Birthday and Yard Work

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Oct. 6 to 12, 2017

This past week has been filled with “yard work” – upgrades to landscape, etc. Here are a few projects we’ve done around the place.

Along the back of our property is a fairly wide drainage area. Most folks down our street have put various fences, walls and/or plants along the drainage area. Our lot had some dead bushes along the back side of our property. We cut those out some time back and decided we would put in something that will grow up and out to provide some privacy and shade to the back of our lot.

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The first of many trips to Lowe’s

We bought several Areca palms to plant along the back. The irrigation system already had small sprinklers for the previous bushes, so Malcolm extended and/or moved those to provide water to the new palms.

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Here is the view from down in the drainage area, looking at the back of our lot. The Areca palms are supposed to grow up to 10 feet tall and 10 feet around, so we hope they’ll eventually bush out and provide a nice screen along the back.

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Along one side of our property there were a couple spots in the landscaping where the previous owners had put some pavers down in the rocks so that one could walk more easily between our site and our neighbor’s site. Makes sense in a way, as they were both good friends. We decided to pull the pavers out (not that we don’t like our neighbors, be we don’t see ourselves cutting across to their site that much).

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Pavers removed

The two palms on either side of this spot are further apart than the others down this side. To keep that area from looking so open, we planted another palm cluster in the middle of that area.

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Because all the other trees were being watered by the irrigation system, but the new one was not, Malcolm dug up the irrigation feeder line and added a tee into it. From the tee, he ran a feeder up to the base of the tree and attached a bubbler similar to how all the other trees are watered.

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After a quick test for any leaks, everything was covered up with a couple bags of new rocks to build the area up.

Another area we changed up a bit was the area behind the trailer next to the white shed. There was one small piece of artificial turf in this one spot that seemed a bit out of place.

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The area in question with one small piece of “grass”

Malcolm pulled up the grass and put down a few pavers that we had removed from the other side.

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Pavers in place, ready for rocks

With the pavers in place, Malcolm started pouring rocks in the voids around them, filling the area in.

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The rocks will blend in with the existing rocks after a few rains wash all the dirt off of them.

A few other random projects included buying a couple outdoor rugs (on clearance) and making a nice seating area near the sheds. We’ve found that parking the truck in front of the trailer and parking the car next to it at the end of the drive really opens up this area for better use.

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On one of our Lowe’s runs, we found a second flamingo to go with the one we already had. (The shepherd’s crook is for another project).

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We also purchased this deck box to put near the door of the trailer to toss stuff in. We also put a little sign on it to tell delivery folks to put deliveries inside the box. We’ve come home a couple times to wet Amazon boxes.

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Aside from all this “yard work”, we managed to relax and head to Magic Kingdom on Tuesday for Val’s birthday. We took costumes with us and stayed for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

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Following the crowd

The party is an additional paid event that starts at 7:00 PM at Magic Kingdom. If you haven’t paid for it, you have to leave the park by 7:00. Though costumes are not mandatory, they are encouraged. We went as Woody (from Toy Story) and Minnie.

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A lot of the rides are open and waits were pretty much non-existent. There are also several places where you can “trick or treat” and stock up on candy. We hit several of those sites and ended up with quite a haul of treats. All in all, it was a fun day, but we were definitely tired and left before the park closed (at midnight).

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Other than yard work and birthdays, Malcolm was not selected for jury duty, which allowed us to spend more time at Disney World on Tuesday. Malcolm has been working normal hours since Tuesday. Val’s been working on various projects.

We’ll be here about another two weeks before heading up to Wetumpka, Alabama to volunteer for Frontier Days at Fort Toulouse. We’ll bring our golf cart down to Florida after that trip.

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It’s Been a While

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Sept. 25 to Oct. 5, 2017

It has been a while since our last post. As you see, we’re still at “home” here in Florida. With that has come a lot of normal everyday activity (i.e. work for Malcolm, projects for Val). Here are a few non-work/project highlights from the last 11 days.

Most of the remainder of September was spent in taking care of normal maintenance items around the trailer and our lot. Not much to report there. The living portion of our brown shed is moving along slowly, with Malcolm popping out there once a day and working a little more on either taping or sanding drywall seams. The sanding, especially, gets tiring pretty quick. Doing it gradually helps with that tedium.

One item that did get attention was the RV Lock on our trailer door. The keypad had developed cracks over time (it is 3+ years old). Fortunately, a replacement keypad is available from the manufacturer for just a few dollars. Malcolm replaced it.

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We love our RV Lock so much that we finally decided to order their version for our two main storage bay doors. We also ordered a universal remote for inside the trailer. With that, we can unlock or lock either compartment door or the main door. Another button allows us to lock or unlock all three at the same time. Should be handy on travel days.

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Laying out the parts

Our door side compartment door has two handles. We opted to only install one keypad handle and one manual handle on that side instead of two keypad handles. Normally, we’ll leave the non-keypad handle unlocked unless we want to be more secure, then we can lock it with a key.

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Keypad handle installed

Malcolm worked a full 40-hour week the last week of September. His re-scheduled jury duty call was for October 2, so he wanted to get in as much work as possible before potentially being busy with jury duty.

Also, over the weekend, we went to Epcot on Sunday, October 1st. Epcot was celebrating its 35th birthday. They were handing out various swag, including these cool buttons.

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There were long lines in some parts of the park to buy special 35th birthday shirts and other items. Val had ordered us some shirts for the event online (they didn’t arrive until after our visit) so we didn’t stand in any of those lines.

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We did sample some of the food for the food and wine festival. They set up kiosks around Epcot to sell samples of food from different countries or regions. We just grazed several of those kiosks for lunch. For usually about $4 to $5, you got a fairly healthy sample of some regional specialty. They also had beers, wines and mixed drinks available.

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We bought a pair of spiffy little trays to carry your food and drink around with. They’ll come in handy at RV rallies when they’re serving finger foods at get-togethers.

On Monday, October 2, Malcolm headed to the county courthouse to report for jury duty. Malcolm worked at home on Tuesday since he didn’t have to head to the courthouse. He reported again on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday was a day off, so the remaining potential jurors will report again on Monday, October 7 to continue the process.

 

Settling In At Home

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Sept. 20 to 24, 2017

We’ve been back home for several days now. Time for an update. Might be boring, so hold on.

On Wednesday, Malcolm took the pressure washer and cleaned down the entrance end of our lot. It had collected quite a bit of black. Being close to US 27 and a traffic signal, we get a lot of tire and brake dust settling on our lot. The pressure washer got quite a workout all week, as you’ll see.

With the front part of the lot cleaned, we moved the truck back into its spot and put the car out front of the trailer where we normally keep it. Malcolm also managed to get some regular work in during the day. We had dinner at Tijuana Flats and did some shopping at Target. Malcolm got the fire pit out and hooked it up. He toasted a few marshmallows.

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On Thursday, Malcolm got the big broom out and cleaned all the dirt and sand off the road in front of our driveway that he had sprayed off the day before. Our 50 amp breaker kicked off at the pedestal – a problem we had earlier in the summer when we were here. Malcolm replaced it early in the morning with a new one and it seems to run better. The old one was probably pretty tired.

We also went to the post office to pick up any remaining mail we might have had sitting there after having it forwarded and held while we were away. Back at the trailer, Malcolm got some regular work done while Val went to Joann Fabrics to pick up some items for a couple projects.

We had lunch at the pizza place nearby. Malcolm also cleaned half of the outside of the trailer in the afternoon after the sun was off of it.

On Friday morning, Malcolm finished cleaning the outside of the trailer by tackling the other side early in the day before the sun got to it. Malcolm also got some work in until about lunch time while Val worked on some sewing projects. After we ate lunch at the trailer, we headed over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios park for the rest of the day.

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We did a little shopping and Malcolm got in a couple rides on the Rockin’ Roller Coaster and one ride on the Hollywood Tower of Terror.

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A thunderstorm was rolling in when Malcolm was heading to the Tower ride, which seemed pretty appropriate. After a couple rides and waiting out the subsequent rain storm, we walked around a bit more waiting for our dinner reservation at the 50’s Diner.

After dinner, we decided to head out from the park and drive over to Disney Springs and do some walking around for a while.

Saturday was shopping day in the morning. We stopped by Home Depot, Costco, Target and Publix supermarket. While out shopping, we had lunch at BJ’s Brewhouse. Back home, we put up the shelves we bought at Home Depot and put our remaining totes on them out in the storage shed and generally organized things in there.

Malcolm pressure washed the wall along the side of our lot. Over time, the greyish colored blocks had turned nearly black with the same junk that lands on the other concrete surfaces. He also cleaned up the grass and rocks down that side. It looks much better now.

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On Sunday, Malcolm did some more pressure washing. He also got back onto doing the drywall in the brown shed. It was just a couple seams, but a little a day will have it done in no time. We also cleaned up around the rest of the property, finally emptying out three big planters that only had dirt (and weeds) in them and taking them to the nearby thrift store.

We brought some Taco Bell home for lunch, then made a trip to Lowe’s for a few items. Once back home, Malcolm finished cleaning up around the back end of the property, including removing the scraggly and mostly dead bushes past the back wall of the lot.

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He also cleaned up the “grass” in the back and straightened up after having removed the planters behind the white shed. The whole back yard looks nicer now.

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This next week will be more or less some of the same things. Malcolm plans on getting in a week’s worth of work and there are a few small cleanup items to take care of outside (but not much).

 

 

 

 

 

Heading on Home

Location: Horse Cave KOA, Horse Cave, Kentucky

Dates: Sept. 15 to 16, 2017

After leaving Shipshewana, we traveled south to approximately the midway point to Wetumpka, Alabama. That, generally, is the Cave City, Kentucky area. We chose the KOA in Horse Cave, Kentucky. Since we went shopping in the morning and left Shipshewana fairly late in the morning, we arrived in Horse Cave around dinner time.

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After getting the trailer set up, Malcolm noticed that there were several farm animals in the area behind our site. Of course, he had to go investigate.

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There were a couple horses, quite a few roosters and chickens, a couple donkeys and miniature horses. Malcolm found that the donkey, especially, loved to have his ears scratched.

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The roosters were crowing when we got up and going fairly early the next morning. We left the campground around 7:30 am.

Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Dates: Sept. 16 to 18, 2017

We drove on from Kentucky to our old standby in Wetumpka. Our favorite site was available and reserved for us already when we got there. We got our new propane fire bowl out and tried it out, even though it was very warm and muggy outside.

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Also, our golf cart was all cleaned up for us. We plan on leaving it here for about another month so it will be here when we come back in late October for Frontier Days. We plan on trailering it down to Florida with us after Frontier Days, in early November.

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We stayed in Alabama two nights so that we could go to our old church on Sunday morning. We saw lots of people we hadn’t seen for a few months and had lunch with our good friends, the Miltons.

We were up and moving slowly on Monday morning since we were driving a shorter distance.

Location: Pineglen RV Park, Panama City Beach, Florida

Dates: Sept. 18 to 19, 2017

We headed on down to Panama City Beach for an overnight, staying in another of our old standbys. We even got our favorite site on the end of the row.

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We did a quick grocery run, then waited for our son, David, to get off work at around 6:00 pm. He met us for dinner at Salt Water Grill which was fairly close to the campground. It was a great meal. We also handed off various items we had picked up for David on our travels. We said our goodbyes in the parking lot as he had to get on home and get some sleep.

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We stopped on the way back to the campground and filled up the truck with fuel. We hit the road fairly early on Tuesday morning so we could make the long-ish drive on down to our home base in Davenport.

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Sept. 19, 2017 to sometime in October

Our drive on I-10 east and I-75 south went smoothly. There was slightly more traffic than usual as some stragglers were probably still flowing into the state after escaping from hurricane Irma. We didn’t have any problems finding fuel along the way. We filled up about halfway home just to make sure.

We pulled into our spot around 4:00 in the afternoon. We did just a little clean-up, uncovered the car and made sure it would start and warmed it up for a bit to charge the battery. We pulled the golf cart out of the shed and got a few things organized between the sheds and the trailer.

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Malcolm decided that Wednesday morning was going to be spent cleaning bugs off the front of the trailer. The love bugs were out in full force in Florida. Their guts are rather caustic to paint, so we need to get that knocked off as soon as possible.

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We’re glad to be back home. We drove around the neighborhood in the golf cart to see some of the damage that we had already seen in pictures. It wasn’t too severe, but a few people did lose their big RV ports. We also had a nice sunset to finish welcoming us back.

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We’ll be here until late October (about a month) when we’ll head up to Alabama for a couple weeks for Frontier Days. Malcolm has jury duty some time early in October.

 

 

 

Big Trip West – Day 1

Current Location: Tifton KOA, Tifton, Georgia

Today was the official start of our big trip out west for the year. We’re heading out to Washington state by way of some stops in Kentucky. Our first stop will be in Lexington, Kentucky. Looking at the route from Orlando to Lexington, we felt three days would be best for the trip. As such, 1/3rd of the way there is approximately Tifton, Georgia.

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Our empty site in Florida. The car remained there, under its new cover.

We left this morning around 8:00 AM and headed up the Florida Turnpike and picked up I-75 south of Ocala. It was a busy but uneventful drive up I-75.

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On the Road

We stopped at the Georgia Welcome Center on I-75 for lunch. As we pulled in to the truck and RV section, Malcolm spied this shady spot on the end.

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Shady Lunch Spot

After lunch, we headed on up the road for about another hour to Tifton, Georgia. We checked into the Tifton KOA, set up the trailer and cranked on both air conditioners (temperature was around 96 degrees outside).

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Tifton KOA – Site 44

Malcolm worked for a while after we got set up and while the trailer was cooling down. When we checked in, the lady at the desk mentioned that their walking trail wound around pastures with horses and cows. Of course, Malcolm’s ears perked up at the mention of animals, so he wandered out later in the afternoon for a short visit.

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A Couple of Malcolm’s new friends

We decided to try out the pizza place for dinner that was recommended by the front desk staff. The food was delicious. We also filled up the truck with fuel while we were out. Back at the trailer, Val loaded up the washer with a load of laundry. When we get to Lexington, we won’t have a sewer hookup (Kentucky Horse Park) for eight days, so we’re getting our heavy water usage in before we get there.