Saturday, December 19, 2009

Shelby Snow Photos

The early morning sun glistening on the icy trees.

Almost noon. There's ice on that Smiley face!!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I've been waiting--and watching!! It started snowing at 2:20 PM. This storm was predicted... and we may have six inches before Sunday. The entire 469 mile long Blue Ridge Parkway has been shut down. Over twelve inches of snow is anticipated in the mountains near Asheville.

4 o'clock: There is a lot of snow on the grass. Snow is falling steadily.


Postscript, Saturday, 12/19/09, 8:30 AM: BIG disappointment; small snow!! The big storm has moved further North to Virginia, Washington DC, and the Northeastern states. Only about an inch of snow on the ground at my apartment. The sidewalk was a sheet of ice when I went out to take a few pictures. Locations in the mountains (less than eighty miles away) have as much as eighteen inches of snow.


Postscript, Saturday, 12/19/09, 12:30 PM: I'm going to post the pictures in a separate blog (I think). This snow is "mild" compared to many locations---but unique to a lot of people living in "The South."


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Public Broadcasting System programming

Last night, a beautiful program on the Public Broadcasting System: Andrea Bocelli, My Christmas. It was spectacular!! One song (The Lord's Prayer) was particularly meaningful: Andrea with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. My travels have taken me to Salt Lake City, Utah, for genealogical research. I spent several nights sleeping in my van, in a parking lot near Temple Square. I could see the magnificent lighting on the Temple. I sat in the gallery of the Tabernacle during a Sunday morning radio-TV broadcast. While Bocelli was singing... I could re-experience sitting in the Tabernacle.

A couple of hours later, the sixth episode of Ken Burns
The National Parks, America's Best Idea. How privileged we are to have the Parks available to us!! I've visited many of the Parks but learned of some I didn't know existed. It was dejavu when the pictures, and narrative, were focused on the surge of tourists to Yellowstone National Park in 1948. That year, my parents took the family on a month-long road trip that included Yellowstone, Glacier, Jackson Hole, Bryce, Zion, and everything in between Oregon and Yellowstone. I remember floating on the Great Salt Lake. Because the exceptionally high salt content makes the water incredibly buoyant, the favorite snapshot had a family member "sitting" in the Lake reading a newspaper.

I've been on that gravel road, at Denali, in Alaska. Last night I heard the story of the fight to stop the construction of paved roads in that National Park.

The National Parks, America's Best Idea, I am re-energized to visit more of our Parks with my wonderful little T@B trailer. You too??


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Counting my blessings !!

Despite bitter cold in the Carolina's, our weather is mild compared to most of the U.S. If you haven't been buried in two feet of snow, you've seen the images on TV. I'm grateful for a warm comfortable apartment (and sufficient retirement funds to keep a roof over my head)!!!!!

On Tuesday, December 8th, my 2006 KIA was at the dealership for routine maintenance. I used the several hours (in the waiting room) to hand write a holiday newsletter. Later that day, I typed the details into my computer. Christmas music ("The 3 Tenors," and "The Mormon Tabernacle Choir") filled the air from my decade-old "boom box" CD player. (I remember how old it is because it survived the terrible van-travel trailer accident in May 2000. The Ford van, and Kit travel trailer, was totally destroyed!! It's a miracle I wasn't killed!! Counting my blessings!!)

From my overabundance of hoarded personal possessions, I pulled many boxes of new Christmas cards. I cleared the kitchen table, opened the address book and began the process. I've been writing a personal message on each card--specific to our relationship. I'll mail upwards to one hundred cards.

The outdoor temperature was bearable (for an old lady) at 3 o'clock Friday afternoon (Dec. 11th). I drove to Shelby Post Office for Madonna and Child stamps, and Office Max for copies of the newsletter. (Click that link and you can read my message to family and friends.)

I shopped for a few groceries, at Aldi's, before returning home. (I rarely go to Aldi's [too few organic items] but it was in the same area with Office Max.)

I'm a "wimp" when it comes to cold, wintry weather!! I have a reservation at
American Heritage RV Park, in Williamsburg, Virginia, for New Year's Eve festivities--a Rally with other T@B owners. I hope, and pray, the weather warms up at the end of the month because I have planned to spend a week in that area.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snow Globe

Sahalie Snow Globe

New! The "Off the Beaten Path" snow globe! Inspired by our Holiday 2009 photo shoot, this exclusive features our vintage Ranchero and trailer...decorated Sahalie style!

A unique take on the holiday snow globe. Use it to decorate your mantle, coffee table or side table. Keep it out all winter long – the style works as a seasonal decoration, too.

79708 Sahalie Snow Globe
Enjoy free shipping on this product by ordering today.

Price $45.00
In Stock

See it on the web.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

"The weather outside is frightful...."

An unusual weather pattern dumped snow on Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, and other Southern States. Rain in Shelby. I stayed in my apartment all day working on an unusual project.

I did not spend much money on my Little Guy Teardrop trailer. I outfitted it with used items. Not so with "Mercedes"--my T@B Teardrop trailer. I've wanted the inside to look as cute as the outside!! My spending hasn't been limited to towels, smoke- carbon monoxide detector, small Sony DVD player, etc. I purchased four new tires for my KIA--larger size tires so I "leveled" the two vehicles. Also--for appearance sake--an expensive car wash and wax. (I still had Georgia mud on, and under, the car.) New windshield wipers.... Appointment at the KIA dealership for double-check so my towing vehicle is running at optimum performance.

Back to my comment in the first paragraph about "working on an unusual project." My laptop computer is now three years old. I'm still using the Windows XP operating system!! I'd like a new laptop ***BUT*** I'm spending money on Mercedes and the KIA, RV resorts and T@B rallies. So I bought the best Internet Security software I could find (my other had just expired) and I bought "Fix-It Utilities 10" because they advertise "Keep your PC running like new!". ~~ It took the entire day (Friday) to install... and run all the "fixes." Indeed, I see a comparison: The computer--like the KIA with new tires--runs better!!

So, to paraphrase an old song: "The weather outside is frightful, but here by the computer is so delightful!!" Make that: "... but Mercedes, KIA & computer are so delightful!!" You get the message??

FYI: Snow in Shelby, North Carolina, in January 2009.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Frappr web site

It's a cold, rainy day in North Carolina. The time is twelve noon and I'm still in my warm pajamas and robe. I've been browsing T@B web sites. I found -- previously unknown to me. They have an interactive map showing the location of T@B owners. ~~ I tried to include the map, and info, but was unsuccessful. I'll keep trying. Meanwhile, click on this link to see the map.

Postscript, 1/17/2010: Sorry, Frappr disappeared into cyberspace effective 1/1/2010. Well, it almost disappeared. For $24.99 I could have continued to display for one year.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Evaluating the trip

I spent many hours yesterday--and all day today--preparing the blog with details of my recent trip. It's 5:55 PM as I publish this.

I needed this trip to evaluate items I should add--and things to remove because they are taking up too much space.

It was an expensive trip compared to my customary travels. Spending the night in an RV Park is a luxury I reserve for Rallies.

~~~~~~~~~~ $_88.00 for camping (*)
~~~~~~~~~~ $108.00 at Peco Campers (one time expense)
~~~~~~~~~~ $128.00 at Earth Fare (a rare expense)
~~~~~~~~~~ $168.00 for gas
~~~~~~~~~~ _______
~~~~~~~~~~ $492.00 plus some minor cash purchases at Wal-Mart, Cici's, Panera & gift shops

(*) I was checking Stone Mountain Park for a possible future Rally site.

On the positive side: I saw magnificent scenery!! We can't put a price tag on a spectacular mountain gorge with beautiful waterfalls, or an awesome sunset. Furthermore, making new friends is priceless!!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Second Outing, Six Days, 895 Miles

"Mercedes" (my T@B) is safely parked in her space. The porta-potty has been emptied; the floor has been swept; items have been transferred into the apartment. It was a delightful 80 degrees, from 11:30-12:30, as I worked on the project. However, it was a very cold 39 degrees at 7:30 this morning. ~~ It was a foggy 55 degrees when I arrived home at 7:38 PM last night.

Returning... I pulled in to the apartment complex and parked on the grass. When my neighbors left for work, when the parking lot was empty, I maneuvered Mercedes to her space.

Earlier today I saved a number of time slots, as a draft, so I can return and develop the details regarding the recent trip. I was gone for six days, five hours--and covered 895 miles. Prior to this trip, the Eastern states suffered the after-effects from Hurricane Ida. We had over six inches of rain here in Shelby, NC. Furthermore, strong winds took a toll on trees, and limbs. Miraculously, Friday November 13th dawned bright and sunny!! The wind stopped about noon and the weather commentators promised nice weather for the weekend. At 2 PM I quickly hitched the KIA & T@B and traveled south on I-85 through South Carolina to a Wal-Mart north of Atlanta, Georgia. I do not like to drive after dark so only 177 miles that day.

Several owners of T@B trailers had planned to camp at Cloudland Canyon State Park in a remote corner of Georgia (near Chattanooga, Tennessee). Being uncertain of the weather, I did not make a reservation. Consequently, the Park was full when I arrived. I drove around and found the other T@BBers. It was almost dark and I was preparing to leave... when a Ranger came to inform me that they found a space for me. Only 166 miles driven that day.

I was directed a one of the original sites prepared by the CCC in the late 1930s. It is so small that it is mainly used for a tent site--but I was delighted that I could stay in the Park. Because the other T@BBers were in another location, I unhitched so I could drive over and enjoy fellowship around a fire circle. I got stuck in the mud!! See my old Army folding shovel next to the fender (in the shade)? Neighboring campers offered to help me but lamented that they did not have a shovel. I quickly got my shovel from under one of the bench seats. (Recently I decided to travel with it "just in case" I might need it. I've hauled that shovel around for years!! This was the first time it was used.) ~~ I didn't miss the fellowship around the fire; one of the T@BBers came to get me.

Cloudland Canyon State Park is extremely beautiful!! I didn't take any pictures of the gorge, and falls, but suggest you look at the pictures from a T@B trailer owner that visited the Park about a month prior. See Mike McFarland's photos and blog.

Everywhere we travel, owners of a T@B are approached by interested individuals. I was busy showing Mercedes to other campers. From dawn to dark, I had visitors. ~~ Sadly, by midday Sunday, the campground was almost empty. There were only four "weekenders" left on Monday morning and two of us pulled out at the same time. One... was ready to leave.

On Sunday afternoon I moved from the small campsite to a larger, nicer site.

Before 9 o'clock, on Monday morning, it was 36 degrees when I went to the restroom for a shower. To my surprise, the restroom was heated and delightfully warm. It was 51 degrees at 9:35 when I unhooked the T@B electric cord and turned off the propane. I departed at 9:45.

White Knuckle Ride

Monday morning, November 16th--preparing to leave Cloudland Canyon State Park--I did not have stop lights and turn signals on the T@B. It was what I call "a white knuckle" ride all the way to the outskirts of Atlanta. So, so scary to navigate the many lane changes, etc., etc.!!!!!! RVers (at Cloudland) told me of an RV Sales and Service near Stone Mountain Park. And Stone Mountain (on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia) was my intended next stop. I arrived safely at Peco Campers at 3:00 PM and had to make an appointment for the next day. (Departed Peco at 4:05.)

I had been relying on maps, and driving directions, printed from MapQuest. Conservatively, I drove ten or twelve miles further than I needed while en route to
Stone Mountain Park. (Should have been four miles.) And those ten or twelve miles involved about an hour in late-afternoon traffic. ~~ It was $10. just to drive through the entrance of the Park!! The overnight camping fee was $33.

The woman at the Registration Desk assigned me to site #390. When I arrived... I was the only camper in a remote area. Dozens of empty sites; no RV--or restroom--in sight!! The only positive thing I can say about my campsite: For a very few minutes I enjoyed a beautiful sunset. I read the literature that had been given to me and learned that changing sites was prohibited without checking with Registration. After dark, I didn't want the drive back to the store to request a change of campsites. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was pitch black all around me that night. Incidentally, there wasn't a handle on the water faucet. I had to obtain a container of water from an adjacent site.

I left the campsite shortly before 7:30 Tuesday morning November 17th. It was a damp gray dawn, 59 degrees, but I hoped for sunshine. I was anxious to drive around Stone Mountain Park, and hopefully see the carving, before my 9:30 appointment at Peco Campers. I stopped at a restroom to wash and brush.

By nature, I'm not a complainer but I vented on the form
Stone Mountain Campground provided for "comments." The same woman was at the store as I was leaving and I was confident she would tear up the form. So I gave my written--and verbal--complaint to Camp Host "Jim." We talked and he assured me the manager would see the form. He told me he drove through the campground the night before and wondered why someone was camped in such a remote location. He didn't stop to inquire thinking the camper asked to be by them self. Jim profusely apologized and asked me to believe this was an exceptional experience.

Ahead of schedule, in the parking lot of Peco Campers, I prepared tea and oatmeal. Then the very knowledgeable Mr. Beal tackled the challenge of wiring the stop lights and turn signals from German to American. I browsed the RV store for needed items. For one thing, I needed another entry step stool. I foolishly drove off (from a gas station) leaving the other stool. I had shown the inside of the T@B to an interested woman.

Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta Georgia

Everyone was so friendly, and helpful, at Peco Campers. As I left, at 11:30, their sign along I-285 said 61 degrees. (One of those signs that flash the time and temperature, and relevant retailer information.) I had been told that there were good places to eat "one exit beyond Stone Mountain Park." Indeed a large variety of stores--including a Wal-Mart (for overnight parking?!). I choose to try Cici Pizza (for the first time) and was pleasantly surprised. A very nice all-you-can-eat salad bar, soup, and pizza. Even several pizza without meat toppings!! All for $4.33. Then back to Stone Mountain Park because I couldn't spend $43. and not even see the giant carving on the mountain. Fortunately, the campsite pass from the previous night provided entry so I didn't have to pay another $10. However, considering the amount of money I spent at Peco Campers, I didn't pay $9. to visit the museum. Nor did I take the tram to the top of the mountain. I walked around and enjoyed as much as I could for free.

The Park is getting ready for snow!!

Another "white knuckle ride" trying to find my way out of the Atlanta area. I didn't want to backtrack to I-285 to get to I-85 so I tried state routes. Got lost!! Many extra miles and horrible traffic!! I was utterly exhausted when I arrived at a Wal-Mart in Commerce, Georgia. I was in bed at 7:30 PM and slept comfortably for almost eleven hours. Only 105 miles traveled on Tuesday, November 17th.

FYI: I was told over eight million residents in and around Atlanta. I think they were all driving their cars--and they were traveling in the same direction I was!! Honestly, I'm not a fan of amusement park rides. My "white knuckle ride" was Atlanta--and the day before!!