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.
A Christmas visit ...

Christmas day Joanie fixed a country ham and mashed potatoes that we took to Candle's house where we enjoyed Christmas afternoon dinner.  The day after Christmas, we took some goodies out to Emerald Isle where our nephews had rented a beach cottage for the holidays.  Angie made an Italian Christmas dinner of stuffed shells and meatballs and sausage.  Wow!

 Nephew David, Joanie, nephew CJ and myself.
 Annie, David, Joanie, Eva (David's and CJ's mother) and CJ.
We spent much of the afternoon watching a shrimp trawler steam up and down the beach in front of us and a large pod of dolphins that feasted on the bounty fore and aft of the trawler.



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

'tis winter now ...

The sky prefers gray.  The trees have divested of cover and clothing and reach to the gray sky with naked branches.  Dampness permeates the winds and causes the trees to groan up high.  My toes tell me of their discomfort, my knees begin to ache with each step and I soon crave to be someplace warm and dry.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A winter wedding and making ready for Christmas ...

The arctic blast of cold air that attacked the heart of the country has given us a couple of nights and yesterday we attended a wedding that was beautifully decorated and themed for Christmas.  The bridesmaids were decked out in white furry stoles.  The reception hall was decorated with Christmas trees and Christmas lights. The weather cooperated with blustery cold winds.

After the ceremony the wedding party gathers for photos.
Grace and Christopher Blizzard.
Our grand children, Deaglan and Emory were ring bearer and flower girl. 

Our daughter in law Katie and our son Chris were in the wedding party.



There was also a Celtic theme in the wedding including pipers who escorted the newly weds from the church. 
- - -
We put up our little tree and decorated it.  All the little details of tree decorations still fill me with the wonder that is Christmas. 


Monday, December 5, 2016

Busy week ...

Everyone knows how hectic this time of year is - Christmas decorations to go up, Christmas cards to get out, Christmas gifts to get sent, along with all the regular routine.  We did  (or are in the process of doing) that.  We also did some extra stuff that we normally do not do - I joined the church choir, Joanie and I went to the movies and we cooked and served dinner at the local soup kitchen.

We went to see the movie Fantastic Beasts.  We almost never go to a new picture in the first week of its release, we had the theater almost all to our selves.  ...

... Only one other couple viewed it with us.  That was weird.

Joanie is getting ready to serve dinner at the local shelter. RCS is a group of churches who provide volunteers to help keep the homeless shelter open and the residents fed.  It is a good and worthwhile thing that they do and we are glad to help out once in a while.

I made my infamous chili served with sour cream and shredded cheese and Fritos and Joanie made fresh salad and we served cake for desert. I have to admit that it was, with out any doubt, the very best chili I have ever made.  I stuck to my usual recipe but added some ground pork to the ground beef this time and made enough to feed 20+ people.  I had many compliments from the diners so after we had served everyone, I had a small bowl myself and had to agree.  

There is a Face Book group called Full-Time RVers of which I am a member.   It is a very large group and among them are a lot of newbies looking for help and advice (which I can do on most subjects) and many wannabes.  Quite often a newbie or wannabe will post a comment about being unnerved by the process of getting rid of everything and selling their houses.  Often they will complain about having anxiety attacks and being frightened and second guessing their decision so I posted the above and as of this morning had 343 "likes" - the most I have ever had.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

After Thanksgiving ...

Joanie asked to have the turkey carcass and immediately put it on the stove to make turkey soup.  Joanie makes darn good turkey soup. 

For breakfast Joanie used left over collard greens instead of spinach to make a country omelet with bacon and Swiss cheese.
Saturday after Thanksgiving we had another feast - an oyster roast at Candle's.

The story goes that they got the oysters from Texas.  I believe it!  I have never seen oysters this big!
Sittin' round the camp fire...

... lippin' and sippin' ...

...roasting some marshmallows ...

... fending off the chilled night air.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving ...

Before Thanksgiving I had to take Hope (our Jeep toad) into the shop because of a noise in the front end.  We have just completed a 1,700 mile trip to Florida and back.  Hope is now on her third set of front brakes and only has 30,000 miles.  That includes her second set of rotors and third set of front calipers.  This Jeep has been rough on brakes and tires.  This last episode had rather severe damage to the right inside caliper after eating up the brake pad there.  I'm going to take her in after a few months to check on wear.  I may have to have the brake pistons replaced and fluid replaced.

Hope up on a lift having brakes worked on.
Thanksgiving morning dawned brightly and beautifully.

Having Thanksgiving dinner with a large group of loving people makes everything taste so much better.
 We were graciously entertained at the home of Al and Janis Moffat who live not far from here.  Al proudly displayed his recent enrollment into a new political group as seen on his t-shirt. There were no Thanksgiving political arguments at the dinner table. People in the South are so much more gracious. 
This diner proved that too much turkey will indeed make you lose consciousness.  
The eastern sky at sunset on Thanksgiving Day on the Neuse River.


A little girl succumbs to the temptation of playing with the bird bath.