Sunday, November 18, 2018

End Of Season, 2018

Well, the end of the season for 2018 has arrived ( The "season" ends on 10-31 and starts again on 4-1 the next year) so we winterized the cabin and camper and headed back to Jacksonville for the winter.  While we are in Jax we'll update all our prescriptions, go to the dentist, get eye exams, etc.  You know - old people stuff.

We got a lot of work done this year:
1) Re-plumbed the cabin because the old existing PVC piping was just starting to crack easily and there must have been at least 5-6 small leaks at several joints.
2) Decided to build a deck!  We found ourselves tripping over loose  stepping stones, there were low spots on the ground where water accumulated when it rained, and it was just plain ugly to look at.  We were both very happy with the finished result and are glad we decided to have the deck built.

3) I bought a Blackstone griddle that I love to cook on.  I'm still in a learning phase, but we've had chicken wings, burgers, Philly cheese steaks, hot dogs, etc.on it and everything turned out great. 
Wings on the Blackstone
I cooked a couple of steaks on it and while they were OK, I prefer to cook a steak on a really hot cast iron skillet to get a good sear on the outside.  The griddle just doesn't get hot enough.  So.... NEXT year I'm going to buy myself a decent gas grill with a sear station on it!

Projects for next season is to wrap my plumbing with heat tape in case we want to stay there when it's cold, stain the deck to weather proof it, get a new grill and maybe, just maybe look at replacing  the plastic windows in the cabin with real glass windows.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Halloween at PVC. 10-20-2018

Today was the Halloween gala at PVC and the first one we have been able to attend because we usually head home before October 20th. This year we were determined to stay long enough to actually experience fall AND attend the party.

How it work:
The "gala" is a progressive party at four different campsites or hosts.  Everyone decorates their golf cart and dons a costume and meets at the 1st hosts camp site at 6 pm.  The hosts provide food and drink for everyone, people bring a dish to help with the party and the drinking part is optional. :)  After the 1st hour, we all go to the next host for more food and drink, then the next and finally the 4th where coffee and desserts are served to those left after 3 hours.  LOL.

I had no idea how hard the hosts had to work for this event and was truly impressed.

Kathy and I made it through the 1st three hosts, but had to call it quits after 3 hours.  I'll just blame it on old age.    Here are some pictures...

Half of the carts that showed up.

Steve and Kathy as "Sick and Tired."

Our 1st host, Terri.  Serving up some delicious food! 

Party on the deck at the 1st host.

Party around the fire ring at the 2nd host.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Deck Renovation Sept. 2018

 Time to build a deck to cover hose ugly red concrete paver blocks.  The blocks weren't installed correctly and they have become very wavy on the ground.   And when it rains,there are puddles everywhere.  It's a bad trip hazard that we don't want to deal with.   So... we decided to cover the pavers with a 692 SF wood deck.  Luckily a few neighbors wanted a BUNCH of pavers for fire pits, BBQ stations, etc. and THEY were the ones who hauled away most of the pavers.  It took about two weeks to clear the area.  The first step was to remove the rusted out fire pit,then remove the front steel "Horse" tie-ups.  The horse heads will be saved and reused once the new deck is completed. I tried to save the Wood Hollow grill station ( from Home Depot) that was left here by the sellers, but once I started to take it apart to remove it, it was just TOO rusty.  Besides - I bought myself  a new Blackstone griddle which I love cooking on ( think of a Japanese steak house cooking station) and I had a smaller gas grill up on our deck outside the screen patio.

Before paver removal.

Day 3: Archway, cast iron horses and some concrete steps removed.

Rusty Fire Pit Gone.

Tried to save the fire pit, but it was too rusty to be moved.  Had to take it apart and trash it.
Paver removal in progress :)
The lumber arrives and the work begins.

LOTS of lumber!

The deck framing was built with 2x12's.  Everything is pressure treated lumber.

Day 2 1/2: The front half is done.

Deck is complete.

Closer view

Finished with the entrance. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

More Cabin Renovations...

Yesterday we started to re-do the outdoor space on our lot. The first order of business was to remove  all the 12"x 12" concrete pavers that were located all along the front of the trailer, in front of the arbor, etc.  Just WAY too many pavers for our taste and also they were installed by just setting them on pebble gravel in lieu of packing sand and gravel which would have been the correct way to do it.  The pavers were all uneven and had spaces between them from ground movement. 

Before 8-2018

Work in Progress

Almost done!
The worst thing was having to pick up those concrete block one at  a time and rolling them on a dolly ( 5 at a time) to stack them behind the cabin.  Never know when one will need some concrete blocks later on!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 4th at PVC

July 4th 2018 at PVC.  Our cart all dressed up for the parade around the park this coming Saturday.  LOL.  We had burgers and hot dogs at our neighbors place ( Catherine and Mike) for lunch with  bunch of other folks!

Kathy B. sitting in our cart.

Kathy with her "race horse"in her hands.  Kind of a fun game to play as old farts that we are.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Memorial Day and The Missing Man Table - What It Means

The Missing Man Table
By Annalisa C. Underwood
Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division

If you’ve ever been to a military ball, stepped inside a chow hall, or attended an event at a military veterans association in your local community, you’ve likely noticed the small, round table that is always set but never occupied—the prisoners of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) table.

The tradition of setting a separate table in honor of our prisoners of war and missing comrades has been in place since the end of the Vietnam War. The manner in which this table is decorated is full of special symbols to help us remember our brothers and sisters in arms.

The POW/MIA table is smaller than the others, symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his or her oppressors. This table is separate from the others and can be set for one to four place settings to represent each service participating in the event.

  • The white tablecloth draped over the table represents the purity of their response to our country’s call to arms.
  • The empty chair depicts an unknown face, representing no specific Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, but all who are not here with us.
  • The table itself is round to show that our concern for them is never ending.
  • The Bible represents faith in a higher power and the pledge to our country, founded as one nation under God.
  • The black napkin stands for the emptiness these warriors have left in the hearts of their families and friends. A Purple Heart medal can be pinned to the napkin.
  • The single red rose reminds us of their families and loved ones. The red ribbon represents the love of our country, which inspired them to answer the nation’s call.
  • The yellow candle and its yellow ribbon symbolize the everlasting hope for a joyous reunion with those yet accounted for.
  • The slices of lemon on the bread plate remind us of their bitter fate.
  • The salt upon the bread plate represent the tears of their families.
  • The wine glass, turned upside down, reminds us that our distinguished comrades cannot be with us to drink a toast or join in the festivities of the evening.

The significance of the POW/MIA table is called to attention during the toast of the evening. This is an important part of many military banquets to remind us that the strength of those who fight for our country often times rests in the traditions that are upheld today. As we celebrate the Navy’s birthday this week and you find yourself at one of the many birthday events that will take place around the world, take the time to reflect on why that small, lone table is there and raise a glass for our fallen comrades.

Our lovely host, Beth at the 2018 Memorial Day hamburger cookout at PVC

Just a glimpse of the line of people waiting for their burger or hot dog at PVC Memorial Day Cookout, 2018.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May 2018 - Back At The Cabin...

Another season starts for us at our little getaway this month.

During the winter, the Gazebo we had collapsed due to 5" of snow on top of the canvas topper, so we had a local guy tear the thing down and throw it away.  This is what it looks like now with the gazebo gone.
Cabin area with our gazebo gone.
We decided to get a couple of umbrellas to keep the sun off us on hot days instead of getting another cheap Gazebo.  We'll just wait until this summer to see if an umbrella is sufficient.

We also had to get a new awning for the trailer.  It had holes in it and the springs were broken an it wouldn't roll up anyway.  As the saying goes - it's always something. :)

Hay fever has got Kathy and I down for the last week.  The pollen is REALLY bad this year.  I actually went to the doctor because I was having trouble;e breathing, but in the last week ( today is 5-16-2018) we've had a little rain and that knocks the pollen off the trees so it's a little better today than a couple of days ago.

What else did we do?  Oh yeah.  I hired a plumber to re-plumb the PVC piping under the cabin.  Whoever did it before did a terrible job and there were leaks everywhere.
Old plumbing.  Lot's of leaks and lots of couplings.  Everything redone now.  Looks great!
So the gazebo, cabin plumbing and trailer awning were the big renovations to get ready for the 2018 season.  Now I'm getting ready to pimp out the golf cart!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Getting Used To Our New Lifestyle

We've been in our 2 bedroom apartment for 6 weeks now and are finally getting used to living in a much smaller place.  We have a downstairs unit and like any apartment living there are things you have to get used to or accept as part of being here.  One is having someone tromp heavily in the unit above you...  boom, boom, boom as they walk from room to room and the other is an occasional party by kids that can get a little too loud once in awhile.  That's only happened twice so far though.  The complex is very strict about being quiet after 10 pm.  The college kids that like to party have been warned twice and they next time someone complains, they'll get kicked out.

It's a gated community, so we like the added security!  I can't get over that our rent is as much as our house payment was, BUT there's no maintenance to worry about which saves us about $600 a month.  No more yard work, termite protection plans, bug spraying costs, etc.  If a light bulb burns out, we can call maintenance and they'll come by and replace the light bulb for us.  Sweet!

I sold my 2013 Hyundai Genesis  and leased a 2018 Honda CRV.  We bought the Genesis for road trips between Jacksonville and Tennessee, but because we now have a cabin 3 hours from the grand kids, and our other SUV has over 100K miles on it, I decided to get a new vehicle that got better gas mileage and served our purpose better.  The Honda is sweet little SUV and I enjoy driving it because of all the newer technology, i.e. adaptive cruise control, slow follow cruise control ( great for traffic) and self stopping crash mitigation feature that helps bring the car to a complete stop to avoid rear ending someone.   In 3 years, I can turn it in and get something else if I want.  AND the car I drive will always be under warranty!   I thin we're done buying houses and done buying cars!

April fast approaches and both Kathy and I can't wait to get back to the cabin.  We still have some work to do on the trailer - replace the awning and springs and I need to hire an electrician to go through the cabin and fix some circuits that are causing trouble.  I don't mess around with electricity!