Tag Archives: Safe Harbor Farm

Quiet Day at the Farm

After last night’s marathon driving session due to following Gertie, I slept late this morning and did not get Carol up in time to have breakfast together before our work day started. Carol had cat duty this morning and I worked on the deck project. My helper TJ was observing surgeries in the Kindness Clinic today. 

Cat duty starts by feeding the cats in Trump 1, Trump 2, and on the back porch of the Cat Center. There are some cats who are kept in cages over night in the Cat Center. They get fed, their cages are cleaned. Buttercup is the Persian that Carol shaved down yesterday. She was not happy to see Carol this morning. She literally kept her back to Carol while Carol was cleaning the cages. Since Trump 1 and Trump 2 are open air condos, the bedding needs to be changed periodically. Carol also freshened up some of the condo bedding.

Next, Carol grabbed the pooper scooper and hit the yard in front of the Cat Center. It is amazing how much poop those little fur balls can create. Carol had been working on a project making cat bedding our fleece fabric. After her cat duty, she came back to the RV and finished making the bedding. Maybe Buttercup will be in a better mood tomorrow after she sees her new bedding.

IMG 0052
After all that hard work, it was time for a break. So Carol grabbed her iPad and a glass of ice tea, found a spot on our front porch not taken over by a cat, and finished reading The Hunger Games. We are planning to see the movie on Sunday. Carol wanted to get up to speed on the story line before seeing the movie.

In the mean while, I was flying solo on the deck project. Today, the plan was to get the railing posts attached to the deck frame so I can get the railing installed on Thursday. How hard can that be? Well the deck overhangs the frame by about an inch. Each 4×4 post needs a 1-1/4″ x 1″ dado (slot) cut into the side so the posts sits plumb to the deck. (FYI – “plumb” means straight up and down.) Then each post is attached to the deck frame by two 1/2″ carriage bolts. The deck frame is bolted together with 1/2″ carriage bolts. It is highly probable that I will hit one of these bolts when drilling the holes needed to mount the rail posts. Sure enough, that happened on more than one occasion. I just happen to have a 1/2″ metal drill bit so I was able to drill through existing hardware. In a couple of cases, I had to cut a bolt or two.

Around 1:30, afternoon showers showed up. I scurried to get the tools put up, grabbed Cody and headed for the RV. Time for a snack. Carol was working on the bedding for the cats about that time. The shower did not last nor was it heavy enough to create mud. I left Cody in the RV so he could take a nap while I went back to finish the work. It is good to end the day with a sense of completion. I have one post that will require a special bracket for mounting because there is a joist in the spot where the two bolts should go.
    IMG 0047
It was time to pick up all the cut-off scrap. Remember that photo of the truck loaded with all the deck material? Well so far this is all that is headed for the trash can. Looks like I managed to make efficient use of material.
   IMG 0048
I sat on the front porch for a bit to enjoy the cooler weather. Juliette, one of the cats here, jumped in my lap and gave me a look that said, “Hey, you are in my chair.” She likes our porch chairs and can be found there most of the time. I am sure she will be moody after we pull out of here at the end of the month. Carol fixed spaghetti while I cleaned up. It is always good to enjoy a meal on our RV, just the two of us. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Which Way Is Home?

It is 7:15PM and I am sitting in front of Magic Nails in Jacksonville, while Carol is getting her nails and toes done (what ever that means). I’ve completed the other honey dos so as soon as Carol’s nails are done, we get to eat. Considering I only had a couple of home made Mac Muffins around 8ish this morning, that means I am pretty hunger.

Carol suggested going to CiCi’s for pizza but I’ve decided it is time for some place different. We know about CiCi’s pizza. They are good and they are quick and they are certainly inexpensive. I found a place called Michaelangelo’s Pizza & Subs. I do not recall going there so that settles it. One of our goals on this adventure we are on is to not eat in the common food chains unless that is all that’s available. Their menu looks pretty good and they are only about 3 miles from where we are. So as soon as Carol is done, we are headed for dinner.

We ordered a medium and got a large. Not sure what that was about but we do have leftovers for Thursday now.
   IMG 0046
That was one big pizza and it was sure good. It rates right up there next to BJ Pizza in Corpus Christi. 

Time to head home so on a whim, I asked Gertie (our GPS) to take us home. And she directed us home – a different way. Cool, there is another route between Jacksonville and Maysville. WRONG. About 20 miles down the road, it became apparent we were not going to Maysville. Not sure where Gertie thinks home is but I was not going to find out. I redirected Gertie to take us to Safe Harbor Farm. This time, Gertie took us back to Jacksonville where we started and directed us to the only route between Maysville from Jacksonville.

Note to self – before asking Gertie to take us home, make sure our Gertie know where home is. Meanwhile we took a scenic route through the country side in the dark.

Today’s deck work progressed very well. The goal was to get the deck material attached to the deck frame. I am not sure which is heavier, 5/4 x 6 x 16 feet composite decking or 5/4 x 6 x 16 treated pine. Both are equally heavy. The treated pine is more rigid thus it is easier to handle. The composite decking has a lot of flex to it which makes it difficult for one person to handle. TJ helped again today. He set the post for the stair support. When he got done he did say this was one job he was glad is over. Digging post holes is never a fun job.
   IMG 0026
After the last deck board was put in place, it was time to trim the edge. TJ made sure I got it trimmed just right. I would say the deck is starting to look like a deck

  IMG 0038 IMG 0043 IMG 0044 

While I worked on the deck today, Carol had the fun job of giving a cat a hair cut. This Persian cat was badly matted and only a buzz cut could get the mattes out. Sorry there is no photo of the cat. You know how touchy they can become.

Sure glad this day is over. We are both tired, and I am pretty sore from all the lifting. Thanks for stopping by.

WARNING! Do Not Swim In Yellow Water!

A hardy howdy to Alicia and Betty who have recently started following our blog. Alicia is half of the duo who are responsible for selling this rig to us. She and her husband Slade own and operated Rolling Retreats in Elk City, OK.  If you are hunting for a travel rig, I highly recommend you visit them. They are the real deal.

Betty is a Texan and her husband Dave is a Scott.  They are currently in NJ on assignment. Betty and Dave are competitive cyclist among other things. Maggie is their fur baby.  Betty writes their blog Phoenix Once Again.

We have had several days of high pollen counts. Most cars in the area are covered with a yellow dust that is the result of the high pollen count. Today, Carol and I went to Jacksonville to get decking boards so I can get the deck finished. When we got back, we unloaded the truck, loaded up the doggies then headed for the beach. Today is our second day off so we wanted to just sit on the beach for a while and enjoy the ocean breeze and listen to the waves.

We found a beach public access parking lot on Emerald Isle about 20 miles from Maysville. The beaches in Texas are open access. In North Carolina, especially where we are on the southern portion of the outer banks, this is not the case. Commercial and residential property line the beaches. There are public access points along the coast but not open beach like you wold find in Padre Island or Galveston.

We parked in a public lot, then walked quiet a distance to the spot where we planted our chairs. There were a few spring breakers on the beach. Nothing like the crowds in Texas or Florida. The sand is very soft. Walking takes a bit of work; good exercise for us. It was funny watching the doggies on the sand. This was a new experience for them. They did OK once they got the hang of it.

   DSC 2354 DSC 2353 
There are leash laws here so we are not allowed to let the doggies run free. It was a little challenging hanging on to them while the few groups of people walked past. Cody found his groove pretty quickly. I guess he just had to mark his spot on the beach. It was a good thing the sand was not wet or he would have been covered in sand. As dry as it was, he was able to shake it off.
  IMG 0565 IMG 0568 
I was watching the water, not that I have never seen breakers before. The breakers here are very small and close to shore. That is due to the contour of the shoreline. No sand bars here like in Texas. The water had a noticeable yellow layer on top that had to be related to the high pollen count. The yellow pollen just seem to stay in put. Even though you could see the sand and water mix, the yellow pollen just floated in place. I did get some interesting shots of this.
  DSC 2360 DSC 2370

DSC 2384

The water kept creeping up on us so we kept moving back. Eventually we were in pretty soft sand and decided to pack up and head back. Considering we are not big beach people, we actually enjoyed the outing. Next time we will bring some different things and perhaps even take a stroll down the beach with the doggies. When we got back to Safe Harbor, I asked Carol to take a couple of photos of the dog park as it is now. This will be a great place for doggies to run free once it completed.

  IMG 0570 IMG 0571

Tuesday Carol has early doggie duty and I will fix breakfast. Then I will start installing the deck boards on my deck project. We did get a couple of more Workampers over the past couple of days. It is hard to imagine that our work will wind down in 10 days. This has been an enjoyable experience for us.

Thanks for stopping by.

Lazy Day

After a busy week, we had a day off today. That means Carol got to sleep real late. I was up at my usual 0630 while Carol did not get up until 0830. In her defense, she did stay up until 12:30AM finishing a book she just could not put down. Today is Sunday meaning we get to have breakfast at Pop’s Diner and then visit First Baptist Church Maysville again. Pop’s is sure a cool little diner to go to. The staff there are very friendly and the food is very good. We highly recommend this place to anyone who is traveling through Maysville.

Worship this morning at FBC was supercharged again. Pastor John had another power packed message about Christ like renovation. FBC was also packed this morning. The choir sang enthusiastically while the church did their part in worshipping with a happy heart.

The weather this morning included cloudy skies and a little rain. We had planned to visit the beach this afternoon with the doggies. Due to the weather, we decided to postpone that for another day. After church we just chilled at the farm a bit then decided it was time to get a bite to eat. I found a cool place to go (Kathryn’s Bistro and Martini Bar http://www.kathrynsbistro.com/) on Emerald Isle. Unfortunately they were closed today. That is OK. I’ll save this for later in the week.

We decided to take a risk and visit a Mexican Restaurant. We found El Zarape on Emerald Isle and found several good reviews of this place. This place was a bit off the beaten path. If it were not for GPS, we probably would have trouble finding it. We backed into the parking slot. I kept a close eye on the back wheels. Good thing there was a parking curb at the end of the asphalt.

IMG 0022 IMG 0021 

We took our seats and could have easily imagined we were in Texas. The music, atmosphere and even the aroma of the place made us feel pretty good about the restaurant selection. I chose Camarones Diablo, a spicy shrimp dish while Carol ordered a Chicken Quesadilla and Chicken Chalupa combination. We ordered Shrimp Nachos for an appetizer but never got that. Other than that, I have to say that this place was a hit. The flavor was truly TexMex. The chips were crisp. The salsa was a bit bland but the hot sauce on the table fixed that. If you have the Smell-O-Vision option on your display, you can scratch-n-sniff your monitor to get a sense of our authentic meal.
   IMG 0023
After getting back to Maysville, I gave our truck a drink of diesel at 4.09/gal. Before signing off for tonight, I thought I would show you some of the work that went on at the dog park yesterday. This will be a great place for doggies to run and play in a safe area.

 IMG 0130 IMG 0131 IMG 0132 

 Thanks for stopping by.

Tech Issues

Resolving tech issues can be exhausting. It has been days since my last posting. In my last post, I mentioned the problem with my DROID phone. It was slowly dying.

Carol and I have been talking about switching from AT&T to Verizon when our AT&T contract expired in July. At that time, I would also move from DROID to iPhone. Well, it ain’t July so what am I going to do. If I move to Verizon now, I will either have to pay a cancellation fee of $120 for the remaining unused contract time or get a new number and let the AT&T contract expire. Of course in the last option, I would be paying for the DROID that I would not be able to use.

A third option would be to stay with AT&T and upgrade my phone now. It was time to have a conversation with Verizon to determine if it would be worth the extra $120 AT&T termination fee to make the switch. Thursday afternoon, we headed to New Bern to visit the Verizon store to clarify how the Verizon network operates.

One of the AT&T network features that has been extremely helpful to us is the ability to look up information stored in our Google account while talking on the phone. The Verizon rep verified that this is not something their network currently does. They are working on upgrading their network to allow that but for now, that is not possible. Sounds like a deal breaker to me.

We walked across the parking lot to the AT&T store. Teresa greeted us at the door with a smile and asked, “How may I help you today?” I explained the problem with the DROID and told her I was interested in upgrading to the iPhone. We walked over to the iPhones where she explained features, benefits and costs. OK, let’s wrap up this deal. After completing the paperwork, she came to my side of the counter and explained how the transaction will appear on our phone bill. Then she brought out my new phone and demonstrated how it works.

I am not sure if AT&T has improved the customer service training or if this store is different. The experience with AT&T was certainly different than the last time I visited an AT&T store in Corpus Christi, Tx. I was certainly a satisfied customer this time and would easily recommend this store to anyone. I’ve not had any issues with AT&T service. The dead zones I’ve encountered is common to all carriers.

Thursday evening, I spent time with my new phone and can say that I am impressed with how well it works. Many of the features are common to those found on a Mac Pro so I felt right at home quickly with it. The only thing I’ve discovered is that I am not able to connect reliable to our Verizon MiFi with my Mac or phone. Carol also has issues connecting to the MiFi so I feel pretty confident that the problem is with the MiFi. We are currently on our third MiFi in less than 12 months.

Friday the 16th, Carol and I decide to head back to New Bern AT&T store to upgrade her phone as well. One of the benefits of us booth being on the same phone is that I can help her when she has a question about her phone. We specifically went back to Teresa since she was so helpful to me. Teresa’s manager comment that I should just use my phone in place of the MiFi. Not sure how that would work, but I will look into it.

While we are on a techy spending spree, we decided to head to BestBuy (Jacksonville) to get Carol her birthday present. We replace her iPad with the New iPad. She was a happy camper. So Friday evening and most of today, she spend getting her phone and iPad configured with her special aps. So what is going on with the deck project? Glad you asked. It is progressing nicely. We got the posts cemented and beams built on Friday.

IMG 0555 IMG 0009

Today I got the joists connected to the beams. Yep, I measured twice and cut once.

   IMG 0560 IMG 0564
I brought Cody with me to the job site. He likes being with me and is my supervisor.

IMG 0562

Today, here is what the project looks like. I need to make a beam to support the steps coming off the end of the deck. This will give me a place to mount the additional stair stringers. Then add the decking and build the rail. As long as the weather cooperates, I should have it done by end of next week.
IMG 0016

That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by.