Tuesday, June 30, 2015

So, here we are 10-Years Later

Ten years ago we found our little cottage; or maybe the cottage found us. It did not fit our criteria; we were adamant we must have two full baths, a garage and seriously wanted a screened porch. She had one bath, no garage and no screened porch. But she felt right, so we bought her.

It has been a labor of love ever since! We immediately had another bath installed and a garage and carport built and our canvas was ready. Over the past 10 years we have changed the landscape dramatically. ABN comes up with ideas and Captain brings them to fruition.

June 2005

June 2015 Yep, Captain built the screened porch and added the side deck.
2005 view from the deck
2015 view from the screened porch
The back yard in 2005
The backyard in 2015
So, is the canvas finished? Of course not! Finishing touches are needed in ABN’s studio, aka The Underground, ABN has ideas on updating the upstairs bedroom, the dining room is calling for some built-ins, and something was said about a fire-pit. There is no rush; we’ll work it in around bike rides, travel, football games and glasses of wine with friends on the porch. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Camping at Walmart

Well, it doesn't get much easier; we pulled in the parking lot, found a relatively flat spot, turned off the ignition and we were set for the night. Electricity is provided by house batteries powered by solar panels. The refrigerator and range are powered by propane. We had plenty of water for dishes, showers and flushes in the 50 gallon fresh water tank and waste water was contained in the holding tanks.

The first night in the Walmart parking lot, we decided to park along the side away from the truckers as we thought it would be quieter. Not a good choice as it was near the entrance to the unloading area with trucks coming in all night. On the return trip we wisely chose to park with the truckers and other RVs. Noise was not an issue; we both slept very well. Lesson learned, learn from the truckers.

The purpose of this excursion was to spend time with our girls and celebrate with our youngest granddaughter as she graduated from the Northwest Florida Ballet Academie. Normally we would have stayed in their guest room but another grandmother was also visiting and taking The Wanderer gave us an excuse to practice retirement. The nine eighth grade girls graduating started together in third grade with around forty students. They are a very tight group having shared hours of study, Northwest Florida Ballet Company dance rehearsals, road trips, sleepovers as well as times of sadness and celebration. All were quite successful in their academics but only one was recognized for obtaining all A's during the entire 6 years (guess who!) The girls will continue their secondary education in different high schools but most will continue their dance career as pre-professionals with the ballet company.

The girls surprised us with our first piece of art for The Wanderer

As with any adventure, we had a new experience that gave us a bit of concern. While ABN shopped with the girls in Florida, Captain installed a tire pressure monitoring system on The Wanderer. The purpose of this gadget is to alert when the tire pressures get too low or the tire becomes too hot. We got an alert indicating the front, left tire was too hot. Captain immediately pulled onto the shoulder of I-65 to assess the situation. After an internet consultation, he decided it was probably due to stop and go traffic from construction slow down on the interstate. However, he did want to confirm the tire was okay, so he took the next exit, found a parking lot and measured the tire pressure. It was fine, tire was cool and the sensor had returned to a safe range.  

For seasoned RV travelers that might be reading our blog, you are probably saying duh! Keep in mind, the primary purpose of writing this blog is to share our adventure with family and friends, most have not had this experience and are curious. If it provides a bit of entertainment for the rest, well that is an added value.

Until next time, ABN

Thursday, June 11, 2015

How does one feed the soul on one’s birthday?

This is how ABN does it.

Starting the day with fresh from the garden blueberries.

A couple of hours of work play in the garden.
From this,

to this.

Puttering in the studio.

Riding the tandem with Captain 
This part didn’t exactly feed the soul,
but it was part of the adventure. 

and ending up at a local pub, enjoying a favorite porter and pizza.

And what did Captain give ABN for her birthday? A travel art box! 
 Let the journey begin!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Meet Peggy!

When we returned from our trip last week, we were greeted by Peggy Martin. She is a gorgeous old rose with a very interesting story. Let me share it briefly; if you want more details, there is a Peggy Martin website.

Peggy Martin, a New Orleans’ gardener and member of the Old Garden Rose Society had to evacuate her home during Hurricane Katrina. When she and her husband were allowed to return they found everything, including her garden, had been under 20 feet of salt water for two weeks. The only thing living was the old pink rose.  Dr. William Welch, a horticulturist at Texas A & M, had taken cuttings on an earlier visit. From these he propagated more roses and named the rose Peggy Martin.  There is a list of suppliers on the website.

From our back porch.

I planted one on each side of the arbor in 2007. Big mistake as it is very aggressive and must be pruned several times a year. One plant would have been plenty! It is supposed to be a re-bloomer but so far, mine blooms profusely in May and only a few blooms in the fall. She is a show-stopper enticing visitors to our home every spring. Some we know, others just heard about her and also heard we are quite open to folks dropping by. 

Yep, you see bicycling shorts hanging on the clothes line.