Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Windy Virginia

We spent the day driving through Virginia - windy, windy Virginia.   I never mind riding down I-81 through the Shenandoah Valley along the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.   It is an interstate to be sure, but it takes us through some lovely scenery.    Rolling green fields filled with black angus and polled hereford cattle bordered by creosoted black fence lines.    Today was very sunny and warm, I even took off my socks!

While I was sitting in my cushy co-pilot seat enjoying the scenery, Dave was hanging on to the wheel with both hands.    Beluga was sharing the highway with a fair amount of truck traffic and the wind was blowing steady at about 40 mph from the east.

Unfortunately the strong winds did more than try Dave's strength, they fanned a pretty good sized forest fire on one of the mountain sides.

We were happy to arrive at tonight's destination, Ft. Chiswell RV Park.   We've stayed here a number of times on our way south and it always delivers just what we need.   This is a very popular park for people moving north and south, its usually filled by the evening.   However, we always manage to score a fairly private and quiet spot, don't ask me how.  We're surrounded by well grazed hills, ponds and cattle.

our site's driver's side view

our site's passenger side view

We'll leave here in the morning and end our day in Hilton Head, South Carolina.          

Monday, March 30, 2015

Harpers Ferry - Day Two

We decided to stay put another day so Dave could take some time to trouble shoot some of our issues.   We had a nice, relaxing morning and then got down to business.   He's made good progress on the house water pump problem and the furnace seems to have taken care of itself.

Dave wanted to look for some parts so we decided to go out for lunch, do a little "auto hiking" and then return to the problem with fresh eyes.

Lewis watches

Dave works

Dave wanted to look for some parts so we decided to go out for lunch, do a little "auto hiking" and then return to work with fresh eyes.    We chose the Canal Side Cafe in historic Harpers Ferry for lunch and it was delightful.    The building was so very old and charming, but it reminded us of all the work we did on the farm, and made us thankful we're finished with work.    We've been to the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park before, so we chose to drive around and enjoy the sunny day and the wonderful old buildings beside the racing rivers.    Here are a few pictures I took on the drive.

We'll leave in the morning, heading for another overnight at Fort Chiswell, Virgina.  Dave has the water pump problem pretty much figured out, but will work in earnest when we get to Hilton Head and nice warm temperatures.  Til then we'll deal with it, no biggie!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Harpers Ferry, WV

This is what I see through Beluga's windshield tonight.   Its pretty much the same view from all Beluga's windows, I like it.   We're at a KOA in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and it was sunny and semi-warm when we arrived.   There's no one here in the woods, its quiet and full of birdsong.  We arrived around 2 this afternoon, set up, took the dogs for a walk and then went down for a nice nap.  We didn't sleep well last night and it was another eventful morning.

Our main furnace didn't work through the night.   We were warm back in the bedroom, but the living room was cold, and, most importantly, the basement compartments were cold.   This is a very bad thing when the temps drop into the teens.        You guessed water again.     We had to use Walmart's bathroom facilities this morning.....the good thing is that there was a Walmart bathroom to use!

We'll take care of things tomorrow (by "we", you know I mean Dave).     After a very restorative nap we drove a beautiful and winding road into Shepherdstown to meet long time friends Mary and Dave at a favorite restaurant - The Press Room.     The place didn't disappoint and we laughed and talked and ate for 3 hours.      As I sit here writing to  you, I hear the furnace click on.....perhaps things have resolved themselves, or perhaps Beluga was just letting us know she wants to be warm again.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

On the road

We're on the road again!   Not an uneventful day, however.   I lifted the shades this morning around 6 a.m., ready and raring to go.     Three inches of snow on the ground and still coming down!  

A Winter fricken Wonderland, enough already.   Calm down, breathe deeply, serenity now serenity now......   So, we just take our time, enjoy second cup, pack up slowly, wait for the sun to come out, the snow to melt, the roads to dry, we don't have to be anywhere today, right?

Except, when Dave fills the tanks with water and turns the hot water heater on, nothing....No water coming out of any of the faucets inside......oh, if you con't count the water dripping out of the hot water tank.   Grrr....  

Slowly, Dave figures out the problem and fixes it.   We eat lunch and wait some more.   Finally, around 3 its time to go!    Beluga starts right up and we're off, finally!

As we drive away, we pass Fred's house, wonderful Fred.  You remember Fred, he's the guy who has taken such good care of the farm while we wander the country.   He's agreed to keep a close eye on the cottage for us also.     Wonderful Fred.    Did I mention he's a Bill's fan?

We're stopped for the night in Lewisburg, PA, just through the mountains.   Its 16 degrees outside Beluga tonight.    We broke out the insulated window coverings, ate Ham Tetrazzini on paper plates and are now trying not to notice the propane furnace's reluctance to blow hot air for more than a few minutes at a time.......

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A real gem and a string of pearls

Dave's brother Mike and his wife Arline came over for lunch today.   We had take out Polish food....mmmmmm.

You know Lewis, he's a real goof  ball.   When he first sees people he loves, he flies around the room, bounces off the walls and couch, spreads kisses and smiles, fairly vibrates.   He's a lot to handle at first greeting to be sure.

But, he's a real gem.   Arline has MS and isn't very mobile.   He greeted her quietly, calmly.   He sidled up and sat beside her, smiling broadly.   He let her pet him, he kept four feet on the ground at all times.   Those of you familiar with Mr. Lewis Black know how difficult that is for him.    He gingerly sniffed her walker.   He sat beside her again.  Throughout the afternoon he kept her in sight at all times, draped himself across her feet at the lunch table.   What a gem he is....

Lewis eavesdrops on Arline's phone call

Today was very cold but very clear.    Mike was telling us about a huge flock of snow geese they saw resting in a field in the flats on their way here.   As if on cue, the blue sky outside our window was filled with what looked to me like a string of beautiful white pearls suddenly broken.    Thousands of white snow geese were flying over the lake in ever changing patterns of white and blue.    My little camera couldn't capture the beautiful patterns moving so high over our heads.     Spring is arriving!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mish Mash

I've been an unhappy camper the past few days.    I had a filling replaced last week and the next day I awoke with a swollen and sore face.   It was a simple procedure, one we've all had many times (well, at least those of us of a certain age - before floride that is).   Ancient fillings need to be replaced, a no brainer.     Seems I must have developed a novocain allergy (the best guess at this point).  My lips are swollen (think Homer Simpson), my tongue is swollen, lisp lisp, most every surface of the inside of my mouth is covered in canker sores.   Each day I discover another sore and its very painful to swallow or eat.    Bright side....maybe I'll lose a few pounds!

Boo hoo.....poor me.   Ok, I'm done with that.  

Here's a mish mash of pictures from the better part of the week.

I opened the shades one morning to see the sun peeking over the east hills, shining on the fast disappearing ice.    And, something else.....At first it looked like a dog out there, looking in at us.

But when I zoomed in a bit, we realized it was a coyote!   I wonder what he was doing out there all by himself?     We watched for a few minutes, then he turned and trotted off to the south.

he's a big boy!

anything is a pillow for Sasha, especially in the sunshine

Friday morning Robin and Tom picked us up before breakfast, we were heading for a traditional spring outing, fresh maple syrup over all you can eat buckwheat pancakes at Cartwright's Maple Tree Inn.   This is a small, family owned and run business that is only open a few weeks in the spring.   Most often a long line forms outside the rambling bldg., but Tom timed it just right.   We walked in and were seated right away!   Lucky us.     Its a long drive from the lake and the weather decided to give us a little bit more snow.   Did I say Lucky us?

snowy road to Short Tract and fab pancakes

pancakes pancakes pancakes

subtly, Dave warms the butter packets for better

Our third (4th?) plate of flapjacks
don't ask how many we ate.....

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

my view

This cottage was designed with nice views from most all the windows.   I have beautiful views of the lake out all the east facing windows.   But today my favorite view is from the "dining room" windows......Beluga is back!

Monday, March 16, 2015


My little calendar is my lifeline right now.   Everyday has something written on pencil.   We're scheduled to leave here in about a week and a half and there are lots of things to do and people to see before then.   The calendar is all that keeps me on track.   I'm loving visiting with everyone, catching up with everyone.    Tick Tock.

Friday night we finally lit the "moving in bonfire".    It burned fast, much faster than we expected it to, and it burned really hot,    Fun!   Cindy P and Walter brought munchies and we enjoyed our happy hour al fresco, fireside, before moving inside for dinner.

I haven't taken many pictures lately, I've just been enjoying the visits.     We're hoping to bring Beluga  home Tuesday and then the packing will begin in earnest.    The forecaster's are predicting a bit more snow and cold for this week.   We're trying to ignore them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I think we've turned the corner on winter, at least the really nasty below zero snow like crazy winter.

The lake has gone from a solid, dazzling white to mottled snow and ice mixed with large patches of open, blue water.   No more snowshoeing or snowmobiling on it this year - YES!   It seems to have happened in the blink of an eye.    A neighbor told Dave that it will be ice free in a few weeks.

 Monday, in preparation for Tuesday morning's predicted fog/snow/snizzle, Dave covered the huge pile of wood we've earmarked for a celebratory bonfire.   We had planned to enjoy it on our moving in day, but who wanted to stand around outside in below zero temps with snow up to our waist?    Not us.    Now that the weather seems to be moderating just a bit we'll light and share it with Cindy P and Walter Friday night (the warmest of the next week).

 The dogs loved to go over the breakwall and down onto the broad expanse of snow that was our beautiful lake.    Now that the ice is getting ready to leave us we'll have to keep a close eye on them so they don't break through and get a nasty surprise.

The rain/snow/snizzle never materialized so Dave took the opportunity to wash all our windows.   No grass grows under his feet, no siree!

whistle while you work.....

Today was even warmer than yesterday, at least 42 degrees - absolute heaven for us.   Despite the very sloppy driveway Dave decided to install mud flaps on the new jeep.   He's a happy man when he has jobs to do.

After taking care of some domestic duties inside I took the dogs out to sit and enjoy the warm sun.
Lewis managed to get a tennis ball out of the house without me noticing and proceeded to lose it in a snowbank, then find it, then lose it,  then find it, then lose it then find it for at least an hour.    He is easily amused and plays well by himself - a very good trait in a dog.

Sasha thinks he's a proper ninny.    He wastes so much energy when he could be enjoying a nice nap.

Tomorrow begins a four day run of visiting with friends/family and  Monday we take the new jeep to be outfitted with its towing  and auxiliary braking systems.     Checking things off the list, counting down the days.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


the sun does its best to peek
through the squalls
When I pulled up my shades this morning I was so disappointed to see that winter is still here...sigh.

But, hope springs eternal......As I sit here typing this blog the sun has broken through and has begun to moderate the temperature.  Can Spring be trying to arrive?  Be still my beating heart!

 The eves are dripping and a few minutes ago Lewis FLEW off the couch at the sound of a huge mass of snow sliding off the metal roof.   Poor Lewis.    A few brave souls are out trying to snowshoe on the lake.

We're not doing much that is exciting or even interesting these last few weeks.   We're continuing to settle the cottage, take care of yearly Dr./dentist/Veterinarian appointments, taxes.

In our hurry to "get in" on moving day, Dave accidentally put our bed together backward and its been bothering us ever since.     Today we hauled the heavy Tempurpedic mattress off the antique frame,  dismantled the entire thing and put it back together the right way (and by "we" I mean Dave of course).  

Most importantly, I'm filling March's calendar pages with promises of dinners and visits with our dear friends and family.    Time is moving a bit quicker now, thank goodness.

Sasha takes turns snoozing on the couch, in her open crate and on the floor.    Lewis is so bored he's offered us a choice of balls to play with this afternoon.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

While he was gone......

While Dave was gone, Lewis was glued to the door.   His attention was laser focused.    I thought he was waiting for Dave's return, and perhaps that's how it started,  "errrrrrrrr" he was saying very very softly, under his breath.

I walked over to give him a scratch and I saw when he was really watching....

skunk tracks?

He's back with our new ride!