Sunday, November 01, 2015

back at the Manor

It was a nice short two hour drive this morning and the trailer is now parked in it's winter space.  We really enjoyed these past three weeks with just the simplicity of quiet campgrounds by the lakes.

Now sometime soon we will unload all freezable items and winterize the trailer to end this season's travels.

This blog will be dormant for a few months but will come alive again mid February when we head down under for our Australia and New Zealand trip.  I already have purchased on board ship wifi that I will be able to use from there.

Find us again in February.

Friday, October 30, 2015

cool and damp

The low temperature reported this morning at both Tightwad and Warsaw was 32°.  Then just a few minutes after the sun came up this morning the skies began to cloud over and throughout the day became heavier and heavier.  Then mid afternoon it began a light rain which looks like just the beginning and is predicted to continue through the night.  That's not a problem and we welcome the rain that looks like it is heading toward our home base where it is very much needed.

When we arrived Wednesday these birds were congregated in this same spot along the shoreline.  They were there all that afternoon and all of Thursday.  They seem to have moved on today and we don't really know just what they are but they looked like a gull of some kind.  They were a fairly large water bird with lots of white coloring.  This was as close as I could get as just after I took this  picture they scattered but when I walked away they returned to this shallow area of the lake shoreline.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

our orchard

This is our fruit tree in our back yard.

I picked up a few of the freshly fallen for Jo to try.  They might make her pucker up.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Back in Missouri

Pulled our trailer out of the shop early this morning, after paying our bill for the work.  Then we drove to Tightwad, MO where we are camped for the next four days.  Here is a picture of our new front yard on the banks of Truman Lake.  I listed our address as Tightwad just for grins as we are actually about halfway between Tightwad and Warsaw.  If we need groceries or anything else Warsaw is where we will need to go.

Our plans are to stay here for four nights and return to the Martin Manor on Sunday.  With our old man discount we are paying $4.00 per night.  At this campsite we have electric only so will have to use our on-board fresh water supply.  We stopped at a hydrant located nearby to add some to what we already had.  We usually carry some in our fresh tank so we can have water when stopped for lunch and need to use our facilities.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

rain delay

A little past noon today the shop foreman came to ask us to leave our trailer inside their shop overnight.  The sealant that they used on the top seams needed to cure before it saw any raindrops.  It has been drizzling on and off all day so he suggested that we seek a motel room for the night.  Because our main purpose for this service call was to make sure the seams were sealed before winter comes we really had no choice.

So here we are with a few items taken from the trailer to get us by for the night.  We will go out and find something to eat this evening and then hope the motel breakfast is sufficient for the morning.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Moving day

After our nice quiet stay on the banks of Table Rock Lake we are now sitting in the free (for two nights) campground in Chanute, KS.  We have an early (7:00 am) appointment with the factory service department.  There is no longer a factory but only sales and service.  We have been here the last week of October each year since we bought this trailer in Jan. of 2011.  We ask them to check all seams for good sealant especially the roof as I don't feel steady enough to climb up there any more.  We also have the opportunity to have anything else fixed that may not be quite right.

Our website plans show us going home after this service is completed but we have new plans that we will see how it goes.  When we leave here we will head home by way of Truman Lake around Warsaw, MO.  There is a COE campground there that can not be reserved, first come first served.  If there is an open spot that we can find we plan to stay there until Nov. 1st.

No television here as I am too lazy to set up the dish for only one night so we will read or something.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

tree color

We had thought that this time of year we would see lots of nice tree color change.  With most of the woods being oaks there is some rust and brown in the hills with only an occasional show of nice color.  These pictures I took inside the campground provide a very nice showing of the fall change.

Friday, October 23, 2015

enjoyable birthday

I decided that I wanted some bbq ribs for my birthday supper.  We already had tickets to the Presleys' music show and with three tickets, one for Wilma, we had our pick of the three to sit in.

I ordered a full rack of dry rub ribs and a to-go-box so now I have two more meals here in the trailer, they were especially finger lickin' good.  Jo ordered a chicken Caesar salad that was so big that she also has a couple of more meals in the fridge.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

network television withdrawal

Into our second week here at the lake and enjoying the nice peace and quiet, except for HOOdini the owl.  We do have our satellite dish set up and have all our DishNetwork programming available but there are no local network stations. The 'over-the-air' antenna doesn't pull in the closest stations which are in Springfield, in this deep valley we would need a tall tower.  Therefore, no Jeopardy, Wheel of fortune, Dancing with the stars, Survivor, GMA, etc.  I do get local news, weather, and comics on my computer which I check each morning.

Yesterday afternoon we visited the Titanic museum in Branson.  It was a neat experience with a few actual artifacts recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic.  There were lots of displays describing the conditions on that voyage and with an audio device there was many explanations of events.  On entry we were given a boarding pass with a name on it.  Mine was a crew member and Jo's was a passenger.  At the end of the exhibits we were able to determine the fate of our tickets.  Jo survived and I didn't.

Monday, October 19, 2015

week two

Today starts week two of this journey and we have a change of plans.

Our original plan was on Wednesday of this week we were to go to Springfield and pick up Jo's sister Wilma to spend a few days with us here at the lake.  We called this morning and she said that she has other plans for this Thursday so will be staying at home.  It's too bad as we were trying to give her a break from her lonely routine but she seems to be happy in her own circles.  The reason for her not coming is that on Thursday she works at a local neighborhood park at the door of a music jam session where she feels important and that is a good thing.  She will be out with people and providing a service.

We will miss her company but will get down for a visit soon after we get back home from this trip.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


This afternoon we visited a legal Ozark mountain moonshine still, "Copper Run."  This operating small distillery was a few miles north of Branson and caters to the tourist trade with a tasting/cocktail bar and a brief 15-20 minute tour.  The whole operation is in the basement of a house with the bar and sales area on the main floor.  Today being Sunday there was one young lady tending bar and then at tour time she locked up the upstairs part and led us down to the basement for the tour.

They make moonshine which by their definition is raw un-aged whiskey and then they age some in charred barrels for three years that they then call whiskey.

My definition of moonshine is similar but what I have known, from back in the days when we lived in this area, real moonshine was also un-aged but was not diluted so probably 160-180 proof.  Now for legal sales they have to dilute it to 80 proof.

They also distill rum from sorghum cane molasses.  All of this, both whiskey and rum, is in small batches but each batch does produce several hundred .75 liter bottles that they hand fill and label.  The bottling and labeling is done with volunteer labor that earns a lunch and a bottle of product.

They also infuse different flavors into their whiskey for a variety of tastes.  One they call apple pie where they use dried apples soaking in the whiskey to instill that particular flavor.  They also have one called cherry pie, which JoAnn tasted and liked, and a chai-tea flavoring.

It was a relaxing and pleasant afternoon.  Here is a picture of their modest still.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

date night

I have a date tonight with my favorite darling daughter.  We are going to watch the Mizzou Tiger football game together.  Except for the first game, that wasn't on tv in her area, we have watched each game together and communicated by texting whenever there is a goof-up, good play, or perhaps a score.  Tonight's game is against the University of Georgia and except for us being the visitors in their home stadium the stats are similar and hope for a "W" for our team.

The weather here today is on the cool side with high expected to be only 60 and the low this morning was 48.  Similar temps are in the next few days forecast.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Yesterday we took a little drive to Branson.  The only good way to get there from here is rte 13 north to rte 76 which isn't bad except that the rte 13 bridge over the lake is under re-construction with only one lane open so it is one-way traffic with stop lights on each end.  Its usually a short wait going and coming.  We could take the long way around going south to Blue Eye and then east to rte 65 but that is just too far out of the way.

I had ordered show tickets for next week when Wilma will be with us so went to the ticket agency for those vouchers.  Then we did a bit of shopping at Wally world and had a very nice lunch.  Our lunch was at Mel's Hard Luck Diner.  We had been there a couple of other times that we have been in the area and it is a nice experience.  The food and service is good and the atmosphere is extra nice with a 50s diner feel and the servers all take turns on a microphone singing songs from their CDs (available in the gift shop of course) while walking through the rooms.  Four of the five that sang while we were there were very good and the other one not so much.

We had a storm front move through about sundown but it wasn't too bad and then had a nice slow shower through most of the night.  Hope some passed over the home place we need it badly.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

the problem with our site

The only problem with our campsite is that we don't have a spot to sit outside in the shade.  Our front yard is a very nice view in the morning but with the temps in the mid 50s it's not warm enough to sit outside and enjoy.  Then by afternoon when the outside temps are nice the sun is out and there isn't any place to sit in the shade and enjoy.  Our backside is the roadway and utility hookups so not a place to sit and enjoy. Our awning is out but with our front facing the SW it doesn't do more than shade the side of the trailer and assist the AC in keeping the RV a bit cooler.  Still it is quiet and peaceful.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


We sure have some very nice surroundings.

 Our front yard
Our side yard
Our back yard
 Our site from the waters edge

Monday, October 12, 2015

On the road again

Our truck was very happy today as it doesn't like to sit idle like it has for the past two months.  Today it was able to exercise its muscles and get back to trailer toting, that it does so well.

We didn't leave home until a bit past noon and it was a very nice drive down to Table Rock Lake.  We didn't see a lot of tree color but occasionally there would be one by itself that was pretty.

Our campground (Mill Creek COE) is just on the south side of the lake at the Rte 13 bridge south of Kimberling City.  We will be here for the next two weeks enjoying the view across the lake and seeing what we might find to do in the area.  We are parked under an oak tree and every so often we hear an acorn fall hitting the roof.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

a great trip

It was a super trip.  The tour group was a mix of folks from US, Canada, Australia, & South Africa.  Several of the US folks were from Hawaii.  Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and our coach driver was a capable and safe driver.

One of the group was blind and was an inspiration for folks with disabilities as he was always upbeat and pleasant.  His wife was at full attention but he managed the stairways of the coach, walking tours, and dinners without a cane or any problems.  Most of our accommodations were very nice but most days began early and ended late.  It was nice to be able to see as much of this part of the British Isles as we were able.

Yes I did try hagas, it wasn't bad but I don't want to make it a staple in my diet.  In Hawaii you have to try the Poi and in Scotland you have to try the Hagas.  The poi tasted like wallpaper paste but the Hagas was more favorable.  They told us that the original recipe was that all of the sheep was ground up for hagas except for the bones and skin but now the mix is more selective of components and wasn't that bad to taste.  It was served at all breakfasts in Scotland.


Today we toured Edinburgh and visited the Edinburgh Castle before our farewell dinner as the tour comes to an  end.
view of the castle from downtown Edinburgh
 our local guide in kilts and our coach driver
 Edinburgh Castle
 a view of Edinburgh from the castle
 monument in downtown Edinburgh
 The castle from downtown
 downtown monument
 The castle from downtown
 St. Andrews monument
 downtown monument


We move from Inverness to Edinburgh with a stop at St. Andrews, the home of golf.    On the way we stopped at the prehistoric Clava burial cairns dating back to 20000 BC.

 typical view of the narrow roadways
 The heather wasn't in full bloom but did show some light lavender color
 St. Andrews Links golf shop
 18th green
 club house
 1st tee

 St. Andrews golf museum

 Railroad bridge over Forth river
 downtown Edinburgh


This morning we visited a working sheep farm with a demonstration of great herding border collies.  Then it was a stop at Culloden Moor where Bonnie Prince Charlie's jacobite army was finally defeated.
 one dog was sent to bring in the herd now seen at the tree line

 the rest of the dogs keep the herd in a spot

 one sheep sheared for the show
 Jo with a future herder
 The bonnie Prince Charley
 Irish hairy cattle

 On Loch Ness
 What is that just below the surface?
 views from the boat

 our boat
 the visitor center for our boat ride