Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A VISIT ...

Joanie and I got a call from some old friends with whom we have kept in contact.  They asked if they could stop by for a visit.  "Sure, heck yeah!", we said. 

When an RVer comes to visit, remember, they bring their house with them.

John (aka "Boots") and Joan Malin have been great friends for several years now.  They are probably more responsible than anyone else for us being fulltime RVers. We have attended rallies together and had lunch when our journeys brought us close together.  Back in the days when we all lived in stick and brick houses, we met at church and were part of a group that regularly dined together on Saturday nights, calling ourselves the Saturday Night Regulars. 

We quickly called a good friend, Chris Anderson, who is an excellent electrician, and he quickly installed an extra 50 amp outlet here at Camp Alexander so the Malins would not have to run their generator.

 The Alexander RV Park.
 
Joan Malin, my Joanie and "Boots".

Do ya' wonder why they call him "Boots"?
 
 
And some spring color ...
 

There are colors in nature that show themselves only for a moment and you have to be awake and outside to experience them.  I find early morning to be the most fascinating time of day to experience this.
Gentle, cool blues and purples get abruptly pushed aside by blazing oranges and reds.
 

 

Joanie's picnic table spring flowers.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Some things I've seen ...

On occasion I am moved to grab my camera and try to record things that I have found interesting.  In the last couple of weeks we have had a "super moon", a controlled  burn in a forest and some birds feeding.

The so-called super moon from a few weeks ago.  Moisture in the atmosphere gave the ordinarily gray light some color.

The super moon was powerful enough to burn through a weak cloud layer.
 
The Forestry Department performed a "controlled burn" in The Croatan National Forest and for a couple of days the smoke changed the color of the sky around us.  One afternoon it had an interesting and eerie effect when it mixed with clouds.

 Pieces of ash fell from the sky
 
The smoke climbed into the clouds and added a uniquely yellow color to the gray clouds.
 
 

A dozen or so of these birds thought they would try these seeds.  Two or three at a time would swoop down from the tall pines near by, grab a seed in its beak and fly back up into the pine to digest it.  This went on for over an hour.

A rather large flock of birds had breakfast in some trees in the back of our lot.  The black seeds bunch like grapes that have been hanging all winter and I have never seen any other critter take an interest in them until today. If you can identify the species of this bird, let me know.
 
 One morning not long ago, I lead the dogs out for their morning constitutional and was greeted by a  fiery sky to the east.  I was reminded of the adage "Red sky at morning, sailor take warning."  But the weather was nice all day. 
 
 
 
And something we did ...
 
We received a phone call the last week of February from our mail forwarder.  The news we heard was not good.  The business was to close on the last day of March.  They were apologetic and said our fee for the remainder of the year would be refunded.  We will now have to contact every entity we do business with, all our friends and organizations and notify them of a change of our mailing address.  We have done this twice in the last 3 years and it is a PIA. We decided rather than to find another mail forwarder, we would ask a friend when we are traveling to pick up our mail from a regular mail box.  Our friend was gracious to do this for us.  This is difficult news for our ability to travel unimpeded and, even after our traveling days are over, I will always look at that mailbox I put up as an anchor! 😠
 
 
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The View from Choir Practice ...


I was a bit early for choir practice the other night and was sitting in the car quietly contemplating the evening and looked up to see the cross on top of St. Paul Church here in New Bern. It is in the quiet times when you are listening that God reveals things to you even if it is just to enjoy a pleasant moment in His Creation.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A trip to Atlantic ...

Eastern North Carolina is rural, vastly rural.  Farms, forest, wetlands and old fishing villages make up most of the itinerary of this large portion of North Carolina with some tourist spots and military ranges. Some of the vast wetlands make it seem almost desolate.

We live south east of New Bern and consider ourselves coastal mostly because just outside our window is the Neuse River which is a good half mile wide at this point just before it empties into Core Sound and sea birds are a common sight. But you have to drive another hour and half east to reach land's end. At land's end you can get on a ferry that will take you out across the huge Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke on the Outer Banks.

The last village before the ferry terminal is Atlantic, North Carolina.  Atlantic, unlike all the villages you go through to get here, has a town plan of streets.  There was a settlement here since colonial times. I doubt you will find any colonial remnants here since this village is constantly pounded by hurricanes and ocean storms and is always having to be rebuilt.  The stands of tall loblolly and southern yellow pine are the only local building materials.  Atlantic was a fishing village when fish were more plentiful.  Now only vestiges of the fishing business are left and they are decaying quickly.  There is a modest marina close by for sport fisherman and perhaps, someday Atlantic will develop into a summer vacation destination like Emerald Isle did. 

We stopped down at the end of a street where once commercial fishing boats off loaded their catch and I took a few pictures.  There is a charm about Atlantic, quiet and stoic. I feel that that charm will bring us back some day soon.



 







 
 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Enduring winter ...

The Feast of the Epiphany came and we took down the Christmas decorations.  We also braved the arctic clipper and hope that that was worst Winter could do to us.  We had only a dusting of snow but for three days were below freezing.  The water froze at the spigot connection in the water filter.  Joanie bundled up came out to help me remove the filter, brought her trusty hair dryer gun. Pistol packin' mama applied it to the spigot for about 4 minutes and water was once again flowing to Phaeth.

Joanie has to do the dreaded prep for the dreaded colonoscopy this week. My turn will come in May.  (We try to do these things together but the last time we both went to the doctor, he saw that it was time for Joanie to have the procedure but he missed that on me because I kept up a banter of complaints that took his mind of it.  But they do a review of all the patients records at the first of the year and they found their miss on me.  I got a phone call last week saying I was scheduled in May.  Dang it! Got caught!). Oh, well, this too shall pass.




We hope that this is the absolute worst Winter serve up this year.  Just a dusting ...


...and a little ice in the ditch.

 
 

We have a heated drinking water hose and heated stand pipe but the water filter was not,  It was insulated but 15 degrees was too much for the puny insulation I had on it.  After unfreezing the spigot I covered it in layers of old shirts and a black t-shirt warmed it in the sun.  I put the bucket over it after the sun set to hold in some of the warmth.

I also noticed a slow drip from the fresh water tank drain valve.  It stopped when the temps came back to normal.

My birthday came and went with Joanie fixing me my favorite seafood dish - shrimp creole.  Mmmmm. 
 

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's resolutions ...

I have run across a few full-timers' blogs who do a lot of great photography and have made the New Year's resolution to go out and find a great photo every day.  One did for a couple months but then life went and got in the way. I made a resolution a few years ago that I would no longer make any New Year's resolutions but I always thought the "one good photo a day" would be a neat resolution.

So I took my camera with me when I took the dogs out New Year's Day. 


 
 
 
 


I think, if I could get up the gumption, that I would like to do a photo documentary of mail boxes.  Mail boxes are quickly disappearing now that almost all communication is electronic.  We don't own a mail box.  A few in our neighborhood have already ceased their function.  Nature is quick to reclaim man made things. 




 
 




But the rains came this morning.  I was not about to take my camera outside in the pouring rain today so I aimed it out the window.




I wonder if I will remember to get something tomorrow.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Water heater maintenance ...

Because we live in our motor home full time, we have to do regular maintenance on items just like you would if you lived in a stick and brick house.  I try to take care of our water heater a little more frequently because it is only a 10 gallon size.  Yesterday the day was warm and perfect for performing this task.

The job requires shutting off electricity to the water heater, emptying the tank, inspecting and replacing the sacrificial anode, if necessary, and washing out the "sand" that precipitates out of the water heating process before reinstalling the anode and refilling the tank.

I turned off power to the water heater then removed the sacrificial anode which drained the tank.

After draining the tank I rinsed it out with a wand attached to a garden hose.

While there is still some metal left on the old anode rod (at top), I purchased a new one because I did not want to risk it getting used up before I could replace it.  This photo demonstrates the result of the galvanic process that takes place inside the water heater.  The anode is made from a metal alloy with a more "active" voltage (more negative electrochemical potential) than the metal of the structure it is protecting (the cathode).  The anode is usually made from magnesium, aluminum and or zinc.
 

Job done.