Header Picture

Balanced Rock, Adirondacks, NY

My Readers

Friday, July 31, 2015

On Our Way Out of New York

Location: Canandaigua, NY (High 87, Low 62)

Looking back at our empty site...It was a whirlwind final few days for Harry and me. I had two last dental appointments and Harry had another annual doctor appointment. Despite our good intentions to get our appointments out of the way early, we both ended up having last minute commitments when the offices didn’t have any earlier openings in either May or June for us to schedule. Between that, and a few last visits with family, it sure made for a fast week.

We weren’t in a huge hurry to leave early this morning since we had a nice 230 mile trip ahead of us.

11806864_10207760544998369_1912313743_o

In one change from our usual routine, due to the fact that we had backed our rig up as much as possible into our site when we arrived, we had to hook up and pull forward this morning so Harry could pack up the bikes.

11806935_10207760495397129_1534638340_o

 

I’m always glad after a longer stay when all the slides come in and everything works!

 

11807028_10207760909727487_424323877_o

 

Unlike our last trip, we had blue skies for the entire journey as well as clear roads.

 

11806618_10207762778854214_1439760932_oWe have always stayed at the Westfield/Lake Erie KOA on our way out of the state, but we decided to switch it up this time. We had such trouble in April getting level in the site that it soured us a bit. Also to get there in one day from the Catskill area makes for a longer travel day than we like. So we’re in a new campground this time – 11837099_10207762777694185_908063074_oCanandaigua/Rochester KOA. I know a lot of people don’t care for KOAs, but we do stay in them occasionally. We like our overnight stops to be relatively close to the highway and sometimes the KOA is the one that fits the bill. We did almost have a rocky start to this stay when the woman in the office directed us to our site in the wrong direction, but luckily one of the KOA employees happened to be right there when we got out to look at the site and got us going in the right direction before any major rig movements were required to get us turned around the right way.

11794027_10207762777334176_553599970_oThe living area on our spot is really nice, and would be great to enjoy if we were staying for a few days, but unfortunately we’re only here overnight. I might have to go outside with my cup of coffee in the morning though.

Tomorrow we’re moving on to Garrettsville, OH and another new campground for us!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Easy and Tasty Grilled Pork Recipe

Location: Earlton, NY (High 87, Low 63)

Honey Garlic Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (I use lower sodium soy sauce.)
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 pork loin chops

Directions

11794037_10207721061251300_568278411_o

 

In a small dish, whisk together honey, soy sauce and garlic.

 

11801107_10207722876256674_648948362_o

 

Coat chops in mixture. I just pour a few spoonfuls over the pork chops. Then I cover the dish and put it in the fridge for a few hours.

 

Reserve left over honey mixture for basting.

11783454_10207722921777812_394573868_o

 

Place chops on greased grill over med high heat, close lid and cook. basting 2 times.

 

11806441_10207722992059569_1668780359_o

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

On a quick side note, I couldn’t resist sharing a couple pictures from today. When I woke up this morning, Harry quietly got my attention and I was so glad I was able to grab my phone for a quick picture…

11793957_10207719525372904_757215241_o

 

 

Apparently Harry’s leg also functions nicely as a body pillow.

11790344_10207719528572984_602133047_o

 

 

Looking pretty comfy there. Smile

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Shelf Floor Repair

Location: Earlton, NY (High 81, Low 54)

11770357_10207687862941363_205680412_oOne of my favorite things about our kitchen area is the great cupboard space we have. At the end of our main counter area there is a huge cabinet. It is where I store a lot of our bigger pieces, like the crockpot and a few of our larger pots and pans. 11770669_10207679981584334_799340419_o

We both follow the Heartland forum and there has been more than one thread about the flooring in drawers and cabinets “falling”.

So I wasn’t totally surprised a few weeks ago when I was moving things around to fin11780209_10207679975824190_345542936_od that we were having a similar issue. It’s hard to see but if you look closely you can see that the cross piece is just hanging on the left hand side. Obviously not holding anything up. (When Harry started the repair he pulled out one staple which is all that had been holding it together in the first place. I’m surprised that it lasted as long as it did.)

11211782_10207680014505157_1982911338_o

 

Harry had an idea about how to reinforce the shelf and yesterday was fix day.

He cut some pieces of wood to fit underneath the shelf.

11724757_10207680010945068_630080040_o

 

 

 

 

It’s a good thing Harry is in decent shape!

 

 

11756695_10207680307112472_576444412_o

 

He attached the pieces of wood at top and bottom with corner braces he had picked up.

 

11783593_10207680312392604_1392601416_o

 

It’s not going anywhere now!

 

 

Another area fixed! Every time Harry makes another repair or modification we are more content than ever with our decision not to trade this rig in for another fifth wheel.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Amazon 2014 Financial Recap

Location: Earlton, NY (High 88, Low 58)

As I was going back through previous blog posts looking for posts to add to the two new categories on the sidebar, I was reminded that I never did the financial recap post I intended to do in January after we got our last check. So…better late than never, here it is…

Last year we started at Amazon on August 26th. In all we had 17 weeks to work for peak 2014. We had a different kind of season last year, as we took advantage of a bonus offer and moved to Louisville, KY for the last four weeks. In KY we made $10/hr, and in Jeffersonville we made $10.75/hr. (They have now standardized the pay so that this year all campers will make the same no matter which fulfillment center you work in – $10.75/hr.)

The first week at Amazon is always a partial week. The first day involves going over all the typical new job stuff. The second day is usually a tour of the facility and safety training. With an additional two days of short work shifts the first week is about 25 hours.

Besides the first week, Harry and I worked nine 40 hour weeks, two weeks with some overtime, two 60 hour weeks, and three 55 hour weeks. Those last weeks before Christmas were busy ones!

It paid off though. Between the two of us, we made $8271.04 each (gross). Plus at the end we received a bonus of $735.73 (gross) for our hours worked for a total of $18,013.54. This does not include the extra bonus that we received for moving to work at the second facility for the last month of the season.

Not a bad result for four months work. This year we expect to be starting the week of August 30th. That should work out to be about sixteen weeks worked this year. But we got a raise and we’re hoping again to get in as much overtime as we can. So hopefully we can come close to last year’s totals.

It won’t be long and it’ll be time to find out.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Baked Chicken Tortillas

Location: Earlton, NY (High 89, Low 61)

We made it to 92 degrees yesterday but the rest of the week looks to be high 80s and even 70s. One 90 degree day so far this summer out of an average number of ten. I’m ok with that!

As promised, here is the recipe that I made yesterday…

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup bottled salsa divided
  • 8 oz fat free sour cream
  • 6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper or chopped green
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

11770683_10207665213655145_1973019995_oPreheat oven to 350°.

 

 

 

11768649_10207665453301136_1960635578_oCombine 1/2 cup salsa and sour cream in a small bowl, and spread evenly over each tortilla. (Four are shown but there were actually six being prepared.)

 

11746015_10207665399419789_1742135396_o

 

Divide chicken, tomato, bell pepper, and onion evenly down center of each tortilla, and roll up.

 

11770154_10207665417500241_890563704_oPlace rolls, seam sides down, in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Top with 1/2 cup salsa.

 

11760538_10207665583304386_1201762915_o

 

Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle with cheese; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Project Pictures and New Recipe Link

Location: Earlton, NY (High 88, Low 68)

11403152_10207663895782199_5896785769570696962_n

Today started out as a pretty much perfect Sunday morning…chilling outside with our cups of coffee catching up on the morning news. It was really nice to have a relaxing morning after a week where we were getting up early and then out busy all day.

 

Harry was pleased with his week’s work – the completion of two sets of shelves in my sister’s basement. 11770347_10207656968009009_1841070301_oHe put three similar shelving units in the garage of our old house and all the practice has paid off.  Harry said that he thinks these are his best constructed ones yet. I think that one day after this picture was taken they are already well on the way to being filled up.

11749921_10207656967408994_1041905592_o

 

 

 

 

 

I wouldn’t be surprised if Harry got recruited next year to build at least one more!

11756903_10207666493447139_403085588_oWe took a walk around the campground this afternoon to see lots of people around enjoying this beautiful summer day.

 11751552_10207666520487815_353436262_oIt’s really nice here because we see people out enjoying themselves but, so far at least, we haven’t encountered any blaring loud music or people running through our site or any of the other annoyances you get sometimes.

I made a recipe today (baked chicken tortillas)  that I am going to do a blog post about tomorrow. I was thinking about the fact that I have done at least a handful of blog posts about cooking, but my recipes are all buried and not easily accessible, so I decided to add a new blog link on the side so they can be more easily located. So far I only have one recipe there because I have to find them first! Hopefully it won’t take me too long to locate them all and add them to the list. Sarcastic smile

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Projects and Amazon Update

Location: Earlton, NY (High 83, Low 64)

I looked at my blog this morning and was surprised to see it had been a whole week already since my last blog posting. The days are sure flying. This week has been a really nice one – it seems like the rainy days have finally started subsiding and the temps have been really nice. I’ve seen a lot of comments on facebook about people who are experiencing really hot weather, but here it’s just been nice normal summer type weather. In fact, tomorrow we may have our first 90 degree day of the season.

Both Harry and I have been busy this week. My sister and brother in law were out of town so I spent a few days at their law office finishing up my scanning for the summer and just overseeing the place. At the same time, Harry was busy at their house putting up a set of shelves in their basement. He has enjoyed having a project to work on and a garage to putz around in with all the appropriate tools and cutting equipment. He is still working on the shelving unit so I will post a picture of him with his creation in my next blog.

We also heard from Amazon this week. Can you believe that it is almost time for peak season 2015 to get started? I was surprised to see in the email that they are starting peak season in Campbellsville even earlier this year – the first group will be starting August 9th! And then a new group starting each week after that. The last I heard, the Aug. 9th group has filled but they are still looking for campers who want to start the other weeks in August, so if anyone out there is interested, you still have time to apply and make it there for one of their early weeks. (Here is the link to the application page.) We are expecting to start the week of Aug. 30th, which I guess is technically August. We might have considered starting earlier, but we have more important plans – hanging out with two little guys in Ohio. Smile

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Road Trip to CT – Audubon Greenwich

Location: Earlton, NY (High 88, Low 60)

11727711_10207602570929116_822914663_o

With our time here in NY ticking down toward its end, today we headed out for one last visit with Harry’s son Andrew and his fiancĂ© Amanda.

 

IMG_7599

 

After chatting for a while in their apartment, we headed up to the rooftop deck of the apartment complex for lunch. There is a beautiful view of Stamford from the deck.

 

IMG_7602

 

 

Our first time trying “Not Your Father’s Root Beer”. Yum.

IMG_7603

 

 

 

 

 

 

11728114_10207603557513780_196356414_o

 

 

The chef at work…

 

 

After having a delicious lunch and enjoying some more chatting, we went for a drive to Greenwich and the Audubon Center there.

IMG_7605

 

The Audubon Center has been open since 1946. There are several trails that wind around the wooded areas surrounding the nature center.

 

IMG_7608

 

 

IMG_7611

 

 

 

 

IMG_7613

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_7607

 

We hiked about 2.75 miles before making our way back to the center and then making the short drive back to their apartment.

 

10393773_10207605892732159_4050037111894339263_n

 

 

We had a great visit with Andrew and Amanda, and look forward to seeing them again in the spring.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Down to our Last Three Weeks

Location: Earlton, NY (High 78, Low 62)

11143280_10207127836741058_8418103152422549603_nWhen we arrived in NY around the middle of April, it seemed like we would have so much time here. However, I was looking at the calendar this morning and realized that we are now down to our final three weeks here.

I11244871_10207162603410203_1223401328_o know there are a lot of fulltimers who use the summer to travel around northern areas of the country, and we plan to do that someday, but right now we use the summer months to have some quality time with family as well as to get all of our doctors and other types of appointments accomplished.

Back in late May, I had already had my cleaning/checkup with my dentist and was scheduled for a little follow-up work, when my tooth obliged with our summer plans by choosing that moment to break. So now my little follow-up has become three more dentist appointments in the next three weeks as I have to have a crown put on one tooth. I could have done without that but at least it happened now when I was near my regular dentist. Other than that, most of our appointments are now finished and with good reports, we are good to go for another year.

11694827_10153469081204766_6865192154440367235_n (1)Time with family is always too short for me, but I remind myself that there is no way I would have this kind of quality time to spend with family if Harry and I were still living in a house in Castleton with fulltime jobs. Instead of three and a half months all at once, we might have had one day a month, or a hurried visit on an occasional evening. So I try to keep that in mind when the moment to say “see you soon” starts to tick closer.

When we leave here on the 31st of July, we’ll be heading down the road for some more time with family. You 11187994_10207040369354428_186874438_omay recall last year when we had our grandson stay with us for a week after we drove to MA to pick him up. Just a few weeks ago, he (and his baby brother and parents) moved to Ohio. So we’ll be heading in that direction next for a few weeks of quality “Papa and Grammy” time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

We Made It!

Location: Earlton, NY (High 82, Low 59)

11235246_10207112307992849_289057552_oAnyone who was reading my blog back in May might recall the day we found this campground. This was one of the first pictures I took of the site we are now occupying.

We almost disregarded this campground without even considering it because it didn’t have sewer hookups. But the beautiful site and the fact that we were ready for a change helped us to give it a second look. We have had our fiver for over four years now, and this is the first time we have stayed somewhere without sewer. We were a little apprehensive for two reasons – we’ve never had to watch our water use, and we’ve heard some horror stories about problems caused by pumpouts. After talking to some friends of ours who have a Heartland product also, we were encouraged enough to give it a try.

We arrived here last week on Tuesday, the 30th. Today was pumpout day….and…11715327_10207576676921782_434018444_owe made it! A whole week on our tanks.

Here comes the pumpout truck.

It took some extra effort and thought on our parts – short, quick showers – being conservative with the dishwater – occasionally catching some water, like the shower warm up water, in a container and using it in the black tank. But we were pretty happy to find that we could make it a whole week without filling up our tanks.

That has been our main excitement this week.

11665044_10207565350158620_1203120643_oWe’ve also been able to have some time to enjoy our outside living area this week. Got our tv out, set up our awning…we’ve been liking our new spot quite a bit.

 

We are glad we decided to stretch a little.