Thursday, April 29, 2010

As we say goodby to Florida, we say Hello to Maryland. We departed Beaufort SC this morning at 6:30AM, and arrived in Abell at 3:30PM. An uneventful trip, just long. Sherry began immediately unloading, and I attacked the grass. It was knee high, and damp, but I got it done. Billy and Kelly came by and we visited or a bit. They just got their boat in the water, and it is all set up for Rock, so we look forward to some time off at the end of the month to get out on the river with them. They are a very sweet couple, and we really enjoyed visiting. The Locust Trees are in bloom, which means that the Rock are in the river! After the Junior Sonntag's left, we drove over to the Senior Sonntag's and visited a bid. Ms.Emmy looked very nice tonight, and Capt.Bill seems none the worst for ware. We took over fruit (oranges, grapefruits and bananas) and had a pleasant time catching up on the family. Back home we showered in some really soft water, and now it is time for the bed.

Welcome to Maryland !

The Blue Dog checking out a waterman with a boat load of Crab Pots.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We were all packed up by 11AM. We took a few minutes to walk around the property, and than took off. We were on the road by 11:30AM. We went out via SR98 over to Ft.Pierce, where we picked up I95. We were out of Florida by 5:30PM. We stopped in Beaufort, SC at 7:39PM at a Comfort Inn. We ate dinner at "Randy's Porch". I had chicken fried steak, mashed potato's, and green beans, with hush puppies. Dessert, Pecan Pie, what else. Now bed. If we are up at 5AM on on the road by 6AM, we should be in Abell sometime between 3PM & 5PM. It is cold here, with a low tonight of 47F. Burrrrrrr

Oh yeah, we got into Mt.Gretna! That is some really good news.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our last Tuesday in Palmdale. Sherry took off this morning to deliver the Dooley Commission in Belle Blade. She did this successfully, got some shopping done in Clewiston, and managed to stop by the Banana Man and score three bunches, one ripe, two green. Yummmm. I traveled into Moore Haven and picked up the U-Haul trailer. I had to get the hitch ball changed, so I got the ball for the Forest River at the same time. I got home and started packing in earnest. What a JOB! So much stuff, so little room. I did manage to get it all in. Sherry got home with the travel snacks and lunch. She started immediately on the house. We managed by days end to get it all done, although I do not know how.
After we had everything loaded, we went back to the Grapefruit tree and picked all we could reach from the step ladder, with the fruit picker. We got a good bunch. Sherry will miss them. She loves the grapefruit. I Volk Oil sprayed the citrus trees on last time. The The Eastern Lubber (grasshopper) are out in force.

The Prevatt Kids came by to pick up the Leaf Man panel for Mother's Day. They are really good kids. We went through all that is required of Ethan during our absents. He is to keep up the yard weekly, and walk the property daily. He is the most trustworthy 11year old I have ever met. I finished up the day by completing the forth veggie bed. This is the last bed. It is in nearly full sun all day, so should be a good producer. The Passion Fruit is blooming. We have several types, some for flower only and some fruit. We even have some which produce very large fruit. We love the passiflora. It is absolutely my favorite flower, second only to orange blossoms. With the orange blossom, it is all scent. With the Passiflora, it is all in the beauty of the flower. I am sad to see we will not be here to see them all bloom.

Todd and Nancy came over to say good-by. We visited for a bit. Sherry broke out a bottle of Tim the Glass Blowers Star Fruit Wine. I think Sherry liked it, a lot. Todd and Nancy are just about the nicest people you would ever want to meet. Nancy home schools the kids, and Todd is the Hardest Worker in Palmdale. They do a great job with their children. I am constantly impressed with how well behaved these kids are, always well mannered and polite. Very old fashion, that.

Tomorrow is pack up the yard day. The tree swing, the hammocks, all of the deck furniture, the bikes, etc., all have to be stored in their places. It is a sad part of the close down. The place looks uninhabited when all of these personal objects are packed away. But we must be prepared, in the event that a Hurricane blows through, everything has got to be buttoned down, and so...

If things go as planned, we will pull out at about 2PM. If we can get out by 2PM, we should be in Georgia by sundown. If we can get on the road at 6AM Thursday, we will be in Abell by nightfall on Thursday.

Up at 7AM. The last Tuesday in Florida for a while. Lows this morning in the upper 60'sF. Highs this afternoon predicted to be in the Upper 80'sF. 0% chance of rain. Sherry heads over to Belle Glade to deliver the final Florida Commission of the season. I have to travel to Moore Haven to pick up the U-Haul, and some boxes. Better get started. Everyone is getting anxious to move north. I am becoming saddened as the time gets short. I love Florida, and miss it greatly while I am away. I worry after the citrus, and what is eating them, and of course the house, and what is going on with it. Well, what percent of what you worry after actually occurs?

Time to get moving!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Big rain this morning. The particulars came in today, Palmdale got 4.5 inches! the creek is over the bank. The News reported today that we are 3" over our monthly average.

We got the Scamp sale completed today. I moved the unit over to Sable campground for Dorothy S. She is a really nice like the lady, and we all hope she really enjoys the Old Girl.

After we got the sale out of the way, we started in on the police report on the hit and run (mashed tent poles) this week end. That took a bit of time to file the police report, notify the insurance company, call the promotor, get estimates, talk to the insurance adjuster, and of course call the perpetrator. She was not very accommodating.
We started packing, and decided that we had better rent a U-Haul for the overflow. Last year, I drove down in October and set up the Studio. I guess that load was just enough to throw us over the hauling maximum. In either case, we have more than we can carry back, so we will get a trailer. Next year we will bring down everything in one trip, in the Work&Play.

Lastly, the Dooley's rescheduled for tomorrow. Sherry will make that delivery while I pick up the U-Haul. Tomorrow is the last packing day. Wednesday is pack up the yard and get the house closed up. Thursday is "hit the road" day. Hopefully, either tomorrow or Wednesday Ethan and Kylie with come by to get there Mother's Day Gift. I have to go over the yard work with Ethan, one last thing on my lists.

Violent Thunderstorms this morning! They have been at it since about 3AM. Severe is an understatement. Tornado warning in effect just south of us, along the Caloosahatchee. Lows last evening in the lower 60s'F, Highs today in the lower 80'sF. The creek is running so high that it is within 18 in. of the bottom of the bridge, which means this storm has dumped a tremendous amount of rain north of town. I have never seen it this high. So much rain in fact, the tent on the deck collapsed. Something else to worry after!

Sherry delivers the last of the Commissions to Belle Glade this morning. I have Dorothy S. coming by for the Scamp. And than the fun begins. Packpackpackpackpackpack!

Here we go!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wow! What a day. Lows last night in the upper 60'sF. Afternoon highs in the mid to upper 70's. A brisk breeze at 15 to 20 K is coming in off of the Gulf. 30% chance of rain this afternoon and into tomorrow.

I got up at 5AM and drove in town to find a place to park. I found one, about a block away from our booth. Sherry caught a cab in, and was on-site by 9:30AM. She also got up early, in order to pack up the camper, as we are delivering it to the new Owner tomorrow morning. (Actually, "delivery" is not that accurate. The new owner (Dorothy S), is coming in from Alberta Canada to have a look and take possession of the paper work. Once we do the "once over", I deliver the camper to the Sabel Palm camp ground and put it into storage). The Old Girl has been a great camper to us over these last couple of years, and she will be greatly missed, but we have to get something with a shower. And so, out with the old, and in with the new.

Well, the show was not all that much, and I doubt that we will soon be back to Siesta Key. To top off a really bad show, during pack-up and load-out, an old guy two booths down from us ran over our tent poles. I had moved a bunch of our equipment out of the way so that he could pass. He was in a rush, pulled out prematurely and ran over the bag. I stopped him, and he said that it was my fault for not picking up the bag! Just goes to prove the old adage, "No good deed goes unpunished". When I tried to stop the old fella', he shouted out the window "...tough s...t". How is that for trying to do the right thing. I got his tag, and some folks who witnessed the episode came forward with information and agreed to testify to his actions. We notified the police, and tomorrow I aim to get hold of the promoter and report the incident, and confirm the perpetrator of the crime. We will see where this takes us. In either case, I am certain that I will see this fellow again, as he (and his wife) are out on the circuit.

In either case, we packed up and were gone by 7PM, collected everything at the Turtle Beach and headed home. Once in Palmdale we spent some time do last minute cleanup of the Old Girl, and headed off to the out door shower.

This week is going to be the big push! I'd better get some rest.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Not much reporting to do this evening. I started very early this morning, 3AM. It was a beautiful morning on Siesta Key, with a morning low temperature in the mid to upper 60'sF. By afternoon temperatures reached a high in the mid to upper 80'sF. After I got everything set up and ready to go, I returned to Turtle Beach Camp
Grounds to collect Sherry and The Blue Dog. Sherry was going to ride her bike out to the show this morning, as someone had told her that it was only 2 miles, give or take. I clocked it this morning, as it seemed to me to be more "take" than "give". It turned out to be over 4.7 miles. This would have made for a very bad morning for Sherry. So when she called at 8:30AM I dropped everything, jumped in the truck and out to Turtle Beach I went. We got back in plenty of time before the show opened, so I dropped Sherry and The Bluedog off, and parked the truck (3/4 of a mile away, as all of the spaces were taken).

The show was not so hot. We did not even make a sale until well after noon. The only thing that saved us was the Sharon P. commission. Aside from that, we made only a dozen sales (all small). I do not think that we will do this again next year. Better to spend the time readying the house and studio for the off season, and concentrating on inventory. It just seemed as if there was no money walking around. Better than half of all condo's were shuttered shut, and there were no "high rollers" in the crowd. Oh well. It seems as if the two best years for any show are the year before I started doing it, and the year after I stopped doing it. Go figure.

We finally got back to the Camp at 6PM, walked across the street to the Turtle Beach Restaurant (not the pub) and got the special for two ($40) which included two entrees house salad, rolls, a vegetable, and a bottle of wine. I got the surf & turf (with water) and Sherry got the stuffed Gulf Shrimp (with wine). After the meal I asked for a doggie bag for The Bluedog, and a Wino Bag for Sherry. I do not believe that she found this all that funny.

Maybe tomorrow some serious "Be-Backs" will return and gather up some good art glass.

Friday, April 23, 2010

After our morning walk down the beach, we headed back to the camp to check the status of the Scamp. It sold. We packed up and headed back to the beach. I got this shot of this Willet, a beautiful bird. I already have this one, but I did not have a Brown Booby. Lucky for me, I got one at Noon. One came through on a school of some sort of fish. I was able to follow it for some time, and confirm that it was not a Gannett, or a Masked Booby. I am thrilled that I go two birds on my life list today. That is a difficult thing to do!

We headed back to the camp at about 4PM, got cleaned up and headed over to the Turtle Beach Pub for dinner. Sherry got the Bay Scallops while I had a Grouper Sandwich. We brought along our own Old Bay seasoning. The Grouper was not nearly as good as The Wreck on Islamorada, and I do not think we will go there again.

As the restaurant is just across the street from the Camp we stopped on our way back to the beach so Sherry could get a glass of wine, and we could pick up the chairs. Down to the beach to watch the sun set. The Blue Dog and Sherry had a time playing in the sand. Bluedog always acts the fool whenever we go to the beach, running and playing as if she were nine months, instead of nine years old. They had great fun, and I enjoyed watching them. In life, you only get one good woman, and one good dog. I am fortunate that I got both at the same time. Lord knows, I have had some horrible dogs.

It was a stunningly beautiful sunset, much enjoyed after a full day of doing nothing but looking at birds. Tomorrow, the last show in Florida for the Season. Let's hope it is a good one.

Here is a parrot that visited our little camp site this morning. It looks to be a Red Crowned Parrot, or a Red Masked Parakeet, I could not tell. In either ...well, as I am writing this, two returned to the same tree, and are at this moment, raising a ruckus. They were kind enough to wait around for me to put the glasses on them and identify them as being Black Hooded Parakeets. Even though there are not any more native parakeets (the Carolina Parakeet was driven to extinction at the trun of the last century) there are established colonies of these birds in Florida and Texas, and as far north as Virginia. Therefore, I get to include this beautiful addition to my life list, making it Bird Number 203! When I come to Siesta Key, I always bring my field guides and optics, for every time I get a new bird. Last month I got a Mottled Duck (I would have never thought), and this time the Black Hooded Parakeet! This is going to be a great day!
Beautiful morning on Turtle Beach. Up early, as this will allow me the opportunity to loaf longer. Morning temperatures in the low 60'sF. High today in the upper 80'sF. We have a nice Gulf Breeze this morning, which puts a little bit of a chill in the air. The smell of the Gulf is different from that of the Atlantic. Hard to describe. Not as salty? I don't know. Just different. Here is a photo of the Turtle Beach Camp Ground. If ever you find yourself on Siesta Key, we highly recommend this camp. The spaces are small, as you can see in the photo, but adequate. It is a wonderful thing when a Man knows that he is doing something for the very last time. This is a day of lasts. The last Friday in Florida for the season (there will be other Fridays in Florida in 2010, this is just the last of the Art Show Season). And the last Friday forever in the Scamp Camp. We have two more nights, tonight and tomorrow, and that is it for the Scamp. The reserve numbers went above our asking price, so now we only have to see who takes it over the next two hours.
It has been a great little camper. True to it's calling, it has been one of the best investments we have ever made. Over the last two years we have stayed in it over 90 weekends, for a total of over 200 nights. If you were to pay for that time in a Motel, your costs would be well over $3K, not including meals! It has saved us bundles of money, but the time has come to move up. We are excited about our new 18' Work & Play, and all of the additional room and amenities, but we will miss the little Scamp!

Well, Sherry just informed me that we are on our way to the beach to go on a shell collecting expedition, and so we are off.

(This post is for the 22nd. as I did not have time last evening to make my entry).

We cleaned up, polished up, and tagged and bagged all of the inventory we had built over the past two weeks. The numbers were stunning! We had a very productive two weeks, replacing all that was sold at Gainesville, and all the commissions that we outstanding for Florida. I finished the Prevatt kids Mother's Day present for their Mom, Nancy, and put the Studio to Sleep for 6 months. Well, actually, I have not put the studio to sleep yet, that will begin on Monday, but the Prevatt gift was the last piece of the season. Starry Night was the OFFICIAL last panel of the season, but who's counting?

So we were ready to leave by 1PM, and we headed out to a little R&R on Siesta Key. On the way in we stopped in Arcadia at the Wal-Mart to gather up some supplies, and Sherry picked up another MP3 player, as we are going to try once again to get some books on tape loaded up for her. We stopped at a Best Buy on Tamiami Trail and returned the iPod. I looked at flat screen TV's (for the new camper), and the new iPad, which was pretty impressive. I see this as being the next thing. It will put all of these old lap tops in the land fill.

We got to Turtle Beach at around 5PM, set up and headed straight to the beach. This is the Beach that we brought Jess & John and the Kids to. It is a beautiful beach, little used and mostly always deserted. We happened upon it by chance two years ago. The campground is quint, with a very small number of spaces, and run by the county (the best parks in Florida are often county owned parks, reasonably priced, and almost always clean). This one was privately owned, and slated for the "condo chopping block" when the county stepped in and purchased it from the owners. We love camp, and we love the beach.

As I was saying, we went immediately to the beach, found a nice bench and sat to watch the sunset set two hours hence. Not more than half a dozen people walked by the entire time. We caught a great Sundog off to the north of the set, just about 45 mins prior. A sail boat was crossing the sun just as it dipped into the Gulf. We had Ruddy Turnstones and Sanderlings running up and down the beach, along with the occasional Willet. It was Beautiful!

We came back and had a hot meal and spent the rest of the evening working on the MP3 player. I am so Amish. I cannot get this thing to work at all. Sherry will have to take it to someone who knows how to load this unit, or return it, along with the previously attempted units. First an MP3 player, than an iPod, now another MP3 player. Instead of taking this MP3 player back, she might decide to trade me in on someone who is more technologically advanced.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I got up really late this morning, 9AM. It had cooled down after last evenings rain. The temperatures were in the mid to lower 60'sF. Today we had some brief showers, with temperatures in the mid 70'sF. I finished up the Ponitz sidelights. Sherry polished everything that had not been cleaned and polished. After she finished with this chore, she started in on the 9"x9" Starry Night panel.

Tomorrow is tag & bag day, and than it is off to Siesta Key for a couple of days of R&R. We need it. We have been working around the clock on inventory and commissions. It will be nice to lay on the beach with Sherry & The Bluedog, read a book and do some bird watching.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beautiful morning, after an evening of light rain. Lows this morning 65F. Highs to day predicted to run into the mid to upper 70's. Some rain is working it's way in across the Gulf. We are to get isolated thunderstorms this afternoon. This could be problematic, as I will be soldering all day. Tomorrow is "Tag-n-Bag" day. Thursday we are off to Turtle Beach (I hope). My this last week is flying by. I am going to really miss Florida, but it is time to get home.

Monday, April 19, 2010

After we returned from town (to get the RV brake kit installed on the cube van at Randy's), we planted the Macadamia Nut Tree and a really beautiful purple trumpter from the Deadly Nightshade (baladonna?) family. This last picked up at the Hardware in LaBelle. After all the planting, we went straight to work on glass! Sherry polishing and waxing, and me on the Number Nime in silver dichroic, and a Starry Night.

We finished early, packed in the studios and took our evening walk around town. Sunny and her little friend were out on Milton's horses. These girls ride all around town, all of the time. They are out either in town, or out in the scrub everyday.

We returned home and Sherry started dinner. I went up to the top of the road to meet Todd, and tow the Scamp back to the house. I needed Todd's truck, as mine is still at Randy's. Todd stayed long enough to have a drink with Sherry. She had just finished squeezing some fresh Grapefruit, so she mixed this with tequila, Patron Orange, and orange juice. They both seemed to enjoy this refreshing beverage on a hot south Florida Day.

Good Morning World! Happy Monday to you and yours. We woke up to some stray showers this morning, continuing throughout the day. Lows this morning in the mid 60sF. Highs this afternoon in the mid to upper 70's. Another beautiful day in South Central Florida.

We both got a bunch of work foiled yesterday. We foiled all day long, and well into last night, so we are ready to finish at the soldering tables today. First things first though. I have to run the Scamp up to the US27 intersection and park it for the day. After that, the Ford goes in town for the brake package hook up at Randy's. We will order the A/C unit and electric tongue jack today. We are getting very close to the final steps in this process. The hardest part is just getting to Columbus, Ohio to make the pick-up. That is really going to take some effort. A bit of a kick, getting across the Continental Divide.

This weekend will be the very last time that we are in the Scamp. We are scheduled to arrive at the Turtle Beach Camp Grounds on Thursday (Earth Day). This will be a two day vacation for us, our last little break of the season. We will combine this with the Siesta Fiesta Art Festival.

After that, on Monday, it all ends, for all practical purposes. We begin loading up the Studio and packing up the house. This is a tremendous amount of work that I am not looking forward to. In addition to just packing up and packing out, all of the plants, flowers, trees, citrus, fruit etc.etc.etc. have to be cared for and moved about. I still have a Macadamia Nut that has to go in the ground (we lost one this year in the Deep Freeze of '10). The finally little thing is getting a panel together for the Pravatt Kids for their (exceptional) Mother. This Mother's Day Gift is becoming an annual thing with them, and I really get a kick out of it! So much to do, so little time. Best stop writing, and start moving.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We really slept in this morning, arising at 9:30AM! Cool temperatures steady in the low to mid 70'sF. Cloudy with rain. We moved the Scamp up to SR27 with the "For Sale" signs intact. I got the thing listed on four different on-line classified's (eBay, eBay classified, Craig's List, and UPillar). We are already getting responses from Craing's List. We only have one week left, and than it is pack up and on the road home! Here we go.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Up at 5:30 this morning. Low temperature of 65F. Highs today only in the mid 70's with light rain. It is predicted to rain throughout the weekend, and possibly the entire week. We are finally in our summer weather patterns, with rains daily out of the south west. The storms seem to form just off of the western tip of Cuba, sweep into south west Florida, and move across the state toward the east/northeast, moving right over Palmdale. We love the sumer showers here. It makes everything jump. The resurrection ferns all green up and everything just looks brighter, cleaner and clearer.

I finished foiling up the Comet panel this morning, and went out to solder at the crack of dawn. Sherry went into town, to the market. I was going to go, but decided instead to stay and ready the scamp for sale. The Pileated Woodpeckers were going crazy out in the Hammock today. When the weather turns, they come up out of the cypress swamps looking to expand their range into new nesting sites. We have a small "tank" adjacent to the Hammock and it may be just enough for the Pileated 's to nest. That would be cool. They are a noisy bunch!

My hard work paid off, as I got the second "Comet" complete this morning. It turned out to be a really spectacular panel. I am very pleased with this one!

We got the Scamp all cleaned up and ready to go out to the end of the road with a "For Sale" sign on her. We have had some great times in the old girl. But it is time to go. We are getting very excited about picking up the Forest River. The question is how are we going to manage the time to do it? Regardless, it will get done.

After all of the the Glass work, and the Scamp clean-up, I started on power washing the house. This is an annual chore that I hate, but it has got to be done. Now, after a delicious meal of pork, Jumpin' Johnny beans & sausage, and yellow rice, I am beat. But I have to list the Scamp on Craigs List, UPillar, and eBay classified. Lots of work, that, but it must be done.