Leaving Doll Mountain

The entrance to Doll Mountain Rd.

The entrance to Doll Mountain Rd.

Today we packed up and headed home.

One of the homes on Doll Mountain Rd.

One of the homes on Doll Mountain Rd.

I wanted to show you some of the homes along Doll Mountain Road.  We are so fortunate that the Army Corps of Engineers owns so much land directly surrounding the lake.  Otherwise those of us who couldn’t buy land there would miss out on the natural splendor that we have reveled in for the past week.

Our trip home seemed long.  It got cloudier and darker as we drove along.  Finally, the inevitable rains came.  I’m not sure if we drove out of them or the sun just decided to come out when we got close to home.

Another home on Doll Mountain Rd.

Another home on Doll Mountain Rd.

Anyway, it was nice not to have to park and unhitch the trailer in the rain.

Entrance to the gated community

Entrance to the gated community

Leaving Doll Mountain

Leaving Doll Mountain

The drive home

The drive home

Darkening weather

Darkening weather

And then the rain came

And then the rain came






Sheba’s Home

Wonder why the paw is lifted?  Maybe she's a pointer, too!  :)

Wonder why the paw is lifted? Maybe she’s a pointer, too! 🙂

We picked Sheba up from the vet’s this morning.  She was one happy puppy to see us!  I snuggled her during the drive home and she snuggled right back! 🙂

Loving being home

Loving being home

The vet had weighed her, and she is at 40.5 pounds.  She’s stayed that weight for over a month, so I’m guessing that’s close to her adult weight.

When we got home, I was covered, and I do mean covered, with a thick thatch of black dog hair!  She had not been brushed the 5 days she was boarded and is WAY overdo!  She also has some mats behind her ears that I’ll try to work out tonight.

Romping around the yard

Romping around the yard

She and Sunny have been playing nonstop all day.  Sheba’s favorite game is to get a toy (or pine cone or stick) in her mouth, get right up close to Sunny and tease him with it, then the chase is on.

So the rest of today’s post will just be photos of her homecoming.

Sheba and Sunny

Sheba and Sunny

Best buddies

Best buddies

Sheba's toys  :)

Sheba’s toys 🙂






…..But I Love My Casita

The coffee shelf that Rob built for me that has turned into an indispensable all-purpose shelf.

Dad used to love his tool shed more than any other place on earth.  It was his favorite place to escape to.  He would often say, “I like my house, but I love my shed!”

I feel the same way about my little trailer.  I like my house, but I LOVE my Casita!  Every time I open the door and walk inside, I feel a powerful sense of home.  Like it’s my place to be.  Like I belong there.

My house is comfortable.  It’s a nice place to be.  But in the 14 years we’ve lived here, it’s never felt like home.

I loved our Aliner until it started falling apart faster than I could fix it.  I also felt a sense of home in it.  No matter where we traveled, when we stopped, popped up the top and walked inside, we were home.

But it’s even more pronounced in the Casita.  Maybe because the quality is light years ahead of the Aliner’s.   Maybe because the happiest times of our marriage have been spent traveling and camping in it.

I named it Egg Harbor… obviously because it’s egg-shaped.  But also because I feel so sheltered and safe in it.

We talk sometimes about going fulltime, but we truly aren’t ready to cut ties to a house, garden, and property surrounded by woods yet.  So I don’t know why the Casita is home and the house isn’t!

I spent a couple of hours in it this afternoon, cleaning, rearranging, repacking…. actually just playing house in it!  It will be so much fun to be on the road again soon!

The Land

Another view of our campsite

Daddy’s land.  I can’t stay here without being transported back to when he lived on and loved this place.

Grape vines

He grew up in the Depression, so had a powerful need to make sure his family would never go hungry.  He planted fruit trees of all kinds, pecan trees, two grape arbors, and always had a vegetable garden.  He also enjoyed canning what his land produced.  For a while he raised a few calves.  He kept goats.  I don’t remember his having chickens except for pets.

Bird’s nest in the grapevines

He always told us that if times got hard, any of us who were willing to work could come live here.  That gave me a deep-seated sense of security.

But times change.  Zoning laws are enforced now.  Several of the fruit trees have gotten diseased and have been cut down. The feeling of having a safety net is gone.  But the incredible sense of peace remains.

He was also a WWII Marine.  101st Marine Division.  Guadalcanal.  He truly loved God, country and freedom more than life.  They don’t make men like him anymore.

Pears. We used to make a wonderful pear cobbler with Dad’s canned pears.

I love my Mom.  She was a teenage bride, and I was born a year after she and Dad were married.  Mom always says that she and I grew up together.  It is kind of strange being close enough in age to your mom to watch her grow up, too.  🙂

We went by Daddy’s grave today.  Then shopping.

She has several beautiful Mother’s Day arrangements — gorgeous flowers.

But the screen door on her back porch needs repair.  She had the screen very neatly duct taped into place.  So instead of buying  more flowers, I bought materials to fix her screen door.  I’ll do that Monday, and that will be my Mother’s Day gift to her.

Pecan tree

There is a pine tree in her front yard that has been killed by pine bark beetles.  The base of the tree is mostly rotten sawdust.  It’s a danger to the house.

I asked Ron today if he and Cecil would cut the tree down.  No response.  So I asked Mom if she would call someone to come cut it down for her.  But tree surgeons are expensive and she is reluctant to spend that much.

Where Dad had his vegetable garden

I would call someone and pay them to cut it down if I could.  But I have other obligations, and can’t really afford it either.

So the tree remains, a ticking time bomb.  It will not last through the coming hurricane season.  All I can do is pray that it falls away from the house instead of onto it.

Goat pen area

Tomorrow Ann is cooking a Mother’s Day/birthday dinner for us.  I’m really looking forward to that!

We were planning to camp somewhere in Central Florida after we leave Mom’s place.  But Ron and I both want to head north instead of south.  So we’ll find a nice COE campground in Georgia and stay there for a few days.

Hope fixed us a wonderful chocolate pudding today.

The old barn

AND she taught Sheba to sit!  She has an incredible way with animals.  Sheba is so puppy squirmy and excitable when I try to teach her.  But she calms down and listens to Hope.  By the end of the day today, she was sitting on command for us, too.

She is such a sweet, adorable, good puppy.  Except for the digging, of course.  🙂

The old goat barn

I’ve posted similar photos and sentiments about this place before.   One advantage to getting older is that you kind of enjoy retelling your stories, and it’s okay.  🙂

Mimosas blooming — a little past their prime

The rotten tree base

The horse pasture on one side of the property

Cattle on the other side

Hope teaching Sheba to SIT!

Tatting on the Wall

This is a bookmark that I made displayed as a picture.

I’ve been tatting flowers and motifs and putting them in picture frames.  Some of them don’t look great.  So far the flower garden bookmark looks the best.

I’ll keep replacing the ones that don’t look so great until I have a nice wall grouping.

The frames aren’t black… they just came out looking that way in the photo.

I’m still not smoking, and feeling better every day.  My chronic cough is gone.  One symptom of quitting that I didn’t expect was depression.  It was pretty severe.  But I’ve apparently turned the corner on that, too, because I feel good this morning.

It is so cold, but it is supposed to warm up this weekend.  So I’ll probably take the tarp off the camper Saturday and start cleaning and packing.  Then probably Tuesday or Wednesday we’ll head home to Florida.

I am so ready to get on the road!

Planning the Trip Home

Next week it looks like it will warm up enough for us to head home to Florida to visit family.  It’s about time!  I have a bad case of cabin fever!

I’m working on a very pretty (simple) spring flower tatted motif that I hope to finish tonight.  I’ll be framing it as part of a wall decor arrangement.  Will post a photo when it’s done.  🙂

The Aliner is Home Again

The Aliner is back home

Back from the shop -- where she belongs!

We got the Aliner back from the shop today!  She is home where she belongs!

I can’t believe how much I miss her when she is not here.  I told Ron that I feel like everything is right with my world now that we have her back.  He replied, “It is a sweet little home.”

That’s how I feel about my camper.  It’s an adorable little home that we can take anywhere whenever the mood strikes us.  It feels

DSI water heater switch

The new water heater switch

like freedom and opportunity to me!

I love where they put the switch for the DSI water heater.  No more standing out in freezing, rainy weather holding the gas button down and waiting for gas to get through the lines so the pilot will light.

That’s a biggie with cold weather coming on.

solar controller

Batteries are in great shape

If I sound deliriously happy, I am!

Unfortunately we will have to wait until after Ron’s doctor appointment Wednesday to head out camping.  But as soon as he is through with his appointment, we will leave.

I suppose it’s also apparent that I am a Gypsy at heart and would love to fulltime.  Maybe some day!

Back to High Falls

The Aliner at High Falls

The Aliner tucked into a private site of the Lake Campground at High Falls.

We stopped by Mom’s for a couple of days after we left Salt Springs, then headed north toward home.

Our stopover point was High Falls State Park.  We loved the Lake Campground when we were here earlier and wanted time to explore the river trails.

The River Campground is huge and accommodates large and small rigs.  The Lake Campground only accommodates rigs up to 25 feet, so you mostly get the campers instead of the

window view

View out of our (very dirty) front window. The peace was pervasive here.

RVers here.  And the campers are our kind of people.

We were shocked when we saw the Falls.   They were a raging torrent when we were here before.  But the weather had been very dry and now they were a fraction of what they had been.  Where there had been white water rapids before, now there was a lot of bare rock exposed.

We took the River Trail to see if there were more interesting sights downstream.  Hiking in temperatures in the 90’s was

Two weeks difference in view of the Falls

The Falls during our visit two weeks ago and this visit.

not a lot of fun, but the scenery made it worthwhile.   Even though a lot of the rock riverbed was exposed, there were still a series of smaller, scenic waterfalls to enjoy.

One nice surprise on our walk was seeing a mother waterbird (heron?) and her two little brown babies.

Lower falls

Lower falls downstream

We also met a very friendly couple, Barbara and Butch, who had bought an ’84 34′ motor home in great condition.  They preferred the Lake Campground to the River Campground, and the office told them if they could get the motorhome into a site, they could stay there.  By backing onto their picnic table/fire ring pad, they made it!  Grandkids joined them for an overnight visit.

There was something so special about our time here.  A timeless sense of peace and well-being enveloped us.  We never wanted to leave.

Heron and babies

Heron (?) and her two little brown babies

But budgets are budgets, and after three nights, we had to pack up and head home.

And now, we are anticipating our October trip to North Carolina.



river rocks

River rocks

End of our walk

This is where we ended our walk and turned around.

river trail

A view from the trail

Ron and Sunny

Ron and Sunny on the River Trail

Back Home Again

Aliner popup folded down

Time to leave

I actually felt a little grief at having to leave today.  I got over it quickly, resigned to reality.  But I honestly do think there must be some Gypsy blood in me.   Probably on Dad’s side.

The road home

The road home

We plan a fairly short  local trip for June due to budget constraints.

In the meantime, I’ll try to take some good photos of edible and interesting plants and mushrooms in our woods to keep the blog alive until our next trip.

Thanks so much for your interest.

Almost home

Almost home

Family Get-together at Mom’s

We left Hillsborough River on Friday, March 26 for a final family get-together at Mom’s with Gail and Mike on Saturday before their move to Texas.  Note the yellow ribbon around the old live oak tree!

Mom has 5 rural acres, so we were pleased to have free camping!  There is also a septic tank where a mobile home site used to be, so we also had our own private dump station!

Joan and Jerry had just arrived home from a trip to Tennessee when Mom called and told them Gail and Mike were coming to her house.  So Joan and Jerry jumped back into the car and headed to Live Oak.  Although Jerry is older than the rest of us, he has more energy than all of us put together!

This was the most wonderful family get-together we had in a long time.  Nothing but joy and love, mixed in with a subtle sadness that our little family was going to be geographically split apart.

And some of us wondered if we’d all be able to get together again.

But mostly it was laughter and just the fun of being together today.

Ron and I were fortunate because we knew that we would see Gail and Mike again next weekend to help with loading the truck.

Joan and Jerry

Joan and Jerry

Ron and Joan

Ron (my husband) and Joan

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