This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

All that hype for nothing

The weather forecasters should be embarrassed, at least at this time. OK, we live 460 feet from the shore of Lake Erie and the lake has a different influence in our weather, but where are the 2 feet/50 cm of predicted snowfall?  Some newscasters called it the mother of all snowstorms!  It was going to be bad and in my mind I ran through all of my food storage. Should I quickly make a run to the supermarket and clean out the canned food shelf?  We had planned to drive up to our son and daughter-in-law's house in Waterdown by Burlington on Wednesday to pick up our forwarded mail, a 580KM/362 miles trip, but had changed our mind quickly because of the predicted snowstorm and instead made the run ahead of time on Sunday and back the same day. Benno was in panic to gas up our snow blower and get it ready for the storm because we had it put away in my shed and covered up before we had left for Florida.  He didn’t need to worry. First of all it started up fine and secondly, it’s still waiting to be put into action as of this time. Ha!

Yep, that is all the snow we got!

The snow blower is waiting to be put into use

One neighbour had his big snow plough on standby

The other neighbour dragged his snowmobile out, just in case!

At least the dogs had fun

So this forecast turned out to be a bummer and no excitement event. The record snowfall blew by, missed us, no mother… and no 2ft./50 centimeter!!! However, last Wednesday we had strong winds with forecasts of 100km/60miles gusts and that time the forecasters were right on. It was windy all right. Everything that wasn’t tied down sailed through the air. Our street is a cul-de-sac ending at a cornfield. Last fall, after harvest, it was not ploughed and the loose corn stover (the residue left on the field) took off in the wind and came to rest in our chain link fence. I took a picture during the day but should have waited until the next morning when the fence was totally covered with the debris. 

That fence was totally covered the next morning

We had been warned that in such strong winds power outages could occur and that is what happened.  In the afternoon we had some shopping to do in Windsor. On the drive home in the evening we noticed that most houses were in the dark but hoped that our area would be spared.  My hopes were dashed when I didn’t see any streetlights lit the closer we got to our home.  So out came the 2000W Honda Generator from our camper’s basement the minute we arrived back home.  We are so glad to have it.  Since we bought this little gen set three years ago we have used it here at the house more than when we are traveling with our camper.  Living in a rural area there are more chances for the power to go out than in the city.  This little Honda generator is not big enough to cover all of our power needs, but it feeds the refrigerator and freezer, we have some lights, the blower motor of the natural gas furnace that heats the house stays on, and the wifi is operational. Not bad, right!
For cooking I can just pop into the camper and use the propane stove/oven if the power stays off for any lengths of time and our TV needs are covered, too.

The generator is ready to use anytime

Since coming back home I have been busying myself with house chores, trips into town for various shopping needs and even some cleanup in the garden.  But Benno had disappeared into the garage not to be seen for days with a big smile on his face.  The reason for it is that new toy he acquired in Florida.  So, if you didn’t read the comments, the secret is out that after so many years of fulltime cruising in our boat, followed by building this house, he finally bought himself a metal lathe (not to turn wood) again. Most of his life he owned a well equipped commercial shop where he enjoyed creating electronic and mechanical things, especially for our sailboat and motor vessel in addition to his business of repairing and modifying printing and bookbinding machinery equipment.  Although I know Benno will be happily occupied for a while, it’s not the end of the song and soon here might be more men toys joining this one to keep him out of my hair when I’m in the garden.

This was back in Florida

I couldn't post this pic before or it would have been obvious that it's a lathe

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Hitch-Itch got us home

During the past week we noticed numerous sites being vacant at the RV Park and no new RVs coming in to take those spots.  But the highways were busy with trailers and RVs of every kind traveling in the direction of the I-75. Looking at the weather forecast for our hometown they were experiencing record breaking temps of 66F/19C for this time of year. Wow, so what are we waiting for?

As an update to anyone interested to find out what happened to the motorhome that had caught fire (see my post from Jan. 17th) A couple of days before our departure I had the opportunity to talk to the owner of the coach that had the refrigeration fire in January.  Since then he and his wife had been living in the damaged RV making do with a small stand-alone refrigeration unit because the big Norcold refrigerator had been out of commission.  They were going to pullout of the RV Park the next day going to an RV dealer to meet service technicians from Norcold to have the damage addressed.  His insurance company, however, had denied his claim because they were full-timers.  He said that nowhere in his policy did it state that by not having another residence they would not be insured for something like this.  He promised me that when all damages were fixed and his RV insurance was up for renewal he would place an extensive write-up about the incident and his dealings with the insurance company in all RV-forums available to him. 

It was close to 10 a.m. on Friday by the time we left the RV Park for our trip up North.  The weather was sunny and warm, the I-75 was busy with tractor-trailers and lots and lots of RVs, all heading NORTH!  There are signs along the I-75 indicating that it is an evacuation route.  Benno and I were joking that it looked like every RV was taking it literally and they were running from something.  By 4 O’clock in the afternoon we had had enough of the Friday afternoon rush hour and pulled onto the parking lot of the Camping World store in Byron, GA, which is located right next to the I-75 slightly south to the town of Macon.  It was even hotter there than it had been down in Florida.  We asked for permission to spend the night on their property and were assigned a spot next to the gated storage yard.  They even provided us with a power cord so we could plug in and wouldn’t have to use our generator during our stay, very nice folks at this store.

Next morning we were on the road by 6 a.m. and that was after eating breakfast of fruits, coffee, toasted rolls and bagel. Traffic was very light and we made good time until everybody had gotten up and decided to drive somewhere.  We stopped for the usual gasoline fill-ups, a few fast food stops and to let the dogs get some exercise.  It was a long driving day because we don’t drive faster than 55 mph with the rig in tow.  It was dark when we stopped at another Camping World parking lot in Cincinnati, Ohio.  They were already closed for the day and we could not ask for permission.  However, we had stopped here on our way down and were given the go ahead, so we had no worries.  Not far from there we could have also stayed at a Walmart store or a rest area along the I-75, but we preferred this spot.  Right next to the Camping World is a Papa Johns pizzeria, which could be useful if I didn’t want to cook.  However, I still had lots of leftovers in the fridge, which just needed microwaving with the help of our generator.

On the final stretch home the next day the weather again was gorgeous.  If it wasn’t for the colors long the highway changing from bright green to olive and then brown I could have sworn we were still down south as the sun warmed us up inside the truck.  Traffic was next to nothing with hardly any tractor-trailers and no delays anywhere.  Even at the border crossing into Canada at lunchtime we couldn’t believe that there was no waiting time and an hour later we pulled into our driveway at home after driving 1,800 km/1125 miles from Ocala, Fl. On a side note, we noticed a big difference with the Hayes Sway Master (see my post from Dec. 31st) that Benno had installed. The trailer towed nicely straight behind us and there was never any indication of swaying when those big eighteen-wheelers passed us at top speed or while encountering crosswinds. The Hayes Sway Master made a big difference and we felt both very relaxed.

Winter seems to be over here in these parts of Ontario. The tulips are peeking out of the ground in my flowerbed, the dandelions are coming up and the buds of the trees across the street are all signs that spring is around the corner.

I’ll be still posting, although the trailer is parked on its spot next to the house. So stay tuned for more.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

What's for dinner?

We’ve been quiet for a while.  Nothing is wrong all is good here in warm and sunny Florida.  Please don’t be worried!! The days seem to fly by because we seem to be surprised when yet another weekend it upon us.  Other than the normal grocery shopping or trips to get a few everyday things we run out of there hadn’t been any reason for us to leave the park.  However, while being stopped at a traffic light in town we thought it was interesting to see an anvil mounted to the rear bumper of a van.  I have never seen that back home in Canada, but being here in Ocala, the horse capital of the world, it seems plausible that perhaps the vehicle in front of us belonged to a hoofer or farrier on his way to shoe a horse. 

This afternoon the unmistakably melody of an ice cream truck grew slowly louder behind our camper.  There are no children here in this park, but you don’t have to be a kid to instantly recognize this tune.  The weather was certainly pleasant enough right for this kind of treat, but my hubby will get his favorite ice cream, “Bryers Black Raspberry Chocolate” later tonight as he does most nights.  There are advantages being in an RV park and ours offers also one night a week an ice cream social where you can choose your own toppings in addition to the ice cream favor of your choice.

For Valentines Day I dipped strawberries in melted milk chocolate, which we devoured in the afternoon with our coffees.  Why didn’t I take a picture of them as they were so pretty I asked myself?  So when I served our dinner, chicken Parmesan with green beans and bacon I grabbed the camera.  Not that this was a very special meal, but I guess sometimes I too can mention what’s for dinner at our table. 

Tonight we have German Frikadelle (kind of a large flattened meatball but not a hamburger) made in the frying pan with “Diana” sauce and zucchini.

That is all for today.  Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday and I wish everyone who is looking for bargains happy shopping tomorrow on Presidents Day! Benno already did his on Friday at “Harbor Freight’s” 20% off Presidents Day sale, more screw drivers and little clamps!!

This is in response to Patsy's comment below: I tried out another font in normal size and it didn't make any difference in the view.  By choosing the next larger font as suggested by Blogger which is this format, it looks huge to me and I have to find perhaps another solution. (What do you think?)  I also have sometimes difficulty reading blogs with small fonts and use the option of "Reader View" which is by clicking on the lines to the left of the blog description (look at the picture below) and this brings up the site with a white background and larger black font. I think it is available on most devices. 


Monday, 13 February 2017

Correction on the stinkbug we found

Thanks to our loyal reader and friend Rudi Halbrichter from Toronto, who is a world travelled nature expert, I have to make a correction.  He pointed out that the assumed stinkbug we discovered sitting under our awning was in fact quite an aggressive and dangerous little bugger called (Arilus cristatus) or commonly called a Wheel Bug.

Checking the Internet I found several websites and the "Featured Creatures" site, which I include, gave me a lot of information.  The Wheel Bug belongs to a mean family of bugs called kissing bugs, assassin bugs, vampire bugs etc., reaching lengths of up to 1.5 inches, which was about the size of the specimen we found. It preys on pest insects and in fact attacks the brown marmorated stinkbug we thought we had captured. They are feeding at night and are attracted by light, hence since we found it on the LED strip below the awning. Its bite, when inflicted, can be more severe than a bee, wasp, or hornet sting. No wonder, as the number of teeth vary from 8 to 12. (Really?) Wheel bug saliva contains a toxic, paralytic substance that immobilizes and kills the prey insect within 15 to 30 seconds of injection.
It goes without saying that this bug should be avoided or handled with caution.

pictures were taken from Pinterest

However, Wikipedia states that Wheel bugs are highly regarded by organic gardeners because they consume a variety of insects and their presence indicates a healthy, pesticide-fee ecosystem.

So there you have it.  Hopefully I wont come across another one. Yuck!