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Adelaide Shores, Avon Park, FL

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Another Nice Day

And that is an all around kind of nice. I started off with my usual work hours, but it wasn’t so bad since I had yesterday off. And it was busy! Really busy!! The hours went by so fast, and before I knew it, I was heading home.

It finally really looks like spring around here!

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After I changed my clothes, we headed out for my sister’s house, about 40 miles away. We didn’t have a real purpose, other than going for a visit, showing them the new truck, and having a chance to really see how it felt to be out on the road in our new wheels! It was great!

I could even see the Hudson River as we crossed the bridge without having to look through the bars! Be right back

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The guys had to check out all the particulars. I don’t know how I managed to buy a car and not even once check under the hood!

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And then everyone got to take a ride in Uncle Harry’s new truck. Well, except for me and my sister, we stayed home and chatted, while we enjoyed the peace and quiet – oops, I mean, HAD to stay home.

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After hanging out for awhile, it was time to head home. We really enjoyed how the new truck rides. We are rethinking whether we are going to keep one of the cars when we start traveling. We can see the benefits, but financially, we think it might even be more beneficial to not have the expenses of another vehicle. More importantly, we just like traveling together. So we will see - we are still pondering that question.

I made a change on the blog countdown clock today. I was originally counting down to our fifth wheel purchase. However, we really don’t know when we are going to buy the fifth wheel – it could be as early as this fall, or as late as late spring next year. So I decided to change the countdown clock to a date which is more firmly set – putting our house on the market! I’ve changed the date on that countdown several times in the past months, but hopefully now, I have settled on an event for my countdown.

Lots of exciting times ahead! Open-mouthed smile

Friday, April 29, 2011

Exciting Day

Well, step 1 has been accomplished: we now have our tow vehicle!!

We were up relatively early, and I watched a couple hours of the wedding broadcast in Britain. I haven’t followed all the hoopla regarding the wedding festivities. However, I did get a weird feeling as I watched the “goings-on”. I have now become one of those people who could say, “I remember when your mother got married.” I don’t feel that old!!

Around 9 am, we headed into Albany to make a quick stop at BJ’s and then on to the dealership.

Harry doesn’t look too excited, does he?

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It was a beautiful day and so much nicer than last week when we were checking out the truck.

The salesman started the truck up so Harry could check out all the gadgets and dials.

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Hmm, what does this one do?

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Then of course we had to head inside to sign all the paperwork.

Harry couldn’t wait to get outside and start spending some quality time with the new truck.

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The weather didn’t completely cooperate, because by the time we got home it was raining.

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However it cleared up after a while, and Harry has had his nose buried in one of the owner’s manuals all afternoon. Smile

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What a great feeling to have taken this first step! Now we are ready to make the next move to buy our fiver whenever we decide the time is right for that.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Warm Weather

It has been the first real warm week of the season. The temperatures have been so beautiful that we have actually been able to sleep with our windows open! Although it has been stormy off and on all week too – we were under tornado watches and even warnings in the area over the past 12 hours. At the moment we are under a severe thunderstorm watch, and it is grey and stormy looking outside, and it may even be starting to rain.  But obviously it is nothing like the severe weather that people in the southern parts of the country have been dealing with.

There’s not been much going on around here other than work. Last night we took advantage of the nice weather and Harry barbequed chicken for our dinner. We used the bbq sauce that we bought at Happy Jacks down in TN. Yum!

This is “Friday” for both Harry and me. We have an appointment at the dealership tomorrow morning at 10 am to pick up our truck. It’s quite a surreal moment, after all the planning we have been doing, to be making the first real concrete step toward starting our fulltiming adventure! Of course, there will be many pictures of the happy event tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finally!

It was actually warm today! Really warm!! It feels so nice – I wish it was here to stay but so far the weather forecast does not bear that out. Right now it is 80 degrees here! I love it!

There is some more green showing up around our property.

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The past two days have been the usual – go to work, come home and have dinner. Nothing exciting. Tomorrow I have to work but in the morning I am going to headquarters in Albany for some training. So at least I will be able to get out in the sunshine.

The leaves on the trees in the back are finally starting to pop out.

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And a little splash of color…

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The red on these branches will soon be giving way to green! (See the little green tips?)

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I brought home some boxes today from an order that came in at work. We are running out of places in the garage to keep our garage sale piles. Pretty soon we may have to leave a car out in the driveway so we have some room to organize. We may try to have a sale sooner rather than later since we have so much to get rid of at this time. But at least when it comes time to sell, we will hopefully have the sorting and purging out of the way, and we won’t have to have a mad rush to the end! I am just about finished with the guestroom so the bathroom closet is next on the list. It is full of stuff, but we never use anything that is in there. There is shoe polish, suntan lotions, mini sewing kits, and on and on…. I don’t understand why it is so hard to throw that kind of stuff away! I always get a bad case of “might-need-it-someday-itis” when I look at things like that. But I plan to tackle it on Friday – I will let you know how it goes!

Have a great evening everyone!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

It’s been a great day, and is even warm enough that we’ve been able to have our windows open all afternoon. I have been loving the fresh air.

We have had a very nice, and relaxing day. Harry has been reading all kinds of info on the new Chevy, and is anxiously awaiting pick-up day! Usually my day off is Wednesday, but this week due to people out at the branch, my boss asked me to switch days off, so we will be heading over to get the truck on Friday. Smile 

We are having a pretty simple ham dinner, with one new favorite and one old. Sometimes I get tired of having the same ol’ thing over and over. I had planned to make mashed potatoes, but decided to look for some way to spice it up, and I found – Garlic and Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes. The old fave is a dish called Broccoli Supreme.

The mashed potato dish started out pretty simply: peel and bowl some potatoes.

I adapted the recipe a bit to use ingredients we had in the house: 2 tsp. minced garlic (instead of 4 garlic cloves put through a press), a container of cream cheese (instead of the package) and 1 cup of milk.

Mash the potatoes and add the above ingredients, then spoon into a dish and sprinkle with 2 tbs. parmesan cheese and a 1/2 tbs. parsley. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

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For Broccoli Supreme, I used two packages of chopped broccoli. The actual recipe calls for it to be cooked, but I just thaw and drain. I have been making this dish for many years, and when I first tried it, I found that the broccoli was pretty mushy. Not pre-cooking it seems to help that a bit.

In a bowl, combine 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 2 tbs. flour, 1/2 cup of grated carrots, 1 cup of sour cream, 1/4 tsp. of pepper, 1/2 tsp. of salt.

Then add the broccoli.

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For the topping, use 1 1/2 cups of Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned stuffing mixed with 4 tbs. of melted butter. Then bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. (Although I am baking them both at 375 degrees, meeting in the middle!)

And the finished dishes…

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Hope they taste as good as they look! Open-mouthed smile

Happy Easter everyone! Hope it is warm and sunny wherever you are!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Keeping At It

Being our first weekend back, both Harry and I wanted to keep up our momentum by getting something done. Harry started off the day by going to the Agway and ordering our pellets for next winter. We made one change though – we only ordered one ton! We are trying to decrease our supply, since we always have some left over. This year we have about a ton and a half left, so we are hoping that we will use up the excess next year. We don’t want to have a lot of bags of pellets sitting around in the garage when it is time to start having people walk through.

After Harry got back from ordering the pellets and running a couple other errands, he got busy working on the trim.

He had to sand it and apply two coats of stain.

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It actually dried quickly enough that he could start putting it in today, finishing the dining room and kitchen.

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The only piece still needed is the small area behind the couch in the living room.

Meanwhile, when I got home from work, I got back to business in the guest room.

Ariel is making sure I don’t get rid of anything valuable.

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All done – this dresser will go out when Harry does this floor sometime in the next few weeks, not to return!

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Just a few things left in the closet…

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Done for the day! Smile

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Back to Reality

Today it was back to work for me! I am so glad that I decided to make Thursday my first day back, since I could lounge around a bit this morning and go to work at my usual 10 am. And it sure was nice at the end of the day when everyone was heading out saying, yahoo, tomorrow’s Friday. Be right back That sounded like a great work week to me!

The weather this week since we arrived back home has been, ahem, well, pretty much the same as it was before we headed out two weeks ago. COLD. RAINY. GLOOMY. When Harry and I planned our vacation for April, we expected warm weather and sunshine to be settled in before we got back. No such luck! I wore my winter coat to work today! I hope it starts to turn around next week because I am so ready for some warmth!

Harry and I have been very motivated since participating in the rally, and even more so since we purchased the truck. Yesterday I started to work on cleaning out the downstairs guest room. So far one bookshelf has been cleaned off and added to the lawn sale pile. I will work on the guest room again this weekend and will hopefully finish it. This weekend, Harry is going to work on staining some trim he needs to finish the flooring in the dining room. Over the past couple of years, Harry replaced the carpet with laminate flooring, but he never got around to finishing the trim. Now it is time to get to it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Back in Business

Harry went online Monday morning before we started out for home, and ordered a new camera. It came yesterday!

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I wish I could have had it at the dealership yesterday, but we will definitely be taking some pictures of the truck next week.

I went outside and took some around the property today, just to try out the camera. Unfortunately, the view doesn’t look too different than it did in the ones I took a couple weeks ago. Are those leaves ever going to open up?

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And I didn’t miss any budding tulips while we were gone.

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Other than the new camera, not much else new around here. I’ve been doing laundry and trying to get our stuff put away from the trip. Harry had his first day back at work today, and I head back tomorrow. Sarcastic smile Yup, vacation is definitely over…

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yes We Did!

But it wasn’t the plan for today, really!!

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We went to the Chevy dealership this morning – but we were just looking! Well, we didn’t think there was going to be any temptation because Harry had checked the inventory online, and didn’t see what he wanted in stock. So we were just going to talk to the sales guy about when they would be getting more in and what kind of options their trucks had. Then we got to the dealership and, lo and behold, there were three on the lot. White, silver and grey, but we liked the grey.

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One test drive later and Harry was hooked!

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…and I have to say that I’m pretty happy we made the move now because we got 0% financing. Can’t beat that!

Another step closer!! Open-mouthed smile

(By the way, all the pictures were taken with my phone – I thought they came out pretty good!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rally Thoughts

We arrived back in the capital district around 4 pm. this afternoon. It was a long trip, but we took a couple breaks each day, which made it much more manageable. Both yesterday and today, Harry and I had lots to talk about, as we started to process the past week’s events.

Harry’s favorite topics in the seminars were (surprise, surprise!) the ones on internet and tv. He liked the reinforcements of the information he already knew, but there were also some new pieces of information which helped him to make a more firm decision on which products we will use when we get our fiver. (Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE both internet and tv, and they are definitely “must haves” in my book! But I rely on my tech guy to take care of the details.) My favorite topics were the ones on packing tips, and the one on choosing campgrounds. I thought they were really practical, and I liked the campground review websites that were provided on the handouts.

But above all, I think, for both of us, the best part of the rally by far was meeting the people. It was so awesome to talk to people who are already living the fulltiming lifestyle, and also, to those who are in the planning stages like us. It was just amazing, and sometimes overwhelming, to be surrounded all around by that atmosphere.

The other thing that we discovered is that we loved it! We loved spending time in the campground, and seeing a new area of the country. The cabin was nice, but being in our own place would have been even better. But our day will come!

AND, sooner than we were originally planning! We have decided that we are going to put the house up for sale in March 2013, when Harry becomes eligible for retirement. When we hit the road will depend on when our house sells. But, hopefully…we have only 24 months left until we go full-time!

That compresses our timeline considerably, and definitely makes us feel much more motivated to get back to those projects that we still have on our “to-do list.” Time’s a wastin’, as my grandmother used to be fond of saying. Open-mouthed smile

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Quick Update

It’s been another whirlwind couple of days, and there just hasn’t been time to sit down and do some blogging. So I thought I would do a quick catch-up tonight, and tomorrow I will write a longer post.

The weekend was great. Saturday afternoon, (oh yeah, that was yesterday, wasn’t it?) there was a number of fulltime rvers who opened their rigs for walk-throughs. It was really interesting. Harry and I got some great ideas from seeing the modifications that people make in their fivers.

Last night was the catered dinner and dance. By the time we headed back to the cabin afterwards, it was time for packing up our clothes and heading to bed.

This morning, we had a delicious cooked breakfast in the conference center, and a sad goodbye from all our new friends, before hitting the road around 8:30 am. Since then, we have traveled from Tennessee, up through Virginia, briefly through W. Virginia, and into Maryland, where we are now relaxing in a hotel room (with a king size bed!).

We will head out first thing in the morning for upstate New York, where hopefully we will see more green on the trees, and maybe tulips! (My camera was not found unfortunately, so any pictures will have to come from my cell phone, until we find a new camera.)

Sure is going to be weird tomorrow to start transitioning back into “normal” life!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Great Free Day with One Big BUMMER

Yesterday was the free day at the rally, and it was so nice to have no events scheduled. We got up about the same time as we had for the rest of the week. None of us (Laurie, George, Harry or myself) are big “sleep in” people. So that has worked out well – we have discovered that we are very compatible. It seemed to be quite surprising to many of our tablemates at the seminars this week that we decided to share a cabin without ever having met. It didn’t seem like a weird decision to Laurie and me. Guess it just seemed like we knew each other through our blogs!

So anyway, back to yesterday…

After a nice pancake breakfast with some yummy NY maple syrup, we headed out for some local RV dealerships.

We started at Tennessee RV. It was another nice day, warm but a little cloudy.

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At Tennessee RV, we saw a variety of Open Range products. They were really nice, and had some great features, especially the full size refrigerator. But we didn’t see anything that really jumped out at us.

From there, we went to RVs for Less. They had several Heartland Landmarks for our perusal. We headed for the San Antonio, but I didn’t care for the split bathroom. I really love the rest of the floor plan, but the bathroom part is probably a deal breaker. SO, we moved on to the next Landmark, and there, one of the ones that we weren’t really focused on turned out to be the one we like the best.

The Rushmore…

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I didn’t think I would like the TV in the rear, but seeing it in person changed my mind. I like it better than a split bathroom for sure!!

Laurie checking out the Rushmore…

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I really like the kitchen area, with the island.

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I didn’t take those last three pictures – they were “borrowed” from Laurie. (Thanks for emailing them to me Laurie.) I took lots of pictures, but I couldn’t use them because…(here comes the BUMMER), I LOST my camera!!! Crying face Harry and I were taking one last look at one  more floor plan, and I went to take another picture, and…no camera. We looked everywhere we had been, but we could not find it. I feel bad that I lost it. The only bright spot is that I upload my pictures everyday, so the only pictures I lost were all the ones I took yesterday. We left our name, number and address with the dealership, so there is a chance we could get it back, but I am not getting my hopes up for that.

So anyway, after several hours at that dealership, we headed back to the campground to relax for a bit, and then it was time for dinner.

We felt like some good barbeque, so we asked at the office, and they recommended a place right down the street called Happy Jacks BBQ. Oh man!! So good!!!

The waitress was nice enough to take our picture…(again borrowed)

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That was the biggest “glass” of iced tea I have ever had!

So we had a great day yesterday! After dinner, we headed back to the campground and went for a little walk. It turned out to be shorter than we planned because the clouds that had been hanging around all day finally opened up. We hightailed it back to the cabin, and the rest of the evening was quiet and relaxing. Smile

Last full day of the rally coming up today…