Wednesday, June 25, 2014

back to the roost

Had lunch in our own driveway having arrived right at noon.  The washing machine is already running on the first load and a trip to the post office collected our mail that accumulated while we were gone.

Our next adventure, which is a trip to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, starts on Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

Stay tuned

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Penultimate day ...

... for this trip.

This evening we are in Benton, IL with a short trip tomorrow to the Martin Manor.  Our GWF is surely looking after us.  After lunch today we drove through several rain storms, one was a real toad strangler with a need to slow down to 45-50 mph and turn no the blinkers.  We drove into one just three miles from our campground and I started to tell Jo what she needed to do to get us set up in the rain and then our GWF waved her wand and it stopped about a mile from the campground.  Our site is level and hookups are in the right place so it was a short time getting everything set up.  While I was typing this our campground host knocked on our door and gave us each a homemade cookie from their kitchen.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Hermitage

The home and plantation of President Andrew Jackson.

This morning we drove just a short distance from our campground to tour this National Historic Site.  We were guided through the house with details of every room but pictures inside were not allowed.  The neat thing about this museum is that all the furnishings, art work on the walls , and decorations were all part of the home as decorated by his daughter in law.  His wife died before he became president and the house was rebuilt after a fire and again after he was elected so his daughter in law was in charge of the decorating.

 The kitchen is outside the house
 The dining room is inside the house but our view point was from the kitchen so camera's allowed
 slave quarters
 tomb for both Andrew and Rachel
 We don't know what flower this is but it is so unusual
 several big tulip trees on the property
 we also don't know what this is but unusual and quite pretty and thorny

This is a couple of pictures of our front yard at the campground.  We are surrounded by dense woods and the second photo is a view toward our nearest neighbors.  If you look close you can see a blue shelter tent over their table.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Back on Tulsa time

I think I have said before that we used to do a round dance to "Living on Tulsa time" by Don Williams.  Since Tulsa is in the central time zone, as is our home, it works for us.  We crossed into the central time zone a little before lunch time today.

Tonight and for the next couple of days we are at a COE campground near Nashville.  While near J. Percy Priest lake, we are in deep woods so no satellite connection.  We do have good over-the-air television so we can keep up with the news and network programming.

Our GWF is still with us as we drove through a brief but strong downpour today, it was clear and dry as we were setting up the trailer.  Our site is a pull through but on a curve which caused lots of maneuvering to get settled.  Here it is near 5:00 pm and we now have a good rain shower.  Thank you GWF for holding this off until we were totally set-up.

Friday, June 20, 2014

on the road again

Today started our homeward trip.  The drive was through some great Appalachian mountain range scenery all the way with many ups and downs.  Tonight we are in between Bristol and Kingsport Tennessee with our drive tomorrow taking us to near Nashville.  Our GWF has been with us all the way but it's just a bit hot with both AC units working hard to cool us down after the trip.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

pain in the neck

No, not Jo.  I woke up this morning with a stiff neck and it's hard to turn my head.  I took some Tylenol and hope that it eases up because tomorrow we are on the move again.  Tomorrow we head further south along the Appalachian range to Bristol, TN before turning westward toward Nashville on Saturday.  Our truck almost drives it's self so we'll be fine.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


This lighthouse is on the campground property.  I went to the office and ask what this was all about as we are a long way from any ocean seaways.  They laughed and said that the original tower was built for some other purpose (windmill I think it was) but was then converted to a lighthouse just for a conversation piece.  I ask if I could climb up to take a couple of pictures that should be great.  They give tours and for $5 they would let me climb the 200+ steps to the top.  I won't be posting any pictures from the top as I didn't think that was worth either the cost or the effort.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

It's been good to have Phyllis with us even for a very short time.  The hug I got when she wished me a Happy Father's day this morning was special so I am having a great day.

Phyllis on the other hand is not having such a great day for her drive back to Baltimore.  She turned her ankle and fell down our three steps from the bedroom to the kitchen floor.  Other than a badly twisted ankle and a bruised ego she is okay.  We put an ice pack on it right away and then I went to a CVS drugstore for a compression wrap and an ankle brace.  She said that she will use her crutches for a week to give it the best chance to heal.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Our picture postcard front yard

This is our view of Summersville Lake from our campsite.

The original plan for this trip was to stay at a COE campground on the lake but when I went to make a reservation it was all full for this whole month so I searched for a private campground instead. 

Today we gave a lesson to a young local police officer.  After the photo trip we went to the local Wally World for some groceries and on our way back to the campground we got pulled over by the flashing red and blue lights.  The first question was "where is your license plate?"  My answer was that we are licensed in Missouri and for trucks licensed for over 12K lbs (our license is for 24K lbs) we are only given one plate to be attached to the front of our truck and there isn't any plate displayed on the back.  The thought is that with weights over 12K lbs a pickup is going to be pulling some kind of a trailer behind and the rear license will not be visible.  This is the second time in all our travels that we have been stopped, the other time was in Canada.  After taking our license and registration back to his car he soon came back and said, "sorry, and have a good day."  I think that Missouri is dumb to be the only state in the world with that license requirement.

Beautiful and Scenic West Virginia

This morning we drove around this area for some nice photo opportunities.  Our first stop was at the New River Gorge visitors center.  Here are some pictures from that area.  The New River Gorge Bridge was completed in 1977 and is an engineering marvel.  The span of the arch is 1700' and it is 876' from the river to the bottom of the arch.  One day in October of each year they close the bridge to vehicular traffic and allow pedestrians including those wanting to parachute from the bridge to the river.

The gorge looking east from the visitors center

The visitors center had some information about the coal mining history of this region.

Then we took a drive around the mountains to get a few glimpses of the bridge.

And this was Phyllis' great picture

Along the way we saw some rock climbers on the bluffs.  You might have to zoom in to the center of this shot but there is a man about half way up-or-down?

Then it was off for some pictures of waterfalls that Jo and I saw yesterday on our way into the campground.  This one was on the side of the road and flows into New River.

This is Kanawha Falls on the Kanawha River.  There is a man-made weir just above these falls and for some reason above that dam and the lake it creates the river name changes to New River that flows through the New River Gorge.

Friday, June 13, 2014

West Virginia

Arrived a little after 1:00 today at our campground for the next week and Phyllis arrived around 3:00.  It is good to have her with us for the weekend.  The trip today was very interesting and scenic.  There were some sights that aren't too far from our campground so we will make a trip back to take pictures.  There were several waterfalls and one picturesque bridge.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Almost there

Tonight we are near Ashland, KY in a new-to-us campground.  Tomorrow will be a short trip to our campground for the next week near Summersville Lake in Mt Nebo, WV.  We have heard from Phyllis and she is driving down tomorrow so she can spend Friday evening and Saturday with us before having to head back to her home on Sunday.

Our GWF is hanging in there with us, yea!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Pop's day" trip

What started out as a trip to the mountains of West Virginia has turned out to be a special version of Father's Day.  Phyllis has decided to join us at our campground near Mt Nebo, WV for the weekend.  Jo and I will stay there for the next week but it will be good to see her again and get some hugs.

Tonight we are in a favorite campground that we have found for our trips in an easterly direction.  It is a city park (Lynnville, IN) that is "easy in and easy out" from our route on I-64.  It's also only $18 per night and except for weekends, when the locals fill it up, there is usually no problem in getting a site.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

YAHOO!!! 100% done

This morning our contractor came back to install the coat rack behind the kitchen door.

He also installed Jo's paper towel holder plus a couple of wire racks on the doors under the sink.  This completes our kitchen make-over and we couldn't be happier with the outcome.  All the fellows from Aarow Building that have worked on our project have been super nice, talented, and professional.

We head out tomorrow for some time in West Virginia.  We are so happy that Phyllis is going to join us for the Father's Day weekend.

Monday, June 09, 2014

3 times

I told Jo that we have bought our house three times.  The original purchase was in 1977.  In 1995-96 we changed the shape of our house by enlarging the living room, adding the carport and the covered deck.  That cost was a little less than the original purchase price.  Now since last December we have stabilized the foundation, repaired cracks in the walls, put new flooring in my office and now a brand new kitchen for a total that slightly exceeds the original purchase.  All is good however as the appraised value for our property is much more than three times the original purchase price.  Yes it's all good and we are happy.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

The display begins

With most of the cabinets finished Jo started to move things back into a final position.  The wall shelves are where the 50+ state collection is located.  The plus is because of some extra cups like New Orleans, Canada, Panama, and other travel related locations.

 and then some of her cherished dishes

Friday, June 06, 2014

99 and 44/100 percent done

Today we got most of the glass doors in the upper cabinets and the remaining finish work on the wall tile.  One of the glass doors cracked during the install so that will be replaced and another was cut wrong and needs to be re-sized and reinstalled.  That will be taken care of this weekend. Here are a few that are in place and looking good.

One of the last items to be installed is this shelf above the bedroom and kitchen entry doorways.  It will be used to display some of Jo's antiques such as these two toasters and apple peeler.

The kitchen clock was also installed so Jo knows when it is time for supper.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

nothing today

The store where our contractor got the grout ran out of the color that was started in our tile so today was a no-work day.  Tomorrow could be the day that our kitchen re-build is finished.  Beside the finishing of the tile grout there are only a few items to  be completed plus the glass company is coming tomorrow to install the glass doors in the display cabinets along top.  JoAnn is already enjoying her new arrangement and just cant wait to totally reestablish and utilize all her new cabinet and counter top spaces.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

one step closer

Today was a big day of grouting the tile with a few other finishing things.  The final kitchen cabinet was installed as a stand-alone base cabinet between the counter and the patio door.  This will provide some additional storage as well as a counter top for service to the dining room table if needed.

The rails on the wall behind this cabinet will provide shelving for Jo's 50 State cup/mug collection.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

wall tile

Yesterday I had one picture with our back-splash tile in place.  Today it was two young men working all day to both finish that back-splash and to extend the wall tile to visually extend our kitchen and add to the lightening effect.

This first picture is the wall from our counter to the patio door.  The bare spot without tile is where a stand-alone base cabinet will be installed to add to the kitchen storage area and expand the kitchen.

This photo is of our kitchen entry and bedroom door area with the wall tile covering the old dark paneling.

We're loving it!

Tomorrow the tile will be grouted and a shelf built above these bedroom and kitchen doorways.  After the grout is done the outlet and switch cover plates will be reinstalled and we are done with our kitchen.  Thursday or Friday of this week they are supposed to come and install the glass doors on the display cabinets along the top.

It has been a disruption of normal activities but it has been a real pleasure to work with our contractor, Aarow Building of Columbia, MO.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Let there be light

Today there were major improvements in our kitchen remodel.  First and foremost was the installation of our light fixtures as will be shown in the following pictures.

 fixtures installed but not turned on
  center of the room fixture
 over the counter fixture
 both fixtures turned on make good light
 now with the under cabinet lighting on, WOW
 And then we turn on the display cabinet lighting, double WOW
 We have the start of our back splash tile, more to come tomorrow after grouting

Tomorrow should get more wall tile installed  and then on either Thursday or Friday we are supposed to get the glass doors installed in the display cabinets.