Back at our “Home” Campground

Sunset reflecting off the Spanish moss in our "front yard."

Sunset reflecting off the Spanish moss in our “front yard.”

We spent a wonderful week at Gail’s new house.  And Gail invited everyone over for Christmas… even though she does not have her furniture in yet.  However, we did fine by improving with camp chairs, using the van beds as sofas!

To my delight, Gail's new yard sprouted several earthstars!

To my delight, Gail’s new yard sprouted several earthstars!

And it was the happiest, most relaxed Christmas I can remember.  Mom and her new husband Jean were there.  And between a spiral ham and a smoked turkey, we really feasted!

I’m getting my days mixed up a bit.  Can’t remember if my baby sister and her husband showed up Christmas or the day after along with their granddaughter Mikala.

We are back at Ocean Pond for a week.  After that, we’ll head to O’Leno State Park.  And I’m not sure where we’ll head after that.

I was sitting in the truck while Ron went into Walmart for a few items.  I watched the crows gather on the only two red vehicles in that area of the parking lot.  It struck me odd that they preferred red to all the other colors.

I was sitting in the truck while Ron went into Walmart for a few items. I watched the crows gather on the only two red vehicles in that area of the parking lot. It struck me odd that they preferred red to all the other colors.

I was praying that we could get an electric site here, which is tricky since you can’t make reservations.  But we scored the last one available!

We are happy and content, and after two months camping, we still don’t want to even think of going back home.

I doubt that you can see him, but a biker is standing watching the sunset, totally lost in the splendor.  He was still there when I walked back by him around 15 minutes later.

I doubt that you can see him, but a biker is standing watching the sunset, totally lost in the splendor. He was still there when I walked back by him around 15 minutes later.

Fishermen

Fishermen

Another shot of our beautiful campsite.

Another shot of our beautiful campsite.

 

Casita Christmas

Casita Christmas

Gail gave me these sweet little vases last month when we arrived at Ocean Pond.  I knew when I saw them that they would be the foundation of my little camper’s Christmas decorations.

The little wreaths and baubles are earrings.

Then we got lights and a small hanging Christmas tree for Ron’s end of the trailer so it would look Christmassy, too.

Casita Christmas2

And Gail and Mike are finally in their new house.  It’s exactly what they wanted — a small retirement home easy to heat, cool and clean.

Gails House3

Mike will have a good sized shop outside, and Gail is going to have a carport and screen porch added.  She had planned to have a contractor take out one of the interior walls to give her a large living room.  But now that she is in it, she really likes the little house just the way it is.

She has plans to completely redo the yard, though.

The previous owner left the house immaculate.  Gail remarked how nice it is to not have to clean first before moving in.

So we are camping in their driveway, and they are camping in the house — until the guys get the rest of their things moved.

It feels so good to have this house hunting saga done!  🙂

Camping Plans

aliner at gails

Driveway camping in the Aliner at Gail’s house in December 2010.

We were trying to be conservative with our travel budget this year due to the new roof and other unexpected expenses.

However, the government shutdown with its loss of affordable camping for us gave us a priority check.  Since another shutdown looms February 7, we decided we’d better get out and enjoy camping while we can.

So we are planning to visit my sister Gail in East Texas for Christmas.  It’s been three years since we’ve been there.  The photo shows us driveway camping at their house in December 2010.  Since the Casita is the same length as the Aliner Expedition’s frame was (17′) we know we will fit.

Of course, Gail didn’t have her van back then, so we might have to do some creative parking!

We will take our time getting there, camping a couple of days here and there along the way.

At the Stephen Foster State Park Festival of Lights in December 2011.

At the Stephen Foster State Park Festival of Lights in December 2011.

We will probably head to North Florida after we leave Texas.  We would like to meet up with Peggy for a couple of days at Stephen Foster State Park.

The last time we were at Stephen Foster was right before Christmas in December 2011  to enjoy their Festival of Lights.

It is turning cold here.  Friday night it is supposed to get down to 28 degrees.  Since I’m a fair weather camper, our upcoming trips will probably be pretty cold for me.

But the alternative is staying home, and I just can’t bear to do that!

I am going to have the Casita furnace repaired so we won’t have to rely on the little one pound propane canisters if we are without hookups.  I’ve got a guy coming out to look at the furnace Wednesday.  Then, as soon as he can order the parts and get it fixed, we want to head out to meet up with Cozygirl for a couple days camping in Alabama in early November.

I notice that WordPress is inserting ads now.  While I love their free blog service, I, very selfishly, don’t want their ads on mine!  So I am thinking of moving my blog to my own domain.  It’s just a case of gearing up to do the switch.

Adorable Wood Teardrop Camper

Beautiful wood teardrop camper

Beautiful wood teardrop camper

(This post is from yesterday.  I couldn’t get a strong enough signal to upload it last night.)

We finally got a warm, sunny, beautiful day!

The teardrop's kitchen.  They removed the cooktop for extra counter space and now use a camp stove on the picnic table.

The teardrop’s kitchen. They removed the cooktop for extra counter space and now use a camp stove on the picnic table.

After Ron had gone out and bought breakfast for us this morning, we learned that there had been a free pancake breakfast in the campground.  We really need to pay more attention to their recreation schedule.  We will if we ever stay here again.

Then this afternoon, they had a parade.  Three trucks pulled Christmas floats past every site in the park, blaring horns, playing Christmas carols, throwing candy, and shouting “Merry Christmas!”  I had my camera with me, but the light was exactly wrong and I knew photos wouldn’t come out.  So I just relaxed and enjoyed watching!

The refrigerator

The refrigerator

Today was one of my ultra low energy days, so I didn’t feel like making a finger food platter for the cantata this evening.  Instead, Ron went to the little Salt Springs restaurant and ordered pizza — plus a hand packed black walnut ice cream cone for me.  They invited him to stay for a movie.  I think it was National Lampoon’s Christmas.  Several others were going to stay.  But Ron wanted to get back to me and the doggies.

The front interior.  Each person has clothes storage space behind curtains.

The front interior. Each person has clothes storage space behind curtains.

I had been afraid we wouldn’t have a campfire tonight because the wood was very wet.  But Ron gathered up enough kindling that I got a hot enough fire going to boil the steam out of the wood, and ended up having a very nice fire.  So we sat around the fire and ate ice cream and pizza tonight.

The high point of our day was when a beautiful wood teardrop trailer pulled in across the lane from us late this afternoon.  I was so intrigued that I figured it was worth being a pest to get a look at it.  The owners were very gracious.  Showed me (and another couple) all of its features and were happy to let me take photos of it.

Rear interior.  More storage and a small TV.  Plus there is a door on both sides.

Rear interior. More storage and a small TV. Plus there is a door on both sides.

They previously had a big rig, but only got 6 miles per gallon.  So they sold the big rig last year and thought their camping days were over.  Then they got a chance to buy the little teardrop — so now they are camping again.

We will be leaving Salt Springs tomorrow and stopping by Mom’s a couple of days on the way home.  Ron’s temporary drivers license is expiring soon, and since they didn’t forward the permanent license, he will have to go back home and get it reissued.

Our campfire with the teardrop camper in the background

Our campfire with the teardrop camper in the background

 

A Little Christmas

Our tiny Christmas display

I very seriously debated putting up a tree this year.

There’s just Ron and I.  There’s no other family around.  It’s doubtful we’ll have holiday company.

But then I decided that we really need the cheerful lights, the tangible celebration of faith, and reminders of Christmases past.  So I had Ron pick up a tiny live tree this evening to decorate.

As I went through boxes of decorations, each piece brought back memories of where I got it and what was going on in my life at the time.  Some memories were sweet.  Some bittersweet.  But the effect was to envelop me in the sweet peace and contentment that is Christmas.

I put out a few other of my favorite decorations, but kept them to a minimum this year.

Tonight I have beautiful music playing and am in a very special place.

My LEDs for the Casita arrived today.  I installed them earlier this evening and am very pleased with the effect.  They are warm white, and while not as warm as the incandescents, they still give a pleasing, natural light.  What was really fun was watching the battery monitor register the drop in current they drew compared to the original bulbs.

So the Casita got a Christmas present, too!  🙂

Tatting Christmas Cards

A tatted Christmas card

I’ve been working on various tatted motifs and trim that would look Christmassy done in red, green and white.

This evening I went to Hobby Lobby looking for shiny little sequins, bells, beads and ribbons to make the cards look more festive.  But when I got home and started arranging the motifs and edging on cards, I realized that, at least to my eyes, the plain tatting is more beautiful.  Adding shiny things to it seems to detract from rather than enhance it.

Pictured is one motif and edging that I especially like.  I’ve done others that I’m not as pleased with.  So I will probably do more of this design, then do some Christmas tree patterns.

It was 100 degrees again today.  Summer isn’t giving up easily.  Making Christmas cards in an air conditioned house helps put me in a delicious crisp weather frame of mind!  🙂

 

Last Tatted Tote Finished

The last tote I plan to do this year

I just finished the last of the totes I planned to do for Christmas.  I do hope the recipients appreciate them.  Since there is no danger of them checking my blog, it’s safe to post pictures of them.  🙂

We are gearing up for our trip to Florida in around 10 days.  I’ll take the tatting supplies and work on smaller projects while we are on the road.

I had considered splitting off the tatting posts and putting them in a new blog dedicated solely to tatting.  But then I decided not to.  The blog is a running commentary on my days–camping and non-camping, and I like the idea of having it all in one place.

Denim Tatted Tote Bag

Denim tote bag decorated with tatting

Here’s another tote bag I finished for Christmas.  The tatted edging at the top is from a 1915 pattern that was reprinted in one of the Dover pattern books.

I am still having major problems tensioning my rings and chains evenly, and the work is not very good when viewed separately.  But it is the best I can do at this stage, and I do think the tote bag turned out cute.

I am now working on a canvas tote with brown and variegated spice colored thread.  I did one motif last night, and it turned out too uneven to use.  So I will start again tonight.

If tatting was easy, everyone would do it, so I keep telling myself to be patient with my mistakes.  🙂

Needlework & Shorter Days

tatting practice

Tatted practice pieces

Although our days are still in the 90’s and high 80’s, the nights are getting cooler, and the days are noticeably shorter.

So I am working on learning tatting in the evenings.   I am getting the hang of it, but have a lot to learn about tensioning my stitches.  It is fun to play with — to see these amazing patterns that are made of nothing but half hitch knots develop!

I bought some tiny little girls purses and tote bags for adults to decorate with tatting for Christmas gifts.  It sure is a lot more fun to make gifts than to go out and try to find something appropriate to buy.  I do hope that the recipients will like them.

little girl's denim purse

A little girl's denim purse that will be festooned with tatted motifs and lace.

A start on an afghan to match Ron's

My afghan-in-the-making

I am also working on an afghan for myself to match one that I made for Ron last year.  They are twin-bed sized.  And they are great in the Aliner for putting over a blanket when we camp in cold weather.  So when I get this finished, our little camper beds will match again!

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