Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 24th-31st

We're getting settled into our life in Corydon. It's a great little community! We took a driving tour on all the main roads to the outskirts of town. We now have a working knowledge of where most of the businesses are located. One evening we ventured over to a mall in Louisville. We want to go back to Louisville during the day and do a thorough exploration of the riverfront and downtown. It's only 25 miles from Corydon taking the most direct route. We had a nice potluck gathering at Susan's parent's home. It was nice seeing all the folks we haven't seen for at least 6 years. Monday I did a walking tour of downtown Corydon. I went through most of the shops, but will want to go again to see the ones I missed. There are alot of quality stores. Next comes the restaurants! There is a map showing the location of historic buildings in the downtown area. I'll want to check them out, too. While downtown, I chatted with one of the employees at the visitor center about how nice a dog park Rice Island would make, as well as, a location by the YMCA. She said her grandson is looking for an eagle scout project and might be interested in pursuing the idea. She was going to mention the idea to people who might be interested in making such a project happen. She seemed really psyched. I Emailed her the layout of the Mango, Florida dog park and and recommended the website It would be really cool, if the next time we came to Corydon there was a dog park. I've located a wonderful massage therapist and enjoyed her services. I'm scheduled for a repeat Tuesday. The RV guides mentioned starting a list of health care providers one has gone to in different areas, so they'll be readily accessible when passing through again. Massage and Body Works of Corydon is a keeper. We now have a Verizon 5 gig internet card!!! No more waiting to stay in touch! We recommend Verizon as we initially went with ATT, and quickly found out it wasn't as fast. That's it for happenings here. Marilyn

Friday, March 26, 2010

Corydon, Indiana

We pulled into Corydon, Indiana Tuesday the 23rd. It is the historic first capital of Indiana, and home for 30 years to my younger brother, Jim. His wife, Susan, is from this area, and has lots of family nearby. It's a beautiful area. We are booked for a month at the Grand Trails RV Park. It is located within walking distance of downtown Corydon. Like many small towns in Indiana, it has a courthouse green in the center of the downtown with shops around the courthouse square. It is very quaint. I'm looking forward to going through the shops. Another great feature of the RV park is that it is by a greenbelt with a stream and paved walkway. I'm told the paved path goes a long way, and connects to a large park. Just up the road from our campside is an island in the stream that used to be a baseball field. It has been abandoned since the new baseball fields were made. The island, connected by a bridge to the pathway, is the perfect place for Prin and Sugar to run. It's like having our own dog park and is sooooo close by! We couldn't ask for anything better! The RV park rate for the month is $399 with metered electricity. We're told that the highest electric bill has been $70. We have hook-ups for water, electricity, and sewer, but no internet. Luckily the library is closeby and has internet services available.
We are told that the RV park will be getting internet and cable t.v. soon. We'll take some pictures of the area, as we get out exploring. Marilyn

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Red Top Mountain State Park, GA

Camping at Red Top Mountain State Park in Georgia has been a big change from the city. We have enjoyed the woods and lake. Far from the noise of the city, I thought we may have trouble getting to sleep. Not to worry; we've slept well! The park has been mostly empty except for a few RVs. The next town over is called Cartersville. Lots of traffic for a two dog town. We wondered if the town was hit by a tornado, as most of the buildings and streets seemed polished and not very old. We heard it was a boom town due to textile manufacturing. We visited a town about 30 miles out called Rome. Rome is home to Berry College. There are tours through the founders estate and gardens. We had a nice day there. We are on our way to southern Indiana now and will post more as we get set up again. Roy

Big Cat Rescue, Tampa, FL

While in Tampa, Roy and I visited Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary for exotic cats.
It was very educational!

The sanctuary habitats aren't as extensive as a well funded zoo, but the animals appear healthy and content. I found the cages to be interesting in that within each animal's habitat there would be additional fencing that created rooms. It seemed like it would provide more stimulation for the animal than just walking the perimeter of one round cage. It was explained to us that the circular structures can withstand trees falling on them during storms better than straight fences. I believe they said the fences were designed to withstand a category 4 hurricane.

This holding pen is open to the main habitat. The cat's water is kept there so it is comfortable entering the pen. I assume the cat may be kept in the smaller pen during the cleaning of the larger area.

The tiger's den is made of cinder blocks and steel mesh covered with cement. Here's another example of the intertwining cages.

You can see the tiger in his cement pond in the background. It is within the cage, but has a nice view of the large lake outside the cage.

Here is the tiger pond minus the tiger.

This was a sad display. The brown wire cage to the right contains the legally "humane" floor space to contain two tigers. The exact measurements weren't stated, but it basically would give them just enough room to lay down and walk around in a tight circle. The cage to the left is an example of what would be provided for a person based on average human weight to area ratio comparable to the tiger's cage. The wire squares are 4" so I estimated the human's cage to be 3 feet x 5 1/2 feet. Imagine living in that limited space for the 20 year lifespan of a tiger!

The conclusion I came to after the tour was that while the sanctuary provides a better life for the animals they are able to rescue, it doesn't solve the ongoing problem. The biggest change must come about through political advocacy. Big Cat Rescue is active in changing the laws that effect the lives of exotic cats. Go to their website on our list of links to see how you can help!

Here is a link to a cute a UTube video Big Cat Rescue made of different exotic cats sounds: Big Cat Rescue Video
Full screen the video, turn up the volume, and let it download fully before playing!
You'll love it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rainy Days

On rainy days the campground gets a serene feeling. Looking at the quiet community of small abodes makes me think of an African village. People are inside their small huts going about their lives. Today we cooked breakfast, showered, read, played with the cat, had phone conversations, played on the computer, cleaned house, did laundry, shopped for groceries, and took the dogs to the dog park. We've had a fine dinner, wine, and made some plans for the next few days. We will play some cards and watch a movie in the evening. It's been a full day of doing all the enjoyable things one would do in a conventional home. A folded blanket placed outside the bedroom door has created a nice out of the way space for the dogs to go on our inside days. Sugar has claimed a space under the table. With these small adjustments our space is once again adequate without dogs being in the bedroom. Life is good!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's New

Well, what's new? It doesn't seem like much, as we just seem to be settling into life here in our little part of Tampa. We've decided on our favorite grocery store, Wal-Mart, laundromat, and a few restaurants. We're getting increasingly comfortable knowing what streets go where, and what we'll see on them.

We're scoping out places with nice sidewalks for riding our bikes. We haven't been yet, as I've just recovered from my first round of exercising. That took a week of a wrecked back! Yesterday and today I did a few more exercises. I think this time I'll be smarter by doing less and waiting to recover before hurting myself some more.

We went to the community of Brandon Sunday to tour the shopping centers. Brandon seems to be the shopping Mecca of the area. It has an enclosed super mall and strip malls to all sides of it. We spent four hours walking and survived it!

We tried a restaurant called simply enough, Latin Cuisine. The inside was laid out like any mom and pop place with tables covered with plastic table cloths. There was a steamer table where the servers stood ready to fill your plate. The meal was instant like a fast food place, but had the taste and heartiness of a great home cooked meal. I had roasted pork, yellow rice, and black beans. Roy had yellow rice with a mix of chicken and vegetables over it. Both had interesting mild seasonings that were delicious. It's one of those meals that doesn't hit you as spectacular right off, but the flavor haunts you calling you to return for more. The variety of meals seemed to be built around red, black, pinto, and garbanzo beans, as well as, yellow rice. The meats were spiced pork, beef, and chicken. If you get a chance, give Latin food a try. As their motto says: "Not just another Spanish restaurant".

Yesterday driving back to the trailer park, we spotted two wild piglets foraging by the road! They didn't look any different than domestic pigs from what I could see. They were so cute, I just wanted to pick one up to hug. We didn't see mama, but I imagine she was close by. I was surprised seeing them so close to a neighborhood. I'm told by a local that the woods around here are full of them. That gives me a new perspective on why so many of the rural homes, apartment complexes, and neighborhoods are fenced. It's also another reason for not walking the dogs in the woods!

Wild pigs may not be the bigger issue, though. This week I was walking Sugar around the trailer park when two Rottweiller mixes came charging off their owners lot at us. I pulled Sugar up close, as she isn't opposed to giving her all in a fight and I wasn't wanting her to commence the battle. In this case I'm sure she would have been on the losing end with me caught in the middle. One dog in particular seemed to be looking for it's chance to dart in for a nip at her. I did a lot of screeching and dancing from side to side between Sugar and the two dogs. When the lead dog appeared like he was going to make his move, I reached down to swoop Sugar up. Under duress she freaked and bit my arm, but not too badly. Thank goodness the owners came running and caught the dogs before the fight began in earnest! I have to say I've never been so scared. I shook all the way back to the trailer, and couldn't speak upon setting down. I took Sugar for another walk today, and know I won't look at walking where there are dogs in yards the same ever again. A dog attack is an experience I don't want to repeat! It appears the folks with the above mentioned dogs have moved on. When I get nerve enough to walk past their lot again I'll see!

We're relaxing into activities at home. It's interesting that we can feel our bodies trying to drop into a totally relaxed state, but are somehow having trouble letting go. It's almost like a person has to figure out how to just do what they want. I commented to Roy that it's almost like being in paradise, but without the scenery! It should be an interesting feeling when we achieve this new way of being.

That about sums up life here. Our month stay in this park is completed Thursday. We have our reasons for staying and reasons to move one. For all its issues, the park is a study in life. We may stick around a bit more on a week to week basis. For the good and bad of it, it somehow has a feel of home. Marilyn

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Earthy Living

We're finding that living in our simple 24' camper has a very earthy feel to it. When the weather is warm the windows, top hatches, and door are open to the fresh air of the outdoors. When it's raining we hear its patter on the low roof and see it on the surrounding windows. We feel the wind rock the camper gently or as if in a hurricane. We hear the sounds of the outdoors whether it be birds, dogs, or people. There is a sense of connectedness to all that is around us. The canopy opens the camper to what feels to be an earthen floor room. Meals eaten indoors have that added zest that one gets when picnicking. I've never enjoyed kitchen chores, but find with a smaller kitchen, less to dirty, and the slower paced lifestyle that it can be pleasant. To dry wet towels and washcloths, Roy hung a clothesline across the front of the canopy. The act of hanging the laundry, and watching it flap in the breeze has a great down home feeling. It even gives me thoughts of wanting to do some wash by hand just to get to hang it on the line! Even with the outdoorsy earthy feel, we have all the comforts of home. I always fantasized about living in a cabin in the woods, and although we haven't discovered our patch of woods yet, I'm sure it's going to happen.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Laundry Day

I'm finding I enjoy going to the laundromat. Instead of being a chore, it seems more like a social event. Any thoughts about the inconvenience of hauling clothes to the laundromat, quickly disappear when considering the convenience of all the laundry getting done in one short session. No more individual load after load through the week! On our first trip to the laundromat, not having been in one for years, we were quite daunted by the variety of washing machines. It must have been written all over our faces, as the laundry attendant said we looked like we were lost! She educated us about the different size front loaders. There are those that do 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 loads in individual machines! She said they can be loaded to one hand thickness from the top of the washer drum! The single load machines are top loaders. The cost for a single is $2.00, 2 load machines $2.25, 3 loads $3.25, 4 loads $4.25, and 6 loads $6.00. The 8 load didn't say. Dryers are still a quarter. We find that we spend approximately $10-15 every 1-2 weeks. When we were at the trailer park in Ellenton Gardens we were told that residents could have a washer and dryer on their premises for an extra $10 a month on their rent. We find it best to sort laundry ahead of getting to the laundromat so as to know what machines to choose. Well, that's the scoop on laundromats in 2010!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fluffy The Lovebug a.k.a. Charles

It's true love! It's hard to believe that a couple of months ago we weren't sure how we were going to catch Charles to move him into the camper. Living in close quarters and Roy's persistent pestering has won his affection. He's definitely become a daddy's boy! We tease Charles by telling him we're going to change his name to Fluffy or Lovebug and give him to a little girl to dress up and have a tea party with! He doesn't want to go live with a little girl, but he likes the new names!

Look at that silly Prin smiling for the camera. Charles is a stocky built cat and we've noticed that he seems to still be growing. We are estimating his age to be about a year and a half. We think that he shares linage with Norwegian Forest Cats. We recently read that they continue to mature for four years. Wow! He might turn out to be a very big boy. Look at his size already compared to Prin who weighs 60 pounds. They love to play fight. We're hoping to get a video to share. He sure keeps our life lively!

Monday, March 1, 2010


I've been so sore from my initial exercise efforts that I can hardly function. Even so, I can tell that when my muscles heal I'll be a bit more flexible and stronger.

The young couple to the east of us seem reconciled. I'm so glad, as they have a baby and a toddler. I just saw the couple to the west of us together, so hopefully they're reconciled, too.

I have been looking at the camper with decorating in mind. I'm thinking some wallpaper borders, and wall decorations would accomplish a lot. It appears as though it would be as easy to change, as ideas one could come up with!

Roy bought one of the vinyl woven patio rugs you see outside campers. I wasn't sold on the idea at first, but can see that it decreases the amount of dirt being tracked in tremendously. It's a good thing.

Vinyl floors are best indoors. They are easy to keep swept clean. I had a couple of rugs inside, but found they were real dirt catchers, and something extra to have to deal with when trying to keep the floor clean. The rugs are now gone.

A ceramic heater with a thermostat comes in handy for cold days and nights, even in Florida. As one wise person told us, "Cold is cold."

When boondocking, Roy and I discovered that coffee made on the stove with a percolator tastes like gourmet coffee. We haven't gone back to using the electric drip coffeemaker. We're considering getting rid of it!

One day when we ran out of store bought French Vanilla creamer, Roy made some. His is now the favorite! It also tastes gourmet.

Some RV parks don't take "dangerous breed dogs". It's best to refer to you mixed breed dog as a mix rather than generalize it as a Shepherd, Rottweiller, or Pit Bull.

Roy feels that lower RV park rates are achieved by talking to the manager in person rather than over the phone.

That's all for now. Take care