Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Winnona’s Competition

Thursday March 29, 2012
Lithia Springs Park Site #39


So far so Good…..

David is still feeling good despite the first set of shots for treatment series #3 on Tuesday.  This may be a function of having cut his dexamethazone in half.  We’re not sure but happy about whatever is responsible.

He felt well enough that he didn’t need a driver for his trip into the Moffitt Cancer Ceater for an MRI to follow up on the CT Scan regarding his back pain.   Results in a few days or a week I imagine.

He used his waiting time and their internet to download the yet again numerous microsoft “updates” that we don’t want to chew up our 5G limit on the wifi.


Meanwhile, Back at the ranch….

I spent my time enjoying the quiet day before the week-enders invade.  Went swimming in the spring which is lower than I remember.  With the drought and the fact that the company which owns the land pumps water out of the spring for their operations, this is a very different spring from those in the Florida State parks.  I’m making a list of them all and hope to be able to visit and float in each one.   Stay tuned! :-)


Got the call around 6:00

Bill & Nancy’s baby had been returned for the night. 
So when they called us to say come on over, we jumped in the car and zipped up interstate 75 to Lazy Days.

Boy it is definitely a beauty.  Winnona with UPGRADES!


Here are the proud parents!

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Here’s their former “coach”. 
Talk about an UPgrade and an OUT grade and a ELONG grade! :-)
But the new Pleasureway’s owner has already put their money down.

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Love these basement doors that swing out instead of up. 


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The “Blues Bald Brothers” checking out the details.  Don’t want to have  Paul Dahl shoes.  :-)


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Vanna demonstrates the outside entertainment center which they didn’t want
and refused to pay for.  BUT it costs more to take it out than to just toss it along. 
Those of you who know the Nancy & Bill,
can you even imagine them sitting outside watching TV?
Now that is a LOL!!
But she makes a great Vanna doesn’t she??


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Step this way Please!

And now……………….for the inside.  

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Left side with a great easy chair and comfy sofa/extra bed/recliner with foot rest.

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Right side with dinette and kitchen

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And the bedroom with lots of storage for all of Bill’s golf shirts.
Although rumor has it that he’s down from 27 to 15.


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I love the lightness of the interior. 
One of the main reasons I’ve never found a coach to prefer to Winnona is the dark wood and upholstery.  Is that supposed to look “rich”??  Not to me, I just find it DARKER.
Great fabric with sand and just a hint of ocean blue/gray.  Would have been my choice too.  We twins think alike.

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After the tour we sat and chatted a while about all the great features
like the fabulous automatic shades so you don’t have to crawl over the dashboard if you are a small person, and the really cool water temperature holder button on the shower head and the big fridge and ice maker and filtered water dispenser and on and on.  In a coach the same size as Winnona.  Great Choice Nancy and Bill.



Just when I didn’t think things could get any more interesting …

Nancy announced that Bill Mills has given up styrofoam cups for drinking coffee
and now owns his very own reusable coffee cup. 
Hooray for the landfills!   Hooray for Bill!  
He says it’s because I harassed him about it but I know it’s really because Nancy said “it’s time to graduate Bill, we don’t have room for stacks of styrofoam cups”.  
Whatever the reason I’m thrilled with his new environmental decision. 
His grandchildren will thank him! (one of my needling issues)  :-)


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Run, breakfast, friends & laughs

Wednesday March 28, 2012
Lithia Springs Site #38



I always feel virtuous when I run.

I am up early and out running around the park making sure everything is ship shape.  No sign of the leaf blowers but the weed whackers are out in force.  What in the world are they whacking?  They go all around the trees but there was nothing there.  Nothing on the edges of the walks before or after the whacking.   I don’t get it.  I ran almost 5 miles which gave me an excuse to eat too many walnut pancakes with maple syrup and fresh strawberries for breakfast


Good friends come for a visit.


Our friends, Nancy & Bill Mills, came down last week while we were away from Murrells Inlet South Carolina to pick up their new 35’ Winnebago Journey from Lazy Days.  We arrange for them to come over for a visit after lunch today.
Nancy and Bill are PROMPT. 
Sure enough about 12:45 their car is backing down our rather steep drive.  So glad to see them.  So excited for the start of their full time journey (pun intended).


We show them our river.  Well our view of the Alafia river to be strictly correct.  I take everyone by surprise when I take this picture.  I hate to ask people to pose.  Things always look so ahh…… posed when I do that.


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We chat for a while sitting on the patio  and then take them on a short tour of the park which includes a rather long discussion with our very friendly and very chatty and very nice park manager.  He describes his vision for all the changes he wants to make at what calls “my park”.  Haven’t decided how I feel about all this, he has BIG changes in mind.  But it will cost a LOT of money so who knows what will really happen or when.


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A couple of the permanent park residents are evesdropping

We are all standing by the secondary spring which is fenced in to enable habitat restoration to happen.  They are right by the depth stick.  The water is pretty low.  But I hear the rains will start fairly soon.  Bet they’ll be glad.


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Back to Winnona for more stories.  All about what’s happening with their Baby at Lazy Days.

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And how impressed they are with the whole operation there.


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While we are talking, Lazy Days calls a couple of times to report on the current state of affairs.   About 4:30 they decide they’d better head back. 


We walk them out to the car where Bill says…

B:  “Nancy,  you locked my keys in the car”

N:  “But you never leave your keys in the ignition”

B: “I know, but I did”

N:  “Well…….I guess it’s time to do a trial run of the emergency road service”


You have to love that attitude!! 

Here she is walking back from the car after checking through the window to see, Yup, keys in ignition.
Does she look upset or concerned??? 
Even David’s giving her a sort of thumbs up. :-)

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These two are lucky people.   They sold their house to someone who paid cash and let them live in it until their coach was delivered.   Now listen to this.

Just LAST WEEK, They had signed their new Baby and the car up for Coachnet.   Great, but Bill didn’t have his card with his member number.
No problem.  We get the number for Coachnet off the internet. 
He calls them, they find his membership and send someone out to unlock the car.

I was impressed with Coachnet.
No fuss, no muss, no hassle.


But since it would be “within an hour,  I talked them in to staying for dinner.   So I whipped up a pasta dish and we got the pleasure of their company for a while longer.  

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She really didn’t have to go to all that trouble to get a dinner invitation.   Any time….any place!


The locksmith shows up and when their car alarm goes off I rush over to get the perpetrator’s picture.   Just think in the past 4 days we’ve had Fraud and Car Theft.   Never say a fulltimer’s life isn’t exciting!!


I caught him in the act.

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Not sure I’ve ever seen anyone seem this satisfied when someone breaks into their car.


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Then they really did have to go BUT tomorrow we hope Lazy Days will have their Baby back at their site in time for us to go take the grand tour.   Photo report to come…………………….


ALWAYS fun times with Nancy & Bill and today was no exception!!

River day

Monday March 26, 2012
Lithia Springs Site #38


I’ve always thought a home on the river would be wonderful.


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We return from Manatee Springs and take up residence in Lithia Springs site 38 for the next two weeks.
As you’ve heard me say before, the spring at Lithia is really more of an urban swimming pool much to my disappointment.  It is nothing like Manatee Springs.   But it’s still a spring and the water is still 72 degrees all the time.


Among the things I dislike is that they lock up the gate at 5:45 every night and don’t open it again until 10:00AM on the week-days and 9:00 AM on week-ends.   That eliminates any possibility for a swim in the full moon light or in the early morning at sun up.   All of which you can do at Manatee Springs.  But, it’s still a spring and the water is still 72 degrees all the time.



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But as much as I like the Manatee campground, this time Lithia gets a gold star for campsites.  Winnona has a site on the Alafia River and I have a river front home. 









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Changing your front yard and view whenever you want is one of the very best things about full timing.






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I LOVE sitting on the other side of the fence in my beach chair watching the river go by.   I can even read and write  blogs out here.








In honor of our river front site, we take the kayaks out
to see what Winnona looks like from the water.


We shove off from the dock in the afternoon.
The weather is perfect.


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We round a curve and  there she is.
Looking fine.






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Wish could get her reflection in the water.  But I am too close.
Can you see the Earth flag proudly flying?







It is fun paddling by Winnona sitting up on the bank.


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The water is black and pretty still at first.  The reflections are wonderful.





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The river is VERY low so some of that paddle is strenuous trying to go up river through the strong water created by the low water level at what are usually little riffles.


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Twice I get out and portage. 


David manages to do what I call ‘gorilla arm’ his way through one spot.  But I tow him through the other.


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Still it is a beautiful paddle and we go WAY up the river beyond where we have gone before. 


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We see a great rope swing out over one of the still fairly deep sections of the river.

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Only problem is that my camera batteries die on the way back and I haven’t brought the case with the extra batteries.  David doesn’t have a camera having dropped #3 in the water a while ago. 


We are making mental memories.

But as we get almost back, I do the old rub the batteries on your
pants trick and coax one more picture out of it.
Guess who we see on the bank waiting to welcome us home?


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We come back after 4 hours.
It is a good day all around!!


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David Guilty of Fraud??

Sunday March 26, 2012
Lithia Springs Site #38


I know you will be shocked that this is a no picture post given my history.  I actually am SO sorry I didn’t get out my camera and take a picture of our nose to nose encounter with a totally inconsiderate driver but I was so amazed at his arrogance that I forgot.

We were on our way back from Manatee Springs to Lithia Springs yesterday and needed gas.  We found a Pilot with $3.789 a gallon and with our $.02 a gallon Pilot card discount that was nearly $.13 a gallon cheaper than most of what we’d been seeing.  So we got off of I-75 in Wildwood Florida.   TONS of other folks were also wanting to get gas so we got in line.  One of the real advantages of Pilot I think is for the diesel users.  They have big pumps and not all the little cars in the way.  :-)

We were behind two cars.  While the first one pumped, the second one realized she was in the wrong lane for the side of her gas tank so she stuck her nose into the lane to our left and her butt was still in ours.   Car #1 finishes but we can’t get to the pump without running over Miss Butt In Our Lane.
Just as she moves a white haired dude  in a panama hat zips his car from the line next to us which has a non working pump that he obviously didn’t notice.  He drives between the gas pumps and pulls up nose to nose with us going the wrong way and blocking our use of the pump we were moving into place to use.  I could NOT believe it.  Cutting in a gas line with a car by driving between pumps from one lane to another???  What nerve!!   David pulled up right to his hood and I peered down on him and his wife while he tried to hustle to put gas in his car.   How I wished I could have just driven right over him and his car and flattened them both.  


What is it with people who think somehow they shouldn’t have to wait their turn??

Finally he is finished, we get to the pump and David types the zip code incorrectly.  So he cancels the purchase and goes to do it again.  BINGO – fraud alert.  Those of you who have been with us for a while know from last spring about our long saga of credit card denials due to our bank not being able to understand that full timers don’t “go back home”.  They are home.  Home on the road and it could be anywhere.   Every time we would go into a new state, there would be a fraud alert and we’d have to stand at the register and call the bank to get them to ok the purchase and release the card.   Happened again yesterday but this time it wasn’t really their fault.

I am happy they are so careful.  Although I realize it’s only because they get stuck with the fraud charges.  If it were just me that was getting stuck, they wouldn’t care a fig.

We did finally did get our gas tying up the pump for probably 30 minutes.   We did make it to Lithia where we are happily camped.
That will be the next post.

Do others of you have to let your credit card companies know when you go on vacation?   Do you full timers have problems with the fraud protection on your credit cards as you travel around the country?

Oh and while you are at it, are you, like me, sick of having to carry around a card for every grocery and gas station in order to get their

Last Day Visit

Saturday March 24, 2012
Manatee Springs State Park Site 84


This was our last vacation day at Manatee Springs and day number 5 since treatment stopped so David was feeling pretty good. 

Our friends Tricia and Dan have been staying at Cedar Key RV Resort for the month of March so they drove up to spend the day with us.  We’d hoped to go swimming in the spring and kayaking in the Suwannee River but Mother Nature had other plans.

We spent a while sitting outside just chatting and getting caught up.  As we went off for a dip in the springs we heard the thunder in the distance.  Looked like it was going to rain our parade but not before we got some time in the water.


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On our short walk from the campsite to the springs we watched this guy just barely above our heads but oblivious all the picture takers as he hammered away.  We had several Piliated Woodpeckers at the farm for years but they were much more skittish than this fellow was. He must have some shock absorbers not to have one heck of a headache with all that rapid fire neck and head pounding.




As we passed by the Catfish Hotel we noticed there was some sort ofSaturday at Manatee Springs 058  scuba instruction going on at the duck weed covered hole.  You might think it’s nothing but a slime pond but beneath it is a 90-foot-deep pool of clear, bluish cool, pure waters springing up from far underground.  It’s a popular place for divers and you can always tell when they are there.  The pool is covered with light green duckweed but if you see large holes and bubbles, divers are down there.




After investigating that situation we went on over to the main spring.

Saturday at Manatee Springs 059You can tell Tricia’s not so sure at the beginning of her Manatee Springs swim.  It definitely feels chilly when you first step in.  But once you just go on and get in, it’s great.






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David was the first one in.  He’s learned better than to ease his way in.  You’ll just agonize longer.  It’s 72 degrees, that’s actually a fine temperature.





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Dan was next.








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And then Tricia. 







It really is great!  See how she changed her mind.  No more pictures, it’s my turn to get in.


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Finally the rain started and sent us back to the coach for a little lunch and some more talk.  It became clear that we weren’t going to get to take that kayak trip down the spring run and into the Suwannee.  Too bad but they’ll be spending a week here next winter so perhaps they can do it then.  I strongly recommend a full moon paddle if you can arrange to be here at that time.


With hugs all around, they left to run some errands in nearby Chiefland and the rains came on in earnest.   We had been hoping that if we could do the kayak trip, we’d all come back to the coach and make a couple of  home made vegan pizzas.  But with the change in plans we were stuck with pizza by ourselves.   So we made the crust for two pizzas and put one of them in the freezer and baked up the other one.



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Our crust is easy to make.  Just a bread dough sans the salt and oil.  I used to make 7 loaves of bread a week for years at the farm.  I actually miss kneading the dough.  It’s a great zen sort of thing.



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Here’s the finished product








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being happily consumed.







It’s been a great week here at Manatee Springs.  Reluctantly we leave tomorrow to go back for treatment round number 3.

Days at Manatee Springs

Friday March 23, 2012
Manatee Springs State Park Site #84


The pace of our life has slowed down considerably in the past couple of months.  This is difficult for us both but  especially for David who is used to being able to do anything he wants whenever he wants. 
Now his energy wanes and limits his activities.


But Manatee Springs has been a great place to “vacation” at whatever pace you like.  Here is a sampling of what’s been going on for the past 3 days.


Morning Walk (20)






Morning hikes….












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Playing on Toys






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Great Breakfasts





Daily Swims



Notice the other folks including the one in the tree in the first shot above and the first shot below.



And we almost saw scuba divers in the pickerel weed covered spring.
Those are their bubbles and that’s not “green slime”.
There are caves down there…….how cool!

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Great Place Manatee Springs!