Monday, November 19, 2012

Golf Cart Up & Running Again

On our last blog posted a week ago, we had mentioned our batteries in our golf cart were dead after repeated tries to charge the batteries individually, which we were actually able to do. At least they held enough charge initially to accept the golf cart charger. The problem remained that they would not hold a charge. We could get about 100 yards away from our site and it would be drained. Jeff researched local dealers in the area and found the best deal with a dealer located in Brooksville, about 25 miles away and they would deliver them and install them for a price less than the other 3 dealers would charge just for the batteries themselves.  So yes, we managed to get the batteries installed on Wednesday, November 14 and the golf cart is running very well. The only thing we want to do tomorrow is check the tires and make sure that they are properly inflated. It has been dreary around Crystal River the last four days. The sun actually showed its face on Saturday and a bit more Sunday, but the weather has felt cooler than normal. There have been winds that have made it cool enough for us to have to roll the awning in last night. Better weather is going to come through tomorrow with the high going up to 69 and more sun, we hope.

We went to a happy hour on the upper level here at Rock Crusher Canyon (RCC) on Thursday. There were about 24 people there. Tom and Jillene, new to RCC this year, served as hosts. What a setup they have. They have built wooden decks that go three quarters of the way around their motorhome. Plus, they have a covered pagoda and a fire pit area. It is truly a great setup. I must get some pictures to share. I made my pimento cheese spread and everyone  seemed to have liked it a lot. It was quite cool outside even though they had a fire going in the fire pit and citronella  torches on the perimeter of the deck. We had a great time and hopefully will go again.

We tried out a new restaurant in Crystal River on Friday morning called AJ’s Café. The wait staff used to work in Inverness at a place called Cock a Doodle Dos, which closed. We had breakfast and it was very good! We still like Kim’s Café in Homosassa, so this will definitely be a place to head to once a week. I love my bacon extra crispy and when I got it I thought it wasn’t going to be crispy enough. But, the bacon was thick and crispy and had a great flavor to it. The place was crowded for 9:30 in the morning but we didn’t have to wait. My new hairdresser works there on the weekends as a hostess, so hopefully we will go there on the weekend and see her sometime. We stopped at Home Depot after the breakfast and picked up some stain to do the steps and picnic table on our site. The color is called Robin’s Egg, so we are hoping it will look nice. It has gray and blue coloring in it. We’ll take pictures when the job is done.

I also took Kozmo to the vet on Friday afternoon to get her nails clipped. I could hear her in the back room yelp out once. I knew it was her. I just wanted to go back and take her out of there. But she can be a baby sometimes. I like the vet in Georgia who is the best around and they never had a problem with her “crying out”. The place in Crystal River put a turkey motif bandana on her neck as a reward. She doesn’t care for bandanas so she couldn’t wait to get that off. She was the center of attention today since I was going to give her a bath. She hid under Jeff’s chair but came out when I asked her to come with me. She is VERY good when I give her a bath. She has been sleeping a lot today… too much action. Smile

I (Barbie) started out walking last Monday with a group of ladies here at RCC and have been walking a mile every day except Saturday with the ladies. There is usually four to six in our group and I found I can actually talk and walk at the same time without huffing and puffing. We didn’t walk Saturday due to a breakfast in the clubhouse being served at 8:30. One of the walkers named Florie is one of the cooks so we decided not to walk. Florie is a sweet gal who is awaiting a new grandbaby soon. We didn’t go to the breakfast, so we slept in for an extra hour.  After some coffee, Jeff, Kozmo and I went to the craft show at the Armory in Crystal River. It was a nice one but I really didn’t buy anything for myself. I bought some homemade treats for Kozmo which she enjoyed. After the show, we went for a short drive and then to the new WalMart in Homosassa. It is smaller than most of them and it was OK. They do have some groceries although not the variety and amount that the Super WalMarts have. The only downfall was it was dark inside and had only one main entrance and exit. I decided to buy a turkey breast with some fixings to make next weekend since we are eating in the clubhouse on Thanksgiving Day with about 100 other people or so. Since we will have no leftovers,  not that we need them anyway, but turkey breast with some stuffing, cranberry sauce, creamed corn and Brussels sprouts should suffice for a few days. Plus, I am going to make my pumpkin bread again for breakfast instead of pumpkin pie or dessert. We will need to bring a dish to share for the dinner so I am making a sweet and spicy carrot dish. I will be trying it out tomorrow in case it doesn’t taste good. If it doesn’t taste good, I will make extra pumpkin bread instead. The park is supplying the turkey, stuffing, potatoes and rolls for $5.00 a head. We went last year and it was a nice affair. The only downfall is the clubhouse is small and has poor acoustics and I don’t think they are planning to correct it anytime soon. It makes it difficult to hear the people who are just two seats away from you.

When we were gone from the rig Saturday afternoon,  the guy who washes and waxes RV’s in RCC came and did ours. We were not pleased with the job this time. Apparently there are some pinhead black marks on the rig due to tree sap, we guess, and he couldn’t get it all off. So we won’t get him to do our rig anymore. He has done it every year we have been here but I don’t think he tried hard enough. I had gotten some of it off myself before we headed south and although it was difficult, I did it. He had washed and waxed a rig in the morning so maybe he was tired.

Our winter neighbors, Roger and Judy, arrived at 3PM Sunday afternoon. It was great seeing them back. They are from Massachusetts. We promised each other we would definitely go to eat at Dan’s Clam Stand while they are down here this year. We never could coordinate our schedules at the end of last season to go to Dan’s with them. Another neighbor, Brenda and David, arrived Friday night. They are across from us. They are from Indiana. Since they left their rig here in the summer they had some cleaning up to do in it so we finally got to see Brenda today at the same time as Roger and Judy arrived. A reminder from Brenda, NEVER set off a bug bomb in an rv at the end of the season as you leave for the north. That’s why she’d been cleaning for a couple of days and we hadn’t seen her.  It will be interesting to see how many people show up this week before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Homemade spaghetti was on the menu Sunday and Jeff said it was very good. I made the sauce on the stove to heat it up first and then put it in the crock pot to get the flavors infuse throughout the sauce for a while. Needless to say I have plenty of sauce left over. I am happy that it will freeze, too. I am not that fond of leftovers but will use some of it in a casserole.

Everyone have a great Thanksgiving holiday and don’t eat too much! For you crazies out there that go out shopping on “Black Friday”..…GOOD LUCK! Just know we want NO part of it.

‘Til next time…..

Monday, November 12, 2012

Back At Rock Crusher Canyon in Florida

Yes, it has been a very long time since we posted. But when you have been busy and not on the computer much, that is what happens. We just didn’t find the time to post anything.

The last 2 weeks at River Vista were busy for Big Daddy DJ. The third weekend in October, the Bluebird Chapter of the FMCA held a rally at River Vista. They brought about 55 Wanderlodge buses in for a “Friends of Family” 3rd Reunion Rally. They were there for 6 days. They booked Big Daddy DJ back in February. Originally they wanted a “Sock Hop” music theme but about 2 weeks prior to the rally, they let me know they wanted a Margaritaville/Island/Beach music theme. It wasn’t a problem as Jeff had lots of both types of music. They were a great group to play for and they even invited us to eat with them at their dinner that Saturday before the dance.

Then, the following Saturday, River Vista held their Halloween Weekend. The campground was full with many families and kids. The campground had activities for all ages Friday and Saturday. Saturday night culminated with the huge Big Daddy DJ Dance Party. We held contests for best costumes by age groups from 6 and unders to adults. I am glad we weren’t judging it because it was very hard to do. We saw lots of people who were repeat customers at River Vista from last Halloween and it was nice to talk to them again. Our friends Pat and Sandie Gregory came off the Franklin, NC mountain to be with us and another couple of friends, June and Jody Dobie for the evening. The Dobie’s have a very nice, new to them, motorhome that has 5 slides to it. It is a Mandalay made by Thor. This was their maiden voyage in it and they were having a great time. It was great seeing them! The two couples are members of the Roamin’ Rigs, an FMCA Tampa Bay Chapter. This was the club we belonged to all the years we had a motorhome. It was a great evening for sure. I’ll enclose a couple of pictures below. After that weekend, we planned to leave Dillard on that Tuesday but Superstorm Sandy was creating havoc on the coast and the winds were consistently 25+ miles per hour in Dillard so we postponed leaving for a couple of days.

Before the Dance Party

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The Dance Party

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IMG_0800   The Dobies and Gregorys.

We left Dillard, GA on Friday, November 2 and got to our winter RV site in Crystal River, FL on Sunday, November 4. We stayed the first night in Perry, GA at Fair Harbor RV Park. We had stayed there before and liked it. It was $35 a night which included cable and internet which were both great! We had only travelled four hours that day and wanted to go someplace close by. Closing down the Dillard place is always a time consuming job. We had to prep the golf cart and make sure we won’t come back to dead batteries next spring. We had to put everything away in the shed and make sure nothing could get to anything while we are gone. We had not closed the slides on the fifth wheel since April of this past year. We didn’t have any problems but we also had to check the tires and put air in them which took some time. We only check the tires when the slides are in since it is so difficult getting to them with the slides open. It only took us 8 minutes to hook up the truck to the fifth wheel, a new record time, and then we were on our way out of “Dodge”. We spent 6 ½ months in Dillard and we were ready to leave.

The second night on the road was spent at Oaks N’ Pines RV Resort in Lake City, FL. The cost was $19.80 (Passport America rate) for a pull through site which was supposed to have cable and internet services. Well, there was no cable and the internet service was slower than molasses pouring out of the bottle. The pull through was so close to the next site that we could have shared a cup of coffee with our neighbors. The roads were narrow, also. Needless to say we won’t stay there again.

We arrived at our RV site in Crystal River only 2 ½ hours after we left that park Sunday morning. It took us 15 minutes to get into the site just the way we wanted it. We were overwhelmed and embarrassed by all of the weeds that had grown up around our site. I think we will definitely get a lawn person to come and weed on a monthly basis when we are not here next year. After setting everything up just perfect, we relaxed that night. The next day I (Barbie) got out and weeded the front garden and the left side of the lot. The stickers on the weeds were sticking to my shirt. It took a long time to get them off before I washed the shirt by hand. I didn’t want to wash it in the laundry house here because they would have stuck to the washing machine. I still have a bit more to do but it is looking so much better. After dealing with the weeds we had to deal with the SD satellite dish on the roof not working well. One of the trees have grown and thus a weak signal. We do have cable here so that was not a problem but we wanted the HD to work and wanted to be able to DVR some shows and watch them later and the only way that was going to get done was by adding an HD Slimline SWM dish to our site. We did that up in Dillard when we arrived up there in April. Jeff’s first call to DIRECTV resulted in the agent telling him we couldn’t do it without adding a separate new account here at Rock Crusher Canyon(RCC). Jeff argued with the person on the other line for about 15 minutes but she wouldn’t budge because her “supervisor” had directed her that it was the way it had to be done. So Jeff finally hung up and waited 30 minutes and called again. He had read on his RV.Forum website about others having the same issue. They just waited and talked to a different agent and lo and behold, NO PROBLEM the second time. So DIRECTV came out Friday evening and put in a SWM dish in the ground for us. It is now working without any problems. Now that the dish situation was fixed we had to fix the golf cart. We got it out of our utility trailer which is housed on our property when we are gone. We got it out but the batteries were all but dead. We tried the golf cart charger with no luck at all. It wouldn’t take a charge. Jeff got on the internet and found a video describing what we should do to get it charged enough so that the battery charger would work and the batteries would accept the charge. Since we have six- 8 volt batteries we had to buy a 24 volt charger. That way we could charge 3 batteries at a time wired in series. We needed a new charger anyway. He found it on Amazon and it was here in one day’s time. Well, we tried that route, success! After he got enough charge in the batteries to take a full charge from the golf cart charger, we charged it overnight. But when we went for a test ride the next day it almost died on us before we got back. It jerked and buckled and we thought for sure we would have to get it “towed” back to the site. We tried it (charging overnight) again on another day and it had the same result. These 5 year old batteries in the golf cart would no longer hold a charge. So Jeff got on the web again looking for places that sell those batteries and found three places. Of course they aren’t close by but he called them today to get the best price. Out of the three places the business in Brooksville would come out and take away the old and put in the new for $71 more than if we took them out, went to get them, and then installed them ourselves. Since they are heavy, we opted for them to come out on Wednesday and do the job. What is it with batteries? If you recall we had to install four new 12 volt batteries on the golf cart in Dillard this past April. Plus now our solar lights’ batteries have to be charged up before they will work on the 12 of them that we have on the property. I always take the batteries out and store them in a different location but I knew last year they were going bad. It is always something…..haha

Before we left for FL we got a phone call from Jeff’s cousin telling us his Uncle Pete in Claysburg, PA had passed on. We were saddened by that and we send our sympathy to his daughter and family. Uncle Pete was always a favorite of his. He was 92 years old. We also got word that a very special rving friend who got a lung transplant in August passed away last week at Duke University Hospital in NC. She developed a blood infection and was at Duke since August. Sherry Dilworth was a fighter and will be missed. We met her and her hubby Charley at a blogger get together of fulltime rvers in Lakeland, FL a couple of years ago. They had stayed in Rock Crusher for a month that year and had planned on staying three months last year but had to back out due to Sherry getting on the list for a lung transplant.

We stopped at Dan’s Clam Stand on Wednesday of last week and ate dinner there. DELICIOUS!!!! This is a FAVORITE of ours. We were longing for their clam chowder and shrimp so bad!!!! We found out they are closed on Sunday and Monday now. On Saturday, we headed for Kim’s Café for breakfast, our favorite breakfast spot. We had a good breakfast, but boy were they crowded. You can tell, we “snowbirds” are beginning to arrive. I have managed to cook a bit too since we got back. I made a homemade pizza in my toaster oven on Sunday and it was good! The only bad thing about the toaster oven is that Kozmo is scared to death of it. I put it outside and she still was shaking. But I didn’t want to use the convection oven since it doesn’t have a broiler feature on it.

Today is errand day so we will be heading out this afternoon. Maybe I can coax Jeff into a dinner somewhere??? Or maybe he wants the homemade chicken fettuccini that I have never cooked before???

Well, that gets us caught up. We won’t wait this long to blog again, I promise you. Even if nothing much is happening, we’ll find a line or two to blog.

‘Til next time……..