Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Said good bye to Ron and Diana about 9:30 am.

The fine dust has finally gotten to me and my lungs and sinuses.  Awful cough and congestion, so I stayed in until about 2 PM and went to watch the end of the closing ceremony.  Such gorgeous regalia worn by the participants.  Here are some:

The drummers in the center of the ceremonial ring

The grand event begins with the eagle feather staff followed by the American Flag and POW/MIA flag.  The gentleman to the right with the red shirt was the Arena Master.

A WWII vet

Two Princesses

These were the "Grass Dancers" and did amazing moves.  My favorite of all the dancers
One of the "warriors," I think they were called speaking to the princesses.

A family affair

One of the "Shawl Dancers"

Cynthia, our hostess.  She has on the traditional Cherokee colors.

Keep in mind all the regalia is hand made and represents something meaningful to the participant.

The rally was over after the closing ceremonies. 
Monday, November 26, 2012
We rested in the morning.  My congestion was finally clearing up - so glad as I am tired of sleeping in the chair half-sitting so I could breathe and not cough my head off!
Cleaned the house in the afternoon.  Kind of nice to not have a schedule!
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
The generator quit working as it was coughing and choking (maybe it caught it from me?  LOL)  So after breakfast Jerry went out and took the carburetor apart.  The needle valve isn't working correctly so the generator is flooding.  He tried to fix it but to no avail.  (We put this carburetor in just a year ago in Dec.)  Ugh.  Will have to work on it later.  Got the rig ready to go and said goodbye to our host and hostess with the mostess.  Thanks to Cynthia and Nathan, it was a great learning experience and fun to get to know some new Skps.  Was also great to have Ron and Diana join us for a few days.
Got on the road about 10:30 am.  Egads - Jerry looked out his rear view mirror and saw something flapping in the wind. 

 Sure enough, the left rear trailer tire had lost almost all of it's tread and that had blown apart the skirting and fender! This was one of two tires left on the RV from when we purchased it.  Of course, it hadn't lost any air, so the tire sensor didn't go off.  I guess the tire angels were on vacation again! 

Luckily we could pull into a church parking lot and change the tire in safety and on level ground.  A nice Canadian couple (RVers) stopped by to see if we needed any help.  Very nice of them.

Finally got to Ormund Beach and found  Love's with a sewer dump and also filled up water and gas in the RV for the generator.  Made it to cousin John and Ruth's home about 3:30 PM! 

The well-drillers were finishing up drilling their new well.  John was glad we had emptied our tanks as they were planning on using our rig's facilities since they had been out of water since last Thursday.  LOL

Side yard

They have a chicken coop out in their back yard and Volusia county uses the two chickens in it to monitor the West Nile Virus and Encyphalitis problems in the county via testing these chickens to get a handle on what infected mosquitos have bitten them. 

We had a nice visit with Ruth and John and their daughter, Sarah, who had stopped by to meet us on her way to work. 

We went to Stavros restaurant not too far away for delicious Italian.  This is a family-run eatery that is Ruth and John's favorite.  They had spaghetti and meat balls and Jerry and I had pizza...of course, he had the meat lover's and my half was Greek!  Awesome food.  A very nice ending to a busy day.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thursday, November 23, 2012 - continued

Ron and Jerry volunteered to help park the hundreds of cars coming in for the pow wow.  They worked from 11am - 1 pm and came back for lunch.  We all wandered around the vendor area and "window shopped." 

We had a great potluck Thanksgiving dinner with ham, turkey and lots of sides.  As soon as we were done eating, we went over to the council building and helped them get the food on the table and then served several hundred people - never did get a count, but it took 1-1/2 hrs for them all to file through the line. 

I'm at the beginning of the line ready to dish up turkey.  Jerry's doing green beans and Diana will be scooting down to the end for handing out desserts.  Ron was our runner, heped me a lot with the turkey dishing. 

Cynthia (in off white leather) (our hostess) leads two other women in the dance.

Jerry (in grey sweatshirt) marches in the Veteran's salute.
After our stint there, we went back to our rigs and rested a bit before going to the ceremonial ring for the Grand Entry.  They always do several dances to begin their evening's entertainment including a prayer, and a salute to the veterans, first responders, fire fighters, police and veteran's parents.  Here's a picture of Jerry in the veteran's line as they moved around the central drum shelter, led by the elders and others. 

The beginning of the first dance - lead by their symbolic post, followed by the American Flag and the POW MIA flag.

I have many other pictures I want to show you, as the regalia they war is all hand made and gorgeous.  However, our signal here is really slow, so will wait for better wifi to send them.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Jerry and Ron will help with parking again from 11 am - 1 or 2 PM.  Potluck again today at 4 PM with the largest entertainment to begin at 6 PM tonight.  Hope to get more photos.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 continued

Had a beautiful campfire with our SKP friends.  About 16 rigs here so far. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Beautiful sunshine woke us up.  Hurried into Ocala to pick up a prescription for Jerry and some groceries for fellow RVers.  Home by 11 and happy to see Ron and Diana had arrived!  Had a great catch up afternoon with them.  Walked around the grounds here to get a lay of the land.  Visited with some of the vendors who were already set up.  One gentleman, a veteran, had both Cherokee and Blackfoot roots so Diana enjoyed talking with him. He let us go into his teepee - very beautiful painting on the inside canvas.  His wife has lots of health problems, so they can't sleep in it any more, but he always sets it up at pow wows for others to see.  At 4 pm we went to our hostess's welcome supper.  One of the other Rvers here has Mohawk roots (the farthest NE Iriquois tribe).  He had on his "ribbon shirt" and explained that.  Then he gave us a bunch of pointers on what to expect at the pow wow circle beginning tomorrow.  What will happen, how we need to react (hats off during the military circle, no photos unless ask permission - except of those in the circle, never touch a persons's regalia (the special ceremonial clothing they wear.) 

Cynthia is really the "hostess with the mostess"  She had prepared lots of yummy food including chocolate macaroons!  Had a lovely visit with lots of folks, only three of whom we met before.  There were about 8 of us from Iowa - and 6 of us from Davenport!  Small world.  19 rigs and all are here who are expected. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.  We are so thantkful that we can travel and meet people and see the beautiful country that God has given us.  Continental breakfast at 8:30 am. 

We look forward to shopping at the vendor booths, our 3 pm SKP potluck dinner.  Then at 4 pm we will be helping the council who sponsors this pow wow to serve the Tanksgiving dinner to the public - usually around 350 people.  And then at 7 pm the pow wow begins with the Grand Entry.  Cynthia will be dancing. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012
We had a lazy start to the morning...had to be out of our campsite by noon...and we made it with 5 minutes to spare.  Dumped our tanks and were on our way.  Heading south ral roadsthrough central Florida - rural roads and farm scenes.  Decrepit houses out in the middle of nowhere gave a sense of the economy and hard times.  Spotted one sign of a business which looked healthy...
See anything wrong with this pix?  LOL
Found Chambers Family Farm, site of the Pow Wow without any problem and pulled in.  Immediately greeted by two ladies in a golf cart who introduced themselves and made us feel welcome.  Indicated the route for us to take to get to the camping area and radioed ahead to Nathan to alert him a camper proceeding his way.  Sure enough Cynthia and Nathan, our hosts were waiting for us around the bend and got us parked.  Nathan and our next door neighbor gave Jerry a bad time about his "nit pickin' parkin" - as you all know Jerry our rig had to be aligned just perfectly horizontally with the one next to us so it took several "back and forths" to get that accomplished!  Done. 
As I walk talking with Cynthia after getting set up, I mentioned it was Jerry's birthday and I had promised him we'd try to find pizza for supper.  So not being familiar with the area, she gets on her two-way radio and asks.  Ten seconds later, here comes a lady with a pizza flyer.  Right in Ft. McCoy.  So we decided to do that.  Fifteen minutes later, Cynthia comes back and says, OK we're ready - she had recruited 13 others for a birthday party!  We had great pizza, kind of swamped this little hole in the wall place (bet we made their payroll 
As we're getting ready for bed, Jerry says, I think I chipped a tooth at supper - sure enough - lower front tooth had a chip out of the top...said it was rough on his lip - better try to find a dentist tomorrow.  What a way to end your birthday.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Up and "attem" this am and started calling around Ocala (about 20 miles away).  First place was kind of rude and couldn't fit him in.  Second one was 180 degrees, delightful to talk to and sure they'd find a place in their schedule...come in an hour!  Hurried up to get dressed and ready to go.  GPS led us right to her office.  Dr. Quinn and her staff couldn't have been nicer and extremely efficient!  Jerry said they used the latest technology and at the end of an hour, he was done and very pleased with the end result - can't even see it...matched his tooth color exactly!  And $256 seemed reasonable for what they did. 
Found Aunt Fannie's Cafe for lunch and it was delightful.  Home cookin' and lots of it.  Jerry had breakfast and I had a seafood platter...all fresh caught - yum!  Sauted shrimp were the best!  Brought lots of food home as huge portions!  Stopped at Walmart for a few things including jeans and underwear for Jerry and a couple of grocery items.  Back home by 3 PM. 
It is a beautiful sunshiny day - finally got rid of the clouds a hanging.  73 degrees and no humidity - perfect!  Jerry's working on the batteries as I type this.  We are blessed!  Here's a picture of the camping area looking the other way and a photo of the Pow Wow area.

Solar parking down th


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Today is a travel day...SC south towards FL.  We could tell we were still in SC...little carts/stands of boiled Peanuts for sale along the road.

Then, it was into Georgia - I could tell because "Peches" were advertised at a roadside stand.  I was too slow to catch a photo of the huge bright green 10' bicycle carried on a trailer behind a pickup with the title on guessed it "Regions."  (Assume you all have seen their TV ads with several green bikes.)  Well, this was a huge one...would love to know where it was headed! 

Georgia started out somewhat like SC in terrain, but the farther south we got, the flatter the landscape became...

Stopped at a truck stop about 5 PM...too tired to continue.  Quick supper and crashed.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The rest of our travel day.  Florida!  Arrived about 10:30 am.  Stopped at Visitor Center so Jerry could get a Florida map.  Could tell we were in Florida, as there was a SUV towing a boat and on top of the SUV was a surf board!  However, no palm trees yet...but lots of spanish moss and mistletoe killing the trees.  What a shame.

Stopped at the restored train depot (circa 1800s) outside the park to get some information.  Very nicely redone.  Arrived at our destination around noon...Ocean Pond campground in Osceola National Forest near Olustee, FL.  Very nicely laid out with electric sites, primitive sites and those with water only.  We had no choice as the primitive area was too small for us to fit, the electric sites were full (we didn't want that anyway) but we had our choice of spots along Ocean Pond.  Sites are large and all are separated from each other with vegetation.  They have gravel parking pad, nice firepit on a cement base, large picnic table and stand with hook for lantern.  We paid $6 (1/2 price with our America the Beautiful Senior pass.)  

Got set up and took the BMW out for a ride to look around.  The temp said 66 degrees but felt chillier than that.  I was glad to have a sweatshirt on.  Lots of roads in the national forest...many paved and some not.
Saw this home on one road - huge southern style with some kind of party area out back!
Paved road through the forest - huge fir trees and the forest floor was carpeted with palmettos.
Turned down this road - looks ok for us to travel on. 
Oh oh - road is deteriorating - think we should turn around...ok - soon as we find someplace to do that.
Oops - road quickly turned to white sand and down went.
What does Jerry do immediately?  What all guys do in time of crisis!  LOL

  Don't think we're hurt...really. Jerry got a little cut on one hand and my back hurt a bit, but we got up, managed to get the bike up and returned to base. Ibuprofen for me and neosporin and a bandade for Jerry.

Had a couple of adult beverages, leftovers for supper - glad I didn't have to cook.  Then I went outside to get my blog notes out of the truck and found this awesome sunset over the pond from the edge of our campsite! 

We are blessed!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012

The front of the Oconee Co. Courthouse

The memorial for all the wars

The Silver Rose

The Patriot Museum

One of the murals going up the stairs to second floor.  These are so well done but hard to capture in a photo.  They are a new addition to the museum.

Can you imagine fighting a war in these shoes?  From the Civil War.

About 11 am, Mike took us to see the Vets memorial at the Oconee Co. Courthouse.  Took a gagillion photos, a few of which are below.  It is a really awesome collection of memorials, incorporating all the wars, those who died in them, and one that we weren't aware of - the Silver Rose, dedicated to all those who fought in the Vietnam War and later died due to their exposure to Agent Orange Dioxins. 

Then he took us to Patriot's Hall - Oconee Veteran's Museum, It is free (of course we gave a donation.)  Run all by volunteers and put together not too long ago.  It has an awesome display of military artifacts, documents, photographs and artwork.

As we viewed the two stories brimming with displays, I thought of several things I have at home that they would probably appreciate having.  More Vietnamese money for their Vietnam room, (from Jerry's Dad who worked in Viet Nam for ARMCOM after Jerry was there), a lighter with trench art on it to add to their trench art display, (trench art was made by patients in WW I who were recuperating from wounds in the hospital.  They would grab whatever they could find and carve pictures on it), a picture of my Mom in her Red Cross uniform marching in a parade.  (During WW II, she volunteered for the Red Cross, mostly cutting and wrapping cloths for bandages.  Also, they don't have any WWII Ration tokens and Mom put a couple in my baby book.  (Sugar and gasoline were rationed and you only got a certain amount of tokens each month.)  Am pretty sure I will probably find some other things once I get home and get to rubbling around in our "stuff." 

The volunteers here have done an awesome mob gathering memorabilia.  Most of it is original with very few reproductions. 

We will go back!  John Busch, one of the volunteers opened up the museum just for us.  He was a font of information and guided us through.  He had interesting facts, tidbits and stories at just about each display which made it even more interesting and real.  Thank you, John!

Then they called and said our truck was ready, so we went to get it.  We could tell as soon as we pulled out of Action Automotive's drive that it had more power.  It turns out the injection pump was bad - very underperforming, so that was replaced.  They also replaced the lift pump which was factory located on the engine block and it's plastic material was subject to heat and vibration.  So standard operating procedure when you start modifying the Cummins engine, is to relocate it to the fuel tank where it is more efficient and cooled by the fuel and not subject to vibration.  Because if it fails, then the lift pump fails, too, since it isn't getting enough fuel.  (I think I got that all right - like Greek to me, but I heard enough about this before and after we did the repairs that I may have some of it right.)  LOL

Back to  the base camp and heated up some Jack Daniels pulled pork (awesome), made cornbread and cole slaw - dinner!  Said goodbye (hard) to Stormy who will be at work Friday when we leave.
Jerry loaded the BMW in the garage, I put things away and then he aired up all the tires and we put all the Pressure Pro sensors on the tires x 10!  Should be good to go first thing in the AM. 

Want to be sure Stormy and Mike know how much we appreciated their hospitality (and putting up with us extra days while the truck was in the shop.)  We had a wonderful time, saw amazing scenery and did lots of fun activities!  We loved doing a PGR mission with the SC folks and meeting some of Stormy's friends.  Thank you, guys! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tuesday-Wednesday, Nov. 13-14, 2012

Stay-at home day for me.  Jerry and Mike checked on the truck repair progress.  Part came in but they didn't start it until after lunch. 

Walk to the falls

Jerry checking out the falls

On the way back home - beautiful colors and cows in the pasture.

Farewell supper last night at Puerto Nuevo in West Union, a nearby town. 
Amazing authentic food - best Mex I've ever had.
I never remember to take a picture of the food until halfway through, so no
photo of our feast.  Use your imagination! 
Wednesday, I did a last load of wash (thank you, Stormy) and Jerry checked on the truck repairs.  (Won't be done til Thursday).  Took a walk in the woods to a waterfall in the Oconee Station area.  Beautiful woods and gorgeous of the 30 in this county.  Also walked to see the garrison and trading post - two late 1700's buildings which have been saved.  Beautiful stonework and dentil work on one.  Amazing they are still standing.