.  As a matter of fact, I haven’t even taken the bikes off the back of the RV.  Last year we toted the bikes along with us and I only used mine once for a 19 mile ride with Briana while we were in Burlington.  We use bikes at the Plantation to go to and fro so maybe it’s getting time to just leave them at “home”.  If it wasn’t so wet, Mike and Peggy could bring their newly acquired bikes down with them and we could ride the trail together.  Oh well, maybe another time.

I haven’t forgotten about the pictures of the ducks.  I’ll get them just as soon as my underwater camera arrives.  We’ll get some feed and even coach them in for some close ups.  There is a male and female paddling around the pond and I suspect that it won’t be long before there will be some little ducklings paddling around as well.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just A Doing It, Doing It

A few days back, Nick Russell listed some blogs worthy of following.  We’d like to add a couple more.  But, first, let us say that we follow a lot of blogs and you can find them listed “over thar” on the left.  It seems that a lot of us are in some sort of a holding pattern at the time being; just sittin’ around with one arm as long as the other.  However, there are a couple of couples whom we follow that are “out there doing it, doing it”.

The first is our good friends, Gene and Judi Curp along with Peanut the katt, who are making their way to Alaska.  A little over six months ago they traded their fifthwheel in for a smaller class C motorhome that is more suitable to their traveling lifestyle by allowing them greater access to the back roads.  This past week they just crossed over into Canada.  Their posts are always interesting along with lots of photos included.  Check them out on Scratchin’ the Itch and travel along with them as they continue their journey “Way Up North, North To Alaska” .

Another blog that we follow is that of our friends John and Sandy Byrnes’ who are currently traveling in Utah with their wonder dawg Koko.  They are visiting the National Parks/Monuments while their new home is being built in Arizona.  That’s right, they are moving from the fulltimer lifestyle to that of extended traveler.  Anyhow, they also include lots of beautiful pictures along with their travel story.  You can check them out at Mothership RV.

It’s still raining here in Vacationland (the ducks are happy though) and we’re still w*rkamping today; therefore, it’s the “same ol’, same ol’”.  Mike and Peggy arrived back into the great Pine Tree state last night after their boondoggle in Jersey.  The four of us are planning a get together for tomorrow; not sure what we’ll do, but I’m sure that we’ll come up with “sumpin’” interesting.  Tomorrow we’re supposed to start getting some breaks in this inclement weather pattern that we’ve been in so maybe, just maybe, we can play outside.  Otherwise it will be, “Break out the old checkers board, my dear!”

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Isn’t This Just Ducky

Not much to report today.  We woke up yesterday morning, sipped a little coffee, played on our ‘puters, went to w*rk, came home, read for awhile, ate, read some more, watched television, and then went to bed.  Hope we’re not getting into a rut, but, with this rainy, cool, damp weather, there isn’t much else one can do. 

Both Judy and I came home from w*rk yesterday chilled right to the bone. It took us about three hours to get warmed up.  In order to accomplish that task, we had to turn our electric mattress cover onto high and slip between the sheets for awhile.  After about a half hour nap, we were finally warmed up.  We spent the rest of the afternoon attempting to maintain said warmth.

Other than that, what’s new?  Well, the ducks have returned to Wild Duck Campground.  Yes siree, they are paddling and quacking around the - are you ready for this?, here it is! - the Duck Pond.  Wild Duck Campground has a duck pond – yep, we are a full service campground.  Even the ducks have a nice cleaned, groomed site where they can park their carcasses. 

Not only that, we keep some duck feed on hand so we can feed them; no wonder they keep coming back each spring.  They’re just like Escapees, they show up early for free food.  Judy and I drink milk while we’re watching them; that way we can have “quackers and milk”!  Does that “quack” you up, or what?  Judy just gave me a whack because I didn’t “duck” fast enough.  Okay, enuff is enuff.  I’ll try to get some pictures for you just in case you’ve never seen ducks before.  I must admit that they are really “purdy” mallard ducks.

Take Care Until The Next Time - - - - - -

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Answering Some Questions

Occasionally we get emails or comments asking questions about our lifestyle.  Normally we answer by email, but Diana asked a couple of interesting questions so we’ll attempt to answer them today.  Diana in South Carolina writes:

“I enjoy reading your blog on a regular basis. I found you in the beginning because of full timer searches. I would love to know what you know now that you didn't know then about the lifestyle. Also, especially working as a host, what do the rookies and amateurs need to know most about camping.
Thank you,”

Well, first of all, thank you, Diana, for following along; we are honored by all of our readers who travel along with us.  Hopefully you’ll glean something out of our answers.

We had been lifelong campers having begun with tents, graduated to a pop-up camper, then a travel trailer, and on to fifthwheels.  So, in retrospect, we had a pretty good idea what we were getting into.  However, there are always some “bends in the road” that you don’t anticipate.

First of all, most RVs (motorhomes and fifthwheels) generally do not stand up to the rigors of the fulltime lifestyle.  The RV industry, for the most part, builds units for vacationers which means, they don’t anticipate the units getting used more than a couple of months each year.  As you know, fulltimers live in their coaches 24/7-365 that essentially means that their units get 6 to 7 years worth of use in a year.  Basically an RV ages like a dawg – 7 years for every humanoid year.

Having said that, it is usually good if one of the owners is “handy” at accomplishing maintenance and/or repairs because it’s gonna happen (generally at the most inconvenient time).  A good set of tools is a must and like Red Green says, “If she don’t find you handsome, she’d better find you handy!”

We were followers of Norm and Linda Payne’s website, See Ya Down The Road, so our fulltiming visions were along the lines of their traveling lifestyle.  However, being that we “quit w*rk” before being eligible for any type of retirement income, we had to live off of our savings and workamping income. 

Therefore, we had anticipated workamping eight months a year and traveling for four.  Well, the most we ever w*rked in a year was six months and that was only for two years (2006/2007 year and the 2007/2008 year).  So we found ourselves hunkering down for a couple of extra months each year on our leased site at Rainbow Plantation.

The bottom line is that we didn’t travel exactly the way that we had envisioned (like Norm and Linda).  And now that we are officially retired, we’ve have discovered that we would prefer to have a home base and do short trips from there; that is, travel for a month or two at the most and then return “home” for awhile. 

Also, being that we have four kids in four different states and family in a couple others we spend more time “visiting” than actually traveling.  And, ya know what?  That’s okay with us; it’s all about kids, grand children, and families, ya know.  But, we would like to fit in some trips out west and will begin working on that plan.

Our thought at this time is to decide where we want to plant ourselves and purchase either a small home or a piece of land where we can build a small home.  Then we will downsize our RV to a small motorhome (be it a Class A, Class B, or Class C).  Something that we can travel in easily, get into smaller places, park in driveways, etc..  In the meantime, we just may purchase the smaller RV and leave the fifthwheel at Rainbow Plantation while we are traveling.  By the way, Rainbow Plantation is the only place to date that we can agree on that has the “it factor” for us.

So, to sum it up, I guess defining/discovering the lifestyle that suits us best is the most significant answer to the “know now that you didn’t know then” question.  Like the old adage says, “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it!”

As for workamping and/or camp hosting, we recommend that you join Workamper.com and read through their material.  They have great guidelines along with answers to FAQs concerning the subject.  We prefer volunteering to paid gigs; after all, we quit w*rking so we could relax and enjoy traveling.  Also, we prefer to volunteer for a month or two rather than tie up an entire season in one place.

Well Diana, hopefully that answers your questions.  Feel free to email us with any other questions that you may think of.  We are always happy to share whatever we can with others.  Happy Travels.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Whine, Whine, Snivel, Snivel

Mike, Peggy, Randy, and Terry think we’re whining (see the comments on yesterday’s entry).  The weather is what the weather is, but if it weren’t for the weather we wouldn’t have a darned thing to whine about.  Besides, we never whine. 

Being that yesterday was Sunday, it was a day of worship.  We arrived at First Baptist Church in time for Sunday School and left after visiting with several folks after the worship service.  We made a stop at Hannaford’s for some veggies on our way home; they have much, much, much better veggies than Uncle Wally tends to keep on his shelves.  Then we stopped at Rite-Aide for some vitamins (they have a two for one price deal on Nature’s Bounty supplements).

By the time we got home, it was pouring so we did exactly like we said we were going to do – donned our sweats and “stood” inside doing some reading.  I finished the “Promised Land” and thoroughly enjoyed the book.  It’s amazing that Israel is the only nation in the history of the world to reemerge as a nation.

What is further interesting is to view this reemergence in line with Bible prophecies.  We Americans need to keep in mind God’s promises to His people.  He promised to return His people to the land given to their fathers and to reestablish Israel as a nation for all time.  We need to understand what God’s plans are and align ourselves with them.

I say this to point out that the United States has deviated from our past policies in support of Israel.  During the Clinton era, the President proposed a plan to divide the Promised Land in half in order to establish a Palestinian state.  President Bush backed off from dividing the land in half, but continued to push for a Palestinian state within the borders of the Promised Land.  President Obama has made some disparaging remarks about Israel, as well, while pressuring the Israeli’s to stop building settlements in the West Bank.  God is not looking favorably toward these efforts and we’ll definitely reap what we sow.

We cannot afford to stand in the way of God’s Plan for His people or their land.  He is establishing Jerusalem as the City of God and His plan will come to pass with or without our support.  Keep in mind that God promised to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel – the choice is ours.  We need to keep an eye on what’s taking place in the Middle East and remain staunch allies in support of Israel.

Okay, enough of the book report.  Today I’ll mount the pontoons on the coach so we will be able to move about the state.  The webs are beginning to form between my toes as we speak and we’ll start looking at outboard motors later this week.  Yep, we’re following the old Boy Scouts’ moto – Be Prepared!!

Today is a w*rk day although I’m not sure how much I’ll get accomplished as it is still raining out.  I’ll pick up the trash and clean the restrooms, but there’s not much more that I can do.  If we get some breaks in the rain, then I’ll be able to tend to a couple of sites.  We’ll have to play it by ear.

Judy says she’s going to wear two long sleeved shirts to w*rk today.  These Mainers tend to keep the heat low and us Southerners tend to freeze our kiesters off so Miss Judy is taking action.  Being that she’ll be inside, she’ll get to w*rk a full day.

Well, that’s it for today.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Rain In Maine Is Becoming A Pain

Can you believe it?  The weather dudes are forecasting rain for everyday over the next week.  We won’t get to see the sun again until Friday at the earliest.  Not only that, but the temperatures won’t find their way out of the fifties – yuck!!!  I asked when summah would arrive and was told, “Don’t be out of Maine during the third week of July!”  I believe it!!!

Yesterday was one of those forecasted overcast, rainy days.  So, I didn’t even get out of my PJ’s.  I was going to do some painting, but it was just too cold to stand outside painting.  Plus I have a hard enough time painting without attempting to do it with gloves on.  Judy did work on her quilting while I kept my nose stuck in a book.

I’m reading “Promised Land” by Derek Prince; it’s a history of Israel.  Derek Prince is our first pastor’s grandfather who studied philosophy at Cambridge University in England.  He and his family lived in Israel during the forties and in Jerusalem in 1947 through 1948 when Israel became a nation once again. 

This is an interesting history in that Derek Prince has incorporated Biblical prophecies into the timeline.  If anyone doubts the existence of God, then all they have to do is look objectively at the history of the Jewish people.  There is no doubt that the hand of God is on His people.

Anyhow, we played inside yesterday and may just do so again today after church.  If it weren’t for w*rk, we might just eat up a bunch of nuts and berries and go into hibernation for the rest of the week – we want sun and we want it now!!!  Oh well, it is what it is and we’ll just have to make the best of it.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -    

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Friday The 13th Adventure

The bride said to me, “This is going to be the only sunshiny day that we’re going to have for awhile, so, if we are going to do anything then we better to do it today.”  Being the fine upstanding husband that I am, always listening to my dear wife, I responded, “Yes, dear!”  So we loaded our carcasses into the truck and headed out for points east.

Other than the Portland Head Light, we had never spent any time in or around Cape Elizabeth.  There are several parks along the shoreline between Scarborough and South Portland – Scarborough Beach State Park, Higgins Beach Park, Crescent Beach State Park, Two Lights State Park, and Fort Williams Park.  During the summah months the state park beaches can be quite pricey - $6.50 per person for “outta statetahs” of which we are.  But for now, they are free if you ignore the donation can at the front gate.

Our first stop was at Crescent Beach State Park which is a beautiful sandy beach, however, it was too cold and windy for us to spread out our blanket and enjoy our PB&J’s.  Be sure to place your cursor over the pictures to read the captions.

Crescent Beach State Park Pathway To The Beach Island Off Cresent BeachYou Can See Why It's Named Crescent Beach

Further down the road is Two Lights lighthouses.  It’s a quaint little village which is, also, part of Cape Elizabeth.  The road ends at a small beach with a lobster restaurant and a fog horn that keeps blasting every minute or so.  As we crested that ledge I could smell the salt air from the water breaking over the rocks. This was a special treat for me as I have lost most of my ability to smell and smelling the fresh salt air is one of my fond memories of life in Maine.

The East Light The West Light

Lobster Boat Just Outside The CoveRocky Beach Off Two LightsDarrell And Judy's New Home

Our next stop was at Fort Williams Park which is also home of the Portland Head Light.  When we arrived, there were three bus loads of special needs children having a school day out at the beach.  The kids were having a blast as were other families who were enjoying the beach as well.

Young Lady Enjoying A Beautiful View Across The Sound A Young Mom Walks Her Children Along The Beach 

Fort Williams was built in the late 1800’s and occupies 90 acres.  It housed several gun batteries strategically located around the point and was active during both World War I and World War II.  The fort was decommissioned in 1962 at which time Cape Elizabeth bought the property and turned it into a park.

Remains Of One Of The Gun Batteries At Fort WilliamsA View Looking Toward Ram Island Light

Sailboat Making Its Way Along Cushing Island Lobster Boat Chugging Its Way Along The Coast

Construction on Portland Head Light began in 1787, when Maine was still part of Massachusetts, under a directive of President George Washington.  We are only including one picture of the lighthouse since we posted pictures in our July 31st entry during last summer’s Maine Event.

Looking Southwest From Fort Williams (Portland Head Light)Looking Northeast From  Fort Williams Toward Portland

The Goddard Mansion was completed in 1858 by Col. John Goddard.  Goddard was appointed Colonel during the civil war and was a very successful Portland businessman.  The mansion was acquired by the U. S. Army in 1896 and was used for housing married enlisted men and their families while stationed at Fort Williams.

Remains Of The Goddard Mansion One Of Fireplaces Inside The Mansion

It was a fun outing, a tad bit cool for our liking, but enjoyable none the less.  Today the overcast weather returns so we are going to stay home and work on our arts and crafts.  I’ll add a few more strokes to a painting while Judy works on her quilting.  Most likely we’ll do some more reading before the day is out.

So, Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - - -

Friday, May 13, 2011

Life Goes On While Blogger Sleeps

What?  No blog entry?  Blogger took a nap.  They (whoever they are) did some maintenance on the Blogger site and managed to shut it down for twenty-four plus hours.  Not only did they (whoever they are) shut it down, they (whoever they are) managed to loose Thursday’s post as well. 

Now that Blogger has woken up from its nap, I have republished “Bunny Shoots A Rabbit”, however, it is now dated for today’s date (Friday) rather than the original published date (Thursday, 5/12).  If anyone submitted comments, those were lost as well.  And if you didn’t get to read yesterday’s (Thursday’s) entry, just continue scrolling down.

Anyway, the bottom line is that you get two entries today instead of one; although this isn’t much of an entry.  Being that it is now 2:35 in the afternoon, I’m not going to say much more.  We have just returned from a short day trip which you’ll get to read all about tomorrow along with viewing the pictures – there’s nothing prettier than the Maine Coast.

So, for now, Happy Friday The 13th, everyone! 

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Bunny Shoots A Rabbit

Back in the thirties, forties, and fifties my grandpa and grandma Riley owned a family farm in Monroe, Maine where they raised their family of ten kids.  When they “sold the farm” in the early fifties, they retained forty acres that remains in the family to this very day.  That land has been used by three generations for hunting purposes.

The Old Riley Homestead

Today we’re taking a trip back in time to my childhood days.  When I was just a lad around the age of eleven my dad bought me my first hunting gun.  It was a 28 gauge shot gun.  Within another year I had inherited dad’s old 30-40 Craig when he upgraded to a brand spanking new 308.

Hunting season in Maine begins in October and runs through the end of November.  October is bird and small game hunting while large game is added for the month of November hence the need for two different guns – a shot gun and a rifle.

I have many fond memories of hunting for partridge and duck hunting trips with my dad and his friends during the month of October, but the most fun was deer hunting season at the “family farm”.  But first, just a little more background information. 

There was a good sized hunting camp located on the property where you had to cross a rickety old bridge that passed about twelve feet over the ledge lined Marsh Stream (Judy doesn’t like that bridge).  Then you’d drive up a hill on a two track that swings to the left.  Continuing up the two track for about a quarter mile you’d come to an opening and there sat the Riley hunting camp.

Up The Hill A Swing To The Left

During the month of September most of my uncles and their families would gather at the camp for a day of sighting in their rifles and a nice Riley clan picnic.  After all, it is a beautiful piece of property and brings the family back to its roots.  If we could get the RV in there, I wouldn’t mind spending a month, or so, of boondocking on that land.

A Neat Campsite

Now back to deer hunting season.  On Friday nights dad and I would pack up our gear and head out for the hunting camp.  Before the night was through about eight or nine more of my uncles and/or cousins would show up for a Saturday hunt.  The hunting camp would easily accommodate a dozen people with two triple double bunk beds.  The only woman who would show up was my aunt Bernice whose nick name was Bunny.

After an evening of beer (for the adults) and cards, everyone would arise at oh dark thirty in order to be in the woods at first light.  I’m not sure if that was the safest thing to be doing after all the beer that was drunk the evening before.  Dawson beer was five bottles of beer sold in a bag (“what beer in a bag?”) for a buck.  If you ever tasted that stuff you’d know why they sold five bottles for a buck – yuck!  Anyhow, we’d take to the woods at first light with rifles in hand and, unlike Barney Fife, the rifles were fully loaded (as were a couple of the hunters). 

Now my uncles always had this strategic plan of stationing several people around various positions while several others would drive around to the other side of the woods and then “drive the deer.”  I don’t know who ever dreamt up this plan, but have you ever tried to shoot a deer on the run?  I can tell you that it is a waste of ammunition. 

Anywhoo, Bunny tended to go off by herself.  Having grown up on the farm, she knew every inch of the property.  I recall one Saturday morning, after spending the morning “driving deer” (by the way, that’s about like trying to herd katts), when we arrived back at camp there was aunt Bunny cooking something on the stove. 

She had shot herself a rabbit, skinned it, and was frying it up to have with her eggs for breakfast.  She shared some with me and I can attest to the fact that it doesn’t taste like chicken.  I’ll just have my eggs over medium with some hash on the side, thank you very much!

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - - -

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What To Do, What To Do?

It’s time to refresh the thinking in this blog.  It’s getting monotonous and boring.  Same thing day in and day out.  Unfortunately we are not living the lifestyle that we had envisioned when we transitioned into the fulltime RVing so the entries are becoming stale.  The original goal for our Wandering America website was to update the travelogues once or twice a week as we traveled about this great country of ours.  However, do to many different circumstances, we’re not really traveling – we’re just sort of Snowbirding. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with our lifestyle.  We get to see family and friends in several different states once or twice a year for longer periods of time than we would have in any other lifestyle.  We get to enjoy a great social atmosphere for several months each winter at Rainbow Plantation and we have a great church connection in Fairhope, Alabama.

So we are accomplishing the things that mean the most to us even though we are not doing and seeing the things that we had anticipated when we quit our jobs, sold our house, and hit the road.  However, what all that means is that it is becoming difficult to keep this blog new and fresh.

We are going to keep this blog going as it is serves as a diary of our daily life, but I need to think of a new approach to make it more entertaining and enlightening.  But, in the meantime, it was “a windy chilly overcast day” yesterday.  We went to w*rk and we came home.  We ate, we read, we watched some telly, and, then, we went to bed.  “There’s nothing new under the sun.” 

Today will be “third verse, same as the first – and second”, but I’ll spend some time contemplating what to share with you tomorrow.  Hopefully I can find or think of or make up something interesting to write about.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - - -

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Licking Our Wounds

Yesterday was just another w*rk day.  I w*rked from 10 to 1, Judy w*rked from 12 to 4.  It was a windy chilly overcast day; today it will be “second verse, same as the first”; that is, a windy chilly overcast day. 

I came home chilled to the bone and when I get chilled to the bone, my joints ache.  So I popped some Advil, climbed into my sweats, retrieved my cuddle blanket, and curled up in my recliner with my thumb in my mouth.  It took the better part of the afternoon to get warmed up again.

Judy had a twinge in her back early in the morning that sent pain shooting up through her body.  When she came home from from w*rk, after standing for four hours, she was hobbling around like, like, well, like a woman in pain.  So she popped some Advil, donned her jammies, grabbed her blankie, and cuddled up in her recliner with her thumb in her mouth. 

Who’s going to feed us?  Katie and Alex just turned and faced the other direction pretending not to notice.  So Judy mustered up enough energy to burn some ham, bake some taters, and steam some broccoli.  I took over the clean up duties after dinnah.  Then we both popped some more Advil, crawled back up into our recliners, and continued to lick our wounds (i.e., nurse our aching bones). 

It was early to bed for us; boy, that heated mattress cover is the best.  We’re feeling much bettah this morning, thanks for asking.  That’s all for now so, Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mother’s Day Activities

We worshipped again yesterday with all of our friends at First Baptist of Freeport.  It would be very easy to assimilate back into that body of believers.  We showed up in time for Sunday School and, as usual, were among the last to leave – just the way it was fourteen years ago. 

For our return trip, we took the “scenic” route home; that is, we drove back route 1 all the way from Freeport to Scarborough which took us right through the middle of “beautiful downtown” Portland.  Actually, Portland has “cleaned up” nicely.  As with a lot of old dying cities with a waterfront, it has been renewed into an eclectic town of bistros, coffeehouses, restaurants, and cute little shops with walking paths, parks, benches, etc..  We’ll have to take a day trip up to Portland and spend sometime just walking about the city enjoying all the latest amenities.    

For Mother’s Day Dinner, we stopped at Hannaford and took out a thirty day note on a pound of scallops.  Scallops are my favorite seafood, however, at fifteen dollars a pound we won’t be eating them often.  I sauteed them in real butter and garlic, serving them to my bride along with a nice garden salad.  Dessert was a dish of Hood ice cream (another favorite of ours).

So, thar you have it.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Exercising And Relaxing

We are on a roll.  One day in a row now.  How far will it go?  Yesterday we did it, will we do it today?  That would be two days in a row!!  Whachu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?  Why we’re talking about exercise.  Yes siree.  We walked the Eastern Trail for three whole miles.  The Eastern Trail is a Rails To Trail Trail which is just on the other side of the salt water marsh from the campground.  It’s a trail that begins in Kittery and ends in South Portland (or vice versa).  It was easy walking and we kept up a pretty good pace only stopping for pictures or for an occasional dawg fix (don’t tell the katts).

We began the trail just off of Pine Point Road.Eastern Trail

Snapping some pictures of the marsh as we walked along.  It was low tide.Saltwater Marsh At Low Tide

About a mile into the walk we passed by a golf course.Little Pond Next To The Golf Course

A view of the saltwater marsh at around the one and a half mile marker.Another Shot Of The Saltwater Marsh

It was a nice sunny day (at least for most of the day) so we sat outside enjoying some iced tea and reading our Nooks.  Alex came out and joined us for awhile.  I even dug out my painting “stuff” and plan to start working on my painting hobby in the near future.  Miss Judy is “fixinto” start working on her quilting projects again real soon as well.

Here at Wild Duck we get cable TV and yesterday afternoon the Animal Planet had on back to back shows of Cats 101.  Alex climbed up into the recliner with me and was mesmerized by that show.  He laid there and watched telly for about an hour.  We’ve seen Katie watch television before, but Alex has never shown any interest.  Now I guess we’ll have to get satellite TV for them so they can have their Animal Planet.  Sheesh!  What next?  Hot buttered pop corn?  And some Ju-Ju Beads?

Take Care For Now - - - - - - - 

Saturday, May 07, 2011

An Outing With Mike And Peggy

We arrived at Mike and Peggy’s around eleven o’clock and loaded into their car for an outing.  First stop was the Sea Basket where Mike claimed that they have some of the best fried seafood in Maine.  We would have to concur; it was most definitely a cut above Ken’s Place where we ate on Monday.

Sea Basket Restaurant

From there we began making our way to Popham Beach which is due south of Bath, Maine.  Here is our photo journal for the day.

We began at Fort Popham:  Fort Popham is a semi-circular granite fort built in 1861 for use during the Civil War. Modifications were made and the fort used again in the Spanish American War and World War 1.

Fort Popham Fort Popham

Entering the Fort onto the Parade Grounds you can see all the Canon Turret Bays.

Parade Grounds Parade Grounds

We walked around inside the Fort looking at the Canon Bays.  As you can see, the series of pictures start with a view down the passageway and then focuses on one of the turret bays.

Passageway Inside The Fort Canon Turret BayLooking Out Canon Window View From The Canon Window

Next we strolled around outside the Fort looking across the Kennebec River.  What a beautiful place to call home?  There were a “herd” of seals playing in the water, however, we couldn’t talk them into posing for a picture, but they were fun to watch none the less.

Around The Fort Typical Maine SceneAnother Maine Scene Lighthouse From The Fort

Looking back from the Fort to Popham Village you can see Popham Chapel.  The English Colony of Popham was founded on this spot in 1607 and named after George Popham.

Looking Back At Popham, Maine Popham, Maine

From Popham Fort and Popham Village we turned back and visited Popham Beach.  There are very few sandy beaches along the Maine coast which makes this another popular summer destination.

Entering Popham Beach Popham Beach

Walking about the beach you can see all the drift wood that has washed ashore during the winter months.

Poham Beach Popham Beach

Here are a couple of the views from the beach.

Popham Beach Popham Beach

Lighthouses dot the rugged Maine coast.  Here’s one that marks the mouth of the Kennebec River as seen from Popham Beach.

Lighthouse From The Beach Closeup Of The Lighthouse

That’s all for today folks, Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -