Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The USA2 team in the Balloon Race has been missing for over 12 hours in the Adriatic Sea. Carol Rymer Davis and Richard Abruzzo are highly experienced, well equipped and prepared. Their last position put them in a storm area and no word or information has been received. Italian SAR are involved. We can only remain hopeful while waiting for positive news.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ON the Edge of our Seats........

Over the weekend and into today, we have been enthralled with tracking this international balloon race . You can get all the info on it from their website. We are cheering on USA2, one of 4 balloons left flying since it's start in England. One of the pilots is a good friend of Mike and Jenna and Paul has also met her. Carol Rymer Davis has a long and celebrated history of flying balloons and won this race in 2004. It is challenging and dangerous. But compelling to monitor from afar. GO USA !! I don't have a picture of the actual balloon, but these are the type used, not the familiar hot air kind. It is filled with hydrogen and uses sand bags for ballast.

Mike and Jenna will head to Albuquerque next week for the Balloon Fiesta. We have always wanted to go but it we have a committment that first week so we will enjoy their pictures.

Rain today and tomorrow which is always a nice change. We did some planting this weekend so help from above is always, I'm deep into a new book and don't mind skipping the golf course for the couch. It's "Cutting for Stone" and I think has been out for awhile. Highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Garages, golf and garters............

Look what's heading right for P's golf bag ! ! ! It was encouraged to go outside and the welcoming door was closed behind it.
Where's a mongoose when you need one ?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Improving the view.........

The last 3 mornings, after my early walk, I have spent a bit of time pulling weeds. I am not a gardener and I'd rather do windows. My nice neighbor has decided to improve the view on the side of our house that faces his side, and he takes care of weeds on that side. We supply him with a favorite beverage and we are both happy. I decided to document my activity for the blog and Binged (you're welcome Michael) 'weed pictures'. This is what popped up....... Would I enjoy the back breaking work more if it actually grew in my yard ???
Meanwhile, while I am toiling away, our BFF, John and Freida, are spending a few days in Sin City and sent these enticing pictures to make us jealous of their time in Las Vegas.

Here's Freida (closest to the larger than life hunk )and her friend Vicki, enjoying the scenery.
We've been looking for statuary for the pool..............what do you think???

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's always something........

First , the pretty picture.............. We wandered around Transylvania County one glorious day and looked for waterfalls that required little effort to enjoy. We're not opposed to a hike but we were without adequate water and bug spray (essential in those woods). You can judge the size by the hiker in the red shirt at the base. Someone took a couple of pictures of us but they looked too much like reality so I won't post them.

We are home once more. Did the 600 mile trip in 11.5 hours again. Each time we say we aren't going to do that but it is an easy drive and we share the driving and snacking so it's not terrible.
The moving house preformed admirably again. There is always something that needs some attention but one just hopes its not a slide (done that already), or a tire or an engine or the refrigerator (again). This time it was the plumbing.
A short primer on RV toilets: given by a non-mechanical woman. The toilet is just a receptacle that drains into the black tank. It has a foot pedal at the base to 'flush ' it with water and a flapper thing that covers the hole with a rubber seal around it. We always keep an inch or so of water above the flapper to avoid having odors come up from the tank. We also use deodorizers in the tank and there is never any odor. Well, a few days ago, the flapper refused to close.......not good.
Plumber Paul did his best to fix it. We went searching for parts to no avail and ended up ordering the needed item. But what to do in the meantime.
Here's our solution.
Take a pink plastic glass, because pink works better than the green one we had, then add to it a small water bottle (left over from the 72 I accidently bought) filled with rocks for weight. After flushing the toilet, quickly place the new plumbing device into the opening and allow the last bit of water to make a seal. (No water in this picture). It worked very well except at night when one is not quite awake and the process needs to be repeated to get a seal.
We're home for awhile. We might try and slip away for a few days to one of Florida's lovely state park next month but now it's time to get to work on the golf game once more.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

We'll be back............

Do those mountains make me look fat??? Never mind, it was a rhetorical question.We drove up to this chapel, in Dupont State Park on the NC/SC border as our neighbor here said we had to see this "Pretty Place". That's what it's called at the Visitors Center when we went in to get directions. It's also called Symm's Chapel
and has been there for many many years. It is popular for weddings. The views are extraordinary. We asked another visitor to take our picture with the view in the background. The first had no view and 2nd put us in the dark.

We did the Urban Trail yesterday in Asheville. It meanders about this lovely city, highlighting architecture and history.
Poor picture of a cat on this light pole. There were many scupltures, abstract, historical and parks and monuments. And the weather was amazing.
We wandered about the hills and lakes and artsy towns once again. I stopped by two yarn shops (so far, I have not added to my projects) and in two of the shops, there were men , happily knitting and answering the questions of their customers. One was elderly, wearing a tie dyed shirt with a beard and he knew everything about every type of yarn and pattern. The other guy was younger and grumpy but was doing cables !!

I finished reading "Freedom" by Franzen. A really good read about a disfunctional family. His earlier book, "Corrections" was also a favorite several years ago. I may have to rediscover it. I also finished "Empire of the Summer Moon" about the rise and fall of the Comanche tribe. It was excellent altho a bit text-bookish at times.

Despite wanting to escape the heat of Florida for a few more days, we'll be heading home soon. Even in retirement, there are responsibilities.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where there's smoke......

This was the view from our door yesterday morning. A sobering wake up to be sure.The owners were gone for a few days and someone walking by noticed smoke, disconnected the electric and turned off the gas and called 911. The fire dept was there in quick time but by then, fire had burned thru the wall and smoke was thick.
The owners live in this full-time, meaning most everything they own is in there with no home to go back to. The campground was spellbound by the event and theories abound at the cause. Based on the burn marks, it was thought that it was related to the gas line and the refrigerator which had a recall due to previous fires. Ours is a later model and not included in the recall.

They owners came back in the evening. Between the fire in the kitchen, the overpowering smoke and the flood of water, it looks totaled. But maybe they could still salvage personal items.

It rained the rest of the day and stayed delightfully cool. I even wore a sweatshirt.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Our favorite thing about this trip, so far, is the weather. It's the big reason we escaped from the Florida oppressive climate and headed north with hope. The Blue Ridge Mountains have delivered and we are grateful.

Wandering aimlessly seems to be as good as plan as any and we have been doing a good bit of that.
We happened by the homestead of Carl Sandburg and walked the winding trail to the top for a view of where his wife raised prize goats and he wrote enduring thoughts. We opted not to spend the $15 each for a guided tour of the house.....seemed a bit pricey to me. Only the Asian group seemed to partake.

Later in the day, we drove to Chimney Rock and drove up to the park and saw the views and again, wouldn't pay to walk over 200 ft straight up to see the distant views. I don't like heights and especially ones that just drop off into nowhere. I would want to be paid to stand up there. Lake Lure is in the upper Lt corner and seems to have
been a big draw in the early century. And now there are many summer places around the lake and in the hills. The 2006 HGTV house was built there and they have a picture of it in the Visitors Center. Of course, no one who actually wins can afford the taxes and upkeep so it was sold at a big profit.

I have especially enjoyed wandering the many galleries and well supplied yarn shops around the area. Each little community is well maintained, very artsy with enticing restaurants. Its a lovely area......especially the weather.

And here's one more gratuitous grandkid picture with the shirt his grandmother bought.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

You can smell it in the air...........

After a long day of winding our way north for 520 miles, we have arrived in AUTUMN.We are in Flat Rock, NC, about 30 min from Asheville in a quiet campground. The temperatures are delightful, the views magnificent and we have no plans. We'll meander a bit but mostly, we'll just be happy doing nothing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hello again

Now, where were we when last we chatted......................??
Since getting home, we've been sort of busy, well as busy as one can be without going to work everyday. And one of us, in the pursuit of attaining the near impossible, actually did achieve that goal. And he escaped without spending a dime on drinks since it was an early tee time and the other guys had committments and passed on breakfast.Next, I suppose he'll shoot his age !!!

Meanwhile, the youngest grandkids came down for a few days of sun and swim before school started. They have turned into little fish and we are envious of their endless energy.
Life is good in The Villages.................

And then they went home and started school......this was from Mason's first day at kindergarten.....(yes, I know it's sideways ....I'm basically lazy)
And then, because they worked so hard those first couple of days, they had more days off (Jewish holidays) and flights were not full so everyone flew west and ended up at this fun place.
With the iPhone and sending pictures with a text message , they take us along on their adventures. It's the next best thing.