This past weekend was a rainy, crappy day, what we wanted to was sit in the camper and just watch the day go by. But what ended up happening was we decided to get ready for this weekend’s garage sale. we spent hours in sorting stuff between garage sale, giveaway, and trash and pricing everything. How does one accumulate so much stuff?!?It was a very satisfactory day and we felt accomplished and productive. So hopefully, everything goes this weekend and what doesn’t will mostly get donated.
That’s all I got for this week. Have a great week and I’ll see y’all next week!
We had a camping trip planned for Labor Day weekend. However, we are so very close to getting the shop completed we did the adult thing and cancelled it. Weekend’s are dwindling down and we are running out of time.
While I was sad to doing the adulting thing we made plans to make a trip to Atlanta to surprise our youngest, who had just celebrated her 26 birthday.
Atlanta is only 4 hours from the cabin so we figured we would just deliver her and Christian’s (her boyfriend, whose birthday is a couple days before Shannon’s) birthday presents.
We left the cabin at 7:30 and got up to Atlanta by 12:15. (of course we stopped few times). The first thing we noticed when getting out of the car it wasn’t disgustingly hot and that Georgia isn’t taking Covid as joke as opposed to feeling in North Florida, where they apparently must think it’s a “hoax”. Reader boards on the highway read to keep your distance, keep groups small on the holiday weekend. Restaurant’s won’t serve you unless you are wearing a mask and most don’t have dine in, outside service. We also went to REI who are keeping the crowds down to 25% and are counting how many people are inside. It was impressive and it is apparently working.
When we got to Shan’s house we had to sneak in behind another car. We were coming up with ideas on how to surprise her. We were standing outside the truck and as I walked around to the other side of the truck, at that exact moment Shan decided to check her mail, when she saw us she had a confused look on her face. Then she was happy to realize it was really us. We took her to lunch where we saw Christian and then to REI.
We had a great quick trip and seeing them was the highlight of the weekend. We got back to the cabin at around 9. It was a perfect day and perfect way to spend weekend number 36.
The rest of the weekend consisted on working on the shop. We have one more weekend scheduled for the end of September to finish the shop. Meanwhile, next weekend we are finishing the yard. Then we will be working on remodeling the inside of the house. Garage sale coming up soon… everything must go.
See you next week!!! Maybe there will be some fun to be had…
I lost my job over a month ago, applied for unemployment and have the head hunters looking for me, but while I have this time off I figured that I might as well do things that aren’t easy to accomplish when working 40 hours per week, Indeed works and I got a job and start in a couple of weeks. I have emptied out one of the bedrooms, sold some stuff on market place and have been adding to the get rid of pile almost on a daily basis. While not working it is easier for us to leave to head to the property to continue doing the needed work up there. We have now completed the addition of the bathroom and have started the shop, which at the time of this writing is almost done. On the home front besides downsizing, we have started cleaning out the backyard and have found the shed and the chicken coop, which we have decided to leave up and one of the bedrooms is ready to be painted and the wallpaper in the living room is gone and also awaits painting.
While I have had this down time, I took advantage of it by reopening my Esty shop, where I am selling prints of my photos and cards. Check it out at the link below, I will be adding new items often.
I have also decided to become an Amazon Affiliate. If you buy from Amazon, please consider using the link below. It will not cost you any money but we will get a small amount of money from each purchase.
Look for some future posts with some links of some of our favorite gear.
A couple of weeks ago I was asked the question of “What would my day look like if I could do anything”? I think my response was I’d go for a morning hike, I would come back do a little yoga and have breakfast and site see if we were someplace to site see, work maybe a couple hours on my virtual job and take Eris the Low Rider Camping Hound on another hike or two, then head back to the camper, which will not be in St. Pete, and edit my photos from my beautiful morning hikes.
This weekend while up at the cabin we had some visitors. They were a bunch of turkey’s. It was fun and funny to watch them. They obviously belong to someone because they were very friendly. Didn’t freak at all at the noise of the compressor, nail gun, us or even the dog. Eris wouldn’t hurt them, I was afraid of what the males would do to her. She did after all have a pet chicken or two that she played with.
Since the 52 Weekends project is on hold because life has been well repetitive and boring (like I am sure most of you) we are making some forward progress. To recap, lost job, reopened Etsy shop, opened an affiliate account with Amazon, making progress on the house, shop and downsizing and dreaming of my “perfect day” and finally, I got a job at a large law office, that starts on August 17th. Until next time….and be on the look out for a review or two…..
When the reservation system for the Florida State Parks finally reopened we made reservations, just to go anywhere, someplace close, but not our backyard. We don’t like to check in at dark and since I got off at 5:00 Lake Manatee it was, close to our house and there is a lake to swim in. A swimming hole was a necessity as it is Florida in June. We invited Steve and Rosie to get a site as well. They are always fun to camp with.
I got home from work and we headed south. It literally took us maybe 50 minutes. As we entered the park we just went directly to the campsite, as there was no ranger at the ranger station. We drove to our site and got set up. Saw Steve and Rosie and headed over there to do dinner.
I got up in the morning and headed to check out the park. It is beautiful. Honestly, I put this park in my top 5 Florida State Parks. We are not sure how we missed this park and were thrilled we found it. The lake is about .5 miles away from the campground. Closer if you are on the other loop. It was a steamy, yet dry weekend. It didn’t stop us in having fun though. We brought our bikes and if it would have been cooler would have used them more. However, I rode mine to the ranger station and I must say that was much easier then getting in the car and driving down. We also rode down to the beach and went for a swim. The water was very refreshing.
The picnic/beach area is in a forest of pine trees. A good portion of the park has saw palmettos as well. It seemed to me most of the campsites are shady.
This state park is 556 acre park and has 3 miles of shoreline. The park has camping, canoeing, (they weren’t renting yet because of Covid 19), swimming (nice little beach area), fishing, boating, hiking, a playground and picnic area. There is a boat ramp, launching dock if you bring your own boat and a ton of parking.
It was the most pleasant weekend, we didn’t head out of the park at all, but next time we might check out the winery and brewery down the road. Also, we will plan our next trip when it is cooler and we are looking forward into hiking/biking the trails and maybe the canoe rentals will be reopened.
The address for this great park is 20007 State Road 64, Bradenton, Florida.
I highly recommend checking this park out if you are in the area.
This will more than likely be short and sweet as not much is happening.
Saturday we did some camper organization and some weight distribution and some more boxing stuff up.
Covid cases are up and we aren’t really interested in hanging out, or should I say in. For Father’s Day, Mike, my best friend and the best Dad to our children, wanted to go to the beach, so the beach we went, the beach is not my fav place, hard to believe a Floridian who doesn’t like the beach except for a nice sunrise or sunset, but it was Father’s Day so I couldn’t say no. We met Nancy, Mark and Nya there as well. The beach of choice was Ft. Desoto. We got out there early enough but there was still a line to get in. Nancy said it was an hour for them to get in and they were only 15 minutes behind us. I am guessing head count is what the jam is all about. We went to the side of the beach that is usually less crowded and as expected it was, after all we are trying to do our part. After we started feeling a little crispy we left and it was time for lunch. We brought lunch with us, so Mike and I went to the shaded picnic area found a table and ate lunch. We attempted to walk the little nature trail but this is mid June in Florida the bugs chased us off. I got some great pics and played around with some different lenses.
After we were done at the beach we headed home, got cleaned up and headed to Mom and Dad’s for dinner. We brought Sonny’s with us and had a nice evening. We were able to Zoom with Annette which thrilled the parental’s.
So all in all it was a nice sort of productive and fun weekend.
We loaded up the box trailer with the first load of stuff we are keeping and headed to the cabin. Our goal was to get the bathroom completed, storage shelves in place and then possibly build some of the shop and continue on working on clearing some of Nick’s property. Mike continued on the bathroom while Nick and I worked on the property. By the time we were done working on the property (because we were hot, tired and sore but mostly hot) Mike was done with the bathroom so they unloaded the trailer and while they continued working on some outside stuff I started going through the boxes I packed months ago. Mostly pictures that are stored on the shelves and albums, which are stored in the main cabin and a lot of stamping supplies. So much stuff, that I am not sure if I will ever use the stamping stuff to justify keeping it. Maybe after a year if I don’t use it I will get rid of it.
Downsizing is somewhat problematic, after all I have lived in my house nearly 33 years and have accumulated that much crap as well. And really do we need, totally guessing here, 50+ pint glasses that we have collected from the different breweries? I think not, so while we don’t want to get rid of them all, we also have regular glasses at the cabin. So the plan is to bring up the pint glasses, after all they remind us of fun places, and change them out with the boring regular glasses. But we are only replacing and not taking them all up, the rest maybe we will give away as parting gifts. I also have this owl cookie jar, it is an antique for sure, while I want to keep the cookie jar, I am 100% sure I don’t need to keep the contents of it. We have begun calling it the DNA cookie jar. The owl sits on this shelf above the refrigerator and when the kids were little and would lose their teeth we (or should I say the tooth fairy) would put the teeth in there. Also what could be found in there is undeveloped film. I have no idea from what era they are from but they are gone. So needless to say downsizing is difficult. This is just one example. But I am taking the approach does this particular item bring me joy, if the answer is no, it’s just taking up space.
Another huge, super huge, downsizing issue for me is, besides making cards (stamping, etc.), my biggest hobby is photography. I love, love, love taking photos, always have (true story one week in Yellowstone =~1459 pictures-ones I had to have all of them developed because there wasn’t digital), that hasn’t changed, except for the fact I can now choose what I want to print, which is somewhat a difficult situation for me. Not to mention, printing and sharing is what I like to do. Not sure what I am going to do with all the photos but yet I still print. I am now giving some away as gifts (sorry for all my family who is running out of wall space but…) and will be reopening my Etsy store to hopefully sell some as well and figured this is something I can do while on the road. Be on the look out for my Etsy Store announcement.
This is just my issues with stuff, I am getting rid of a ton and besides the pictures and homemade things (like quilts and needlecraft, paintings and things) I don’t really have much of an attachment to anything else. Mike on the other hand doesn’t have the same attachment issues (except with his tools of course and we are building him a shop for them). But yet he still has a lot of stuff. So do we plan on a garage sale (uggggg) or Facebook Market Place or just dump the stuff? This is the questions we continue asking ourselves.
Now while we are working on the cabin and getting it ready we need to work on our current home to get it ready to sell. We have inside work and outside work. While we just repainted the outside last year we don’t need to do that however, the inside needs work. Mike says he can knock it out in a short time and we will plan on moving into the camper by the middle of September so that we can get it done. I have started doing somethings so far, like starting taking the wallpaper off the wall, emptied out one bedroom and organized the bike room.
Anyway, while up at the cabin this past weekend we accomplished a lot and are moving right along, including Mike and Nick doing the framing of the floor for the shop. Plus we even took sometime and headed down and walked the US 90 Bridge, took a ride on a country road, saw some great boondocking spots, not sure if I would bring my camper down there but if I had a van or wanted to tent camp I would be so on it.
It seems like we always start building in the summer, like always. I might mention that summers are not the funnest time to be in Florida. Since the property is in the middle of north Florida (Florga as we like to call it) there are no sea breezes and we found that if it is hot in St. Pete it is hotter at the property. So needless to say it was hot and omg buggy up there. We will have to go up often like at least every other weekend so that we can accomplish what we want to get done by September and in the meantime continue to work on our house in St. Pete and any other modification to the camper that still may need to be done (not much now).
Can you hear the excitement in my voice? Yes we did it, we finally were able to venture out for the weekend and camp beyond our backyard. We had these reservations for about 6 months or so and weren’t sure if they were going to actually happen or be cancelled but THEY DID HAPPEN!!!! It was even the usual crowd of Nancy, Mark, Nya, Nick, Mike, Eris (the lowrider camping hound) and I, we all headed to Silver Springs State Park. I did a campground review about this park previously and I will say it is still a favorite of ours. It was so nice to have a slight bit of normalcy, even if it was a little different. Of course the big deal this weekend was the questionable weather as there was a tropical storm in the Gulf and we were on the rain side of it, but we didn’t let that stop us. So rain it did, but the wind wasn’t that bad in the middle of the state and we were able to keep the awning open a good portion of the weekend and it also kept the bugs away (mostly). While the little museum was closed (which we highly recommend) and the gift shop on the attraction side of the park, the glass bottom boat ride and the kayak/canoe rentals were open.
We were wondering how checking in would be to the campground. It was pretty much contactless. They stood back from the car and handed us our hang tag. They had ice and firewood (which was not needed-it’s June in Florida-not to mention the rain flooded out the firepits, sort of looked like mini swimming pools) on a donation, contactless operation.
We did walk around on the other side at the gardens and then we went back to the campsite, had lunch, hung out and worked our way back to the kayak/canoe rentals but when we got there apparently there was lightening happening an hour away so they couldn’t rent anymore out, so we decided to do the glass bottom boat tour. Which we were lucky enough to score the last tour due to the incoming weather. We were wondering how “safe” the boat ride was, it was very safe. We sat back from the boat captain and each party was separated by 6 feet. There was hand sanitizer available before and after entering the boat. The bathrooms were spotless. When we got back to the campsite the wind was picking up slightly so we started to put everything away as best we could and pulled the awning in and what was left out got hosed. We hung out and went to dinner. After dinner, Nancy, Mark and Nya headed home as everything was soaked and they knew they were not going to miss anything since it called for nonstop rain for the duration of the weekend.
This was the first time since a couple of upgrades we did to the camper that we towed our camper anywhere, we weren’t sure how our distribution was going to be. The Corona (all upgrades were the wall, with the TV and the fireplace and the addition of the bike rack with the bikes. We were a little concerned. While bringing the bikes was a waste of time and just gave us more stuff to clean when we got home the rack did well. I followed Mike back from his shop to the house and the bikes didn’t move at all. Nice and sturdy. I’m curious on how it will do on the Mississippi and Louisiana roads but we shall see. I am hopeful. The towing did great. But before we left for St. Pete, with all the rain, we forgot to fill our fresh tank so there was a little porpoising (very little) so we stopped at an Escapee’s park and filled up our water and the porpoising stopped.
As we were driving down the country roads heading back to St. Pete., I was happily realizing that soon we won’t have to make this trip, except to see family and friends, even with the crappy weather I was that thought that kept me smiling. We passed farms and you pick fields and was thinking of how nice it will be to be able to visit some of these places and not be in any hurry to get home to empty the camper, and get ready for work again on Monday. Soon that is what I kept and keep telling myself.
I must also say it was nice to be away from the the news even if it was short lived.
Memorial Day Weekend found us at home entertaining, for the first time in forever, while some things were the same, some were different. Shan and Christian came down for a long weekend. Mike and I moved into the camper for the few days they were here. I must say, we sleep so well in the camper. Shan and I both became doTerra Wellness Advocates. We both love essential oils so it was just a matter of time before we actually got more involved. So her and I spent a good amount of time with Nancy getting to knows the ins and outs. On Sunday of the weekend we had everyone over, there were almost as many pups as there were humans. It was fun and great to see everyone. There were no hugs but at least we got to hang out together.
Our future plans do not include us taking Gilligan (our cat) with us. I would be afraid he would get out in some remote location and we would lose him. We already knew that going in, Annette was going to take him to Maine, however, our friends really want a pet, so we “lent” Gilly to them this past weekend. Gilly now has a new home. They love him (of course there is not much not to love about this little guy) and I know Nya will be a great cat mom. Sorry Annette but I’m happy he is staying a Floridian and I know you were just taking him to help me out, so you are off the hook.
We went to the cabin where Mike is about done with the bathroom. Nick and I busted our backs on his property and because so we can now drive back there with the truck and trailer. Which will make building the shop sooooo much easier. We have a gate between the properties and we are all secure. We cleaned up an area big enough for our camper or any other camper to park back there. We will keep chiseling away at it, little by little so that we can even make more room. There are trees to move and stumps to grind, we will get it done little by little.
We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant in town on Saturday night. They are open with 50% capacity. This was the first restaurant we actually sat inside to eat since March 15. We were debating about eating in or out, but we choose in as every other table was missing so we felt relatively safe. We came home and walked out to Nick’s property and saw one of the most beautiful sunrises.
Next time up we are bringing things that we are storing there and going to start the shop. Our hopes is to have that complete by Labor Day. Time is ticking sometimes slowly but sometimes quickly as we get ready to move on to our next chapter in our life.
Next weekend we are going camping, finally, we have had reservations since November and thankfully they are not cancelled. I did a campground review about Silver Springs previously, so I am curious as to what will be different between this weekend’s (Covid) trip from that trip (pre-Covid). I will do an updated review next week. We bought a bike rack and if Mike can get it installed on the camper before the weekend I will do a review on that as well.
The latest in the news is George Floyd, which was so sad that one human can treat another that way and murder them for the world to see and I understand why the non-white community would be angry. Hell I am white, vanilla white, and I was pretty pissed and couldn’t believe it. A human whoever, whatever race, nationality, religion, etc., should not treat another human that way. JUST BE KIND is what I say, the Golden Rule-wonder if some people have ever heard of that, treat others as to how you want to be treated. I think these were taught to us or should have been taught to us as young children. Where are people’s morals. Anyway, we were up at our cabin this weekend and as we were driving thru Tampa traffic stopped. We were wondering what was going on. After getting off the interstate and then back on miles up the road and seeing all the police presence Mike googled what was going on. There were riots happening in Tampa. I understand the right to protest, however, I do not understand what burning gas stations and looting the mall is going to do. Violence promotes violence. The peaceful protester’s message is now lost because all that can be seen is innocent people, and their businesses are being destroyed. I once worked for an attorney who said don’t trust the cops, which I don’t for the most part, however, what did the Tampa, Atlanta, NYPD, Chicago, and other police departments across the nation and even Portland Maine’s PD have to do with the unfortunate and senseless death of George Floyd? While I am not a big fan of the police, I do expect them to defend themselves against people who are attempting to harm them or others that they are supposed to serve and protect. This shouldn’t be a majority/minority issue, this should be a human issue. We as humans need to work together not against each other and solve these issues. There will always be bad eggs out there, like that piece of crap cop, that murdered George Floyd, but people need to not stoop to his ignorance and be bigger then him and find a solution and violence is not the answer.
Okay I am off my soap box, sorry about the rant but I would love for everyone to remember the Golden Rule and JUST BE NICE. One of the big joys of us being at the cabin, we didn’t know anything about the riots, except that they were happening in Atlanta because Shannon told us, other than that nothing else. Who says ignorance isn’t bliss? I believe sometimes it is exactly that.
Have a great week, hopefully next week will be a better report, and I will update ya’ll with a campground review of a Florida State Park, during the times of Covid.
I am not sure what week of my Weekend to Remember Series this is, as they are all blurring together and there is nothing new to talk about, which I am guessing is the new norm. We are all on the perpetual hamster wheel of what we are calling life. We are finally not under a stay at home order and things are starting to open up. This whole time (besides not being able to hug the people I love-which I still miss) I thought I was missing being able to go to a restaurant, be waited on and drink a draft beer from a real glass and be able to leave the mess behind, however, now that the restaurants are open, I am not in that much of a hurry, I am enjoying the space and used to just taking food home and eating it there. It surprised me. What I am grateful for, besides the obvious that all of my family and friends are healthy, is that I have a job and really never lost the job because of Covid. I did get a new job during this time, which was weird in itself, to go to a job interview via Zoom and it all worked out.
Another thing I am grateful for with things opening up besides the ability to get a haircut is that our favorite brewery, 3 Daughters is now open for food and drink. We were so missing the ability to just go there and hang out. A week before they officially opened with food and seats to sit on, we did our monthly 3 miles from 3D, (a monthly run) we got food from Chipotle, beer from 3D before they closed for the day (they were able to sell beer to go), went for a walk, came back and sat on the ground and ate our food in the empty parking lot. It was fun to do something that we used to take for granted. I am super happy to report that they are now open, seats are spaced, and delicious food is being served and hard water, beer and ciders are being poured. We couldn’t get there fast enough. We did another 3 miles from 3D that first Wednesday they were reopened, while it was different it felt like going home.
State parks have begun opening, in this Phase 1 of the reopening of the country, for day use only at first and then on May 20, for camping. We went for a great day hike on Mother’s Day, which was amazing to us, the smell of the fresh air, air not surrounded by concrete. In “normal” years Florida has a short hiking season, where the temps are low or at least lower and the bugs are the least and the last few months were those months and we weren’t able to hike, but as soon as they opened up we were there. We started off on beautiful morning, not too hot yet, but as we returned to the car it was hot. We (my Mom, Mike, Jes, Chris, the four legged grands, Mark, Nancy, Nya and myself) did a nearly 5 mile hike, came back to a picnic lunch. The trails had people on it, all of us just trying to redirect our life on the hamster wheel. I must say it was nice to be in the woods, get some fresh air and enjoy each other’s company. I got to hug my Mommy too.
Later that day we went to my inlaws, we stopped at Sonny’s grabbed some curbside pick up and brought dinner, watched a little YouTube (Traveling Robert’s Yellowstone, to be exact) and had a nice visit. We were even able to FaceTime Annette so she could wish Mom a happy Mother’s Day as well and be seen.
Some weekends we have been camping in our backyard since getting on this hamster wheel. We have been adding more stuff to the camper and getting ready for us to be able to hit the road. Some parts of being on the perpetual hamster wheels have been ok, as we are able to concentrate on doing things to the house, camper and cabin that need to get done before we hit the road, which the date is coming up quick.
The normal hamster wheel looks something like this, we work all week, yoga Monday’s (oh how I miss yoga Monday’s), one Wednesday night a month, 3 miles from 3D, (we sort of made our own) one Friday am a month, dinner rides from our favorite bikes shops (Trek of St. Pete and ABC Bikes) (which they obviously had to be cancelled), oh how I miss those peeps, and for the last few years we have been camping at least one weekend a month somewhere not in our backyard. So this staying home thing has enabled us to go to the cabin (we are self isolated up there, naturally), get some stuff done, to enable us to make it our future home base, work on the camper for things we want to get done and work on the house (which besides packing up some stuff not much has been done, yet). So staying at home has been somewhat productive. But I must say it has been surreal.
I went downtown a couple of weeks ago during the week just to get some photos of how things looked, during lunch time, during the week. It was very strange. It looked like we were expecting a hurricane, everything closed up, no tables out and pretty empty. The few of us that were out were just walking or running for exercise but other than that it was empty. Plenty of parking out there but of course nothing to do.
This past weekend it was a different story. Saturday night Jes, Chris, Nick, the pups, Mike and I went to the dog beach at Ft. Desoto. While I am no longer a huge beach person, I do love the sunsets and that night it did not disappoint. It was crowded but again people kept their distance. Sunday we headed downtown which was equally as packed but people seemed to be keeping their distances there as well. We had breakfast at the Wooden Rooster, enjoying the outside tables as we are not ready to sit inside a restaurant just yet and besides the fresh air did us some good.
Some more positive outcomes with being on the hamster wheel are changes that I have been making to assist us when we hit the road, I have upped my Zooming ability, which will assist me to be able to go remote, working with someone on a project that I can take anywhere (but can’t get started until all of this is over) I have decided to reopen my Etsy shop, and I have decided to become an Independent Wellness Advocate with doTerra. More about those changes to come. For now just trying to figure it all out and with all the extra time of not going out all the time having fun I am able to work on different projects that I have always wanted to get to.
The thing I find most interesting about all of this is the fact that the whole nation/world are all on the same hamster wheel, just trying to make it spin in the same direction. We can speak to someone on the other side of the nation and ask them what’s going on and the answers are going to be about the same as what we are going through. It just proves that it is a small world and we are one in this world and fight.
Soon I will be able to get back to campground reviews and fun things on the weekends but for now it is what it is…. and until next time….