Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hi Ho Hi Ho

The countdown has begun..24 more days until the end of contract for those of us who are Amazon elves! Funny, I never looked SO forward towards Christmas's arrival before.

The weekend starting with Black Friday was crazy. Friday night they had every shift scheduled to work. I have no idea how the actual numbers were for the night, but there were so many people working in Crisplant department that we were literally tripping over each other. I'm so glad that is behind us. We have gone to overtime already, going to 5 nights and 50 hours  starting last week. We have gone into work, eat, sleep mode for the next three weeks. Making things more fun, we had to scramble again for car-pooling as they switched Al's hours to 6:30PM-6:00AM, while I stay at 5:30PM-4:00AM. Luckily, we have enough friends at the park now that I can bum a ride with :-). And it's only another 3 weeks.

What happens when you leave your husband home alone with a shopping list? You come home to a fully decorated trailer!


Laura and I turned the corner at the top of the hill leading into the campground and there at the far end of the campground was blinking lights, and a dressed-up for Christmas Mickey lantern. We're quite festive now, aren't we :-)?

A close-up of the Mickey lantern that my wonderful husband built...I've been wanting one for a long time and he finally had the time to put it together, as well as a Lowe's nearby, while waiting to start at Amazon. Isn't it cute? I can't wait to put it up while we're at Fort Wilderness this winter!

Thanks for the ideas about Nova Scotia, I'm going to start researching things to do there, and in the Bar Harbor area this winter. Its always good to have a list of things to do and explore for those days off...we certainly don't want to sit around doing nothing now, do we ;-)?

That's about it for now. Nothing too exciting, but wanted to check in and let everyone know we are still working hard and ready to process those important Christmas orders! Have a great week :-).


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Which is Worse?

I don't know which is worse...the endless political ads, or now that the election is over we're bombarded with Black Friday ads. I don't know anyone who actually goes shopping on Black Friday!

I've stopped watching the news again. I'm finding I'm much happier :-).

Packing is ramping up at Amazon, along with every other job there. This week we were given the opportunity for voluntary overtime. I decided to take it, so this week I'm working 5 days, or 50 hours. It sounds like a lot, but being on the night shift isn't so bad. The nights I'm not working I'm just sitting home in the trailer amusing myself with television (not news), reading and crafts, so I might as well be working and make some money. I started a counted cross stitch design of an Amish quilt block design...its helping me get used to these darn bifocal glasses. After reading the jacket of Ken Follett's book "Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy", I decided it was worth $9.99 for a book over 1000 pages and bought it for my Kindle. I hope its good, I have read and enjoyed some of his older books.

Al finished our Mickey light pole, and I'll take a picture as soon as we get it dressed for Christmas in a Santa hat :-).

Its so fun to hear so many people enjoy watching "The Big Bang Theory".

We were discussing out summer in Maine next year. One thing Al wants to do is visit Nova Scotia. If any readers have been there, I'd love to hear your thoughts on "must do" and "can't miss" activities. Mark Johnson over at Box Canyon Blog said in a comment we'll love it....I'm sure we will, but Mark, if you're reading this, let me know what you really enjoyed when you were there. I know you seek out the activities and spots that the general public doesn't know about ;-).

Well, the blogs aren't nearly as interesting this time of year, but I try to put down random thoughts to let folks know we're still out here, and yes, even having a good time for the most part. We have such a beautiful site to stay at for the three months we're here, and its so lovely to wake up and sit outside enjoying our lakefront property before heading into work. The folks that have discovered this gem along with us are great people as well, and a bunch of us are getting together to go to Thanksgiving dinner Thursday at a local restaurant, The Creekside.

So, on that note, that's the report for the week, and Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Random Thoughts

There will be nothing cohesive in this entry, just a series of random thoughts that have been wandering through my head as I enter my "packing zone" and count down the days until we head to Florida for the winter.

The election is over. Thank goodness. No more political ads. Whole new cans of worms however. Naive optimistic little me, I thought maybe we would see a new, more congenial tone, a willingness to announce that we are all Americans, and we should work together to solve our pressing issues. Doesn't it seem as the levels of discord are getting louder?

Secession? Really??

Doesn't the whole Petraeus scandal seem to be just a bit on the juvenile side?

I really resent being pigeon-holed as a certain type of person because of the way I vote. It's insulting. I can't believe these talking heads on TV get paid for the drivel they spout.

The Northeast is still reeling under the effects of Superstorm Sandy. I comb the internet for the local news of our former hometown. Luckily, the East End of Long Island escaped with a pretty hefty bruising, but not the outright devastation of the shoreline to the west and New Jersey. Brutal. The best in folks are brought out, and I am happy to report after reading this article that I am very proud of our former home area. Several of these folks mentioned were former clients of mine. We are especially proud of our hometown Sag Harbor, Al's former ambulance corp. and one of our best friends, Ed Downes, for their relief efforts on behalf of the devastated community of Broad Channel.

I enjoyed reading Kim's blog entry on the first 12 weeks of their life on the road. Missing things was thought provoking. I really don't miss my house as much as I thought, and I don't even miss the area...knowing we'll always be going back for visits. I miss the family and friends we left there. I miss the "experience of community" a bit. For example, it feels a little odd out here on the road and going to local festivals and events, and not knowing anyone there. Back in Sag Harbor, we literally could not walk more than a couple of feet at the Fire Dep't. carnival, or the Whaler's Festival without meeting people we knew.

On the flip side, we create new communities within the campgrounds we stay at, mostly where we're working for awhile. Taking the dogs for a walk takes quite awhile now, by the time you stop and chat with everyone...at least, everyone who is awake here at Green River Lake :-). And its wonderful. The RV community is a very caring, friendly group, generally speaking. We love to share our experiences!

I had a really nice chat with our neighbors Rhonda and Wayne. They have started a blog Turn When The Road Does. They've been out here for three months now I think. Having a great time :-).

Does anyone else like watching "The Big Bang Theory"? I think the show is a hoot!

I know there are "Survivor" fans out there. Isn't this a good season? How about "The Amazing Race"? I love James and James, the Chippendale dancers. They are so goofy and having such a good time. I love seeing that.

I sure am glad my job at Amazon is only temporary. I couldn't imagine having it as a full time year round job.

I am really looking forward to working in Bar Harbor Maine next summer. It looks like there is so much to see and do in the area. I can't wait to see real live puffins!



I'll end this entry as I have been the past few....cooking! We found we were able to cook an entire turkey dinner without too much difficulty...we roasted a turkey breast, made stuffing, mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. Excellent! And there was enough left over for turkey and stuffing sandwiches, and another dinner, turkey tetrazinni.


Ingredients
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound mushrooms thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Madeira
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 to 3 cups leftover cooked turkey, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1/2 pound linguine cooked to al dente stage
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese mixed with 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet. When the foaming subsides, add the mushrooms and saute, over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until the mushrooms have absorbed the butter and are tender. Stir in the Madeira and evaporate over high heat.

In another saucepan heat 3 tablespoons of butter. When foaming subsides, stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook, over low heat, for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove sauce from heat and stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the mushrooms and turkey.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole. Layer half of pasta, half of mushroom and turkey mixture and repeat with pasta and turkey mushroom mix. Scatter Parmesan and bread crumbs over the top and dot with remaining tablespoon of butter. Heat for 45 minutes or until heated through, sauce is bubbling and top is browning. If you wish, slide casserole under the broiler for a moment to brown the top.

Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunny Saturday

Along with most of the east coast last week, it wasn't really nice here in Kentucky. We didn't have the awful nor'easter like they did up north, but the cold front popped through here mid-week and it was on the chilly side, and not a lot of sun. Saturday, however, was a beautiful day, sunny and in the 70's. It was also our last day off together until we're done at Amazon. Al is working Tuesday through Saturday, and my shift is switching to Friday through Monday, with my overtime day Wednesday. We have found a dog walker for the nights we overlap. Mich and Bill are here in Green River Lake, with Bill working at Amazon. They also have a dog, which is why Mich isn't working as well. She was worried about leaving Abby alone for so long. So she is happy to walk our two for us, and we told her if they come back next year, and she wants to work as well, we'll swap off dog walking :-).

After breakfast, we decided to go for a short drive, and do a little geocaching to enjoy the nice day. This area actually has quite a bit of Civil War history, and we visited the Tebbs Bend Battlefield. This was a small but fiercely fought battle of the Civil War, between a small force of untested recruits of Moore Is 25th Michigan and Confederate General Morgan's 800-1000 battle-hardened and confident dismounted cavalrymen from Duke's and Johnson's brigades.  This small but significant battle was completely overshadowed by the much larger and war turning point battle going on to the north at the same time, Gettysburg.  A complete description of the battle can be read here.

We stopped by the marina first to check out the houseboats.

There are also small cabins on floating docks here as well, where you can dock your boat.

Green River Lake is a pretty large lake, and this is only one of a few marinas scattered around its shores. On nice days there is quite a lot of recreational activity on the lake, and many folks must enjoy houseboating judging from the number of them in the marinas.

We found a total of three geocaches on the battlefield drive, bringing our total to over 150 caches found. The last one of the day was in this pretty little cemetery where the men killed during the battle were laid to rest.


We had decided since it was our last night off together for awhile, that we would go out for dinner to Colton's Steakhouse for Al's birthday. It was ok, but not a place that we would go running back for. The food was all right, but we received our appetizers AFTER we had our entrees. Service was definitely as little spotty. I like the steaks that Al cooks for us much better :-).

Ok, last thing, I have another crockpot recipe to share. We enjoyed this one as well. I guess it shows we're not doing too much besides working when all I have to share is recipes :-). 

Crock Pot – Chicken Chow Mein 
Ingredients:

1-2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 Pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1/2 to 1 inch chunks
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
6-8 green onions, sliced, including green
1 and 1/2 Cups of thinly sliced celery
1 Cup of chicken broth
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1/3 Cup of soy sauce
1/4 Teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 Teaspoon of ground ginger
1 medium clove garlic, minced
8 Ounces of bean sprouts
8 Ounces of water chestnuts, sliced
1/4 Cup of cornstarch
1/3 Cup of water


Directions:

Heat oil in skillet and brown chicken. Place chicken in slow cooker and combine all ingredients except cornstarch and water . Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Turn slow cooker to high.

Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl; stir until mixture is dissolved. Stir into the slow cooker. Keeping cover slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, cook on HIGH until thickened, about 15-30 minutes. Serve over rice or Chinese noodles.

I do cut the recipes in half most of the time, but for this one I just halved the amount of chicken and kept the veggies and sauce the same. Enjoy!



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wouldn't It Be Lovely?

A random thought on this post-election day....wouldn't it be lovely if everyone would just settle down, get together, and work on practical common sense solutions to the issues we are all facing?

One thing I thought of over this summer is how, as travelers, we are being exposed to so many different ways of life right here in this country. We spend time in small towns in different areas. We see how folks are doing. Some areas have been downright sad to see. I read an article about a New York investment banker who was transferred to California, and decided to make a cross-country trip out of the move, going slowly and "seeing" America. The trip was an eye-opener for him, he had no idea how life was for the less well-off among us. I thought it would be a great idea for every politician to get out of their ivory towers and see how the rest of us are dealing with every day life out here.

This spirit of divisiveness in our country at this time saddens me a great deal. I am a non-confrontational type of person. I don't really find most issues to be black and white clear, but rather to have several shades of gray...and no, I haven't read the book, but judging by the numbers of them that I am packing many people are :-)! Being a small business owner for the major portion of my life so far, I usually see issues from both a management and consumer side of things. I believe I was raised to be a tolerant person. I don't understand how each side of the political spectrum can be so unforgiving to the other side. Compromise seems to be a thing of the past. Why? Why can't anything get done?

Enough said about that.

We are settled in to our schedules, working full time now. I have adjusted to the night shift fairly rapidly. My  feet are achy at the end of the shift, but there's no surprise in that, we're standing and walking on a cement floor. The weather has been unseasonably chilly, but it is suppose to warm up again on Friday. We use two electric heaters to cut down on propane usage, a Dr. Heater infrared heater in the living area and a small ceramic heater in the hallway keeps the bedroom area warm. There was frost on the windshield Monday morning as I left the warehouse, we had to defrost the windshield! Oh no! Not flip-flop weather at all.

Saturday night, even in the chilly temperatures, we gathered around a campfire for s'mores with our friends from last year, Shawn and Joy. They were here at Green River Lake last year as well..we all love it here, its so quiet and peaceful. A beautiful view greets us when we are not working. We had some bald eagles flying over the lake one afternoon, but too far away for pictures. Every morning as we drive in we see a ton of deer, usually a few polecats, the other night we saw a raccoon. On the way in to work Monday night Laura and I had a beautiful hawk sail on by in front of the truck, and snag some kind of rodent off the side of the road. It was beautiful to watch him for a few minutes.

Saturday night will be our last night off at the same time, so we're going to go out to eat at Colton's Steakhouse here in Campbellsville for Al's birthday. Other than that we have no plans until Christmas, when we'll join the tail-light parade out of Campbellsville to our winter nesting grounds :-). Speaking of which, I read something I just couldn't believe the other day. We are lucky enough to be spending two weeks this winter with family and friends camping at Fort Wildnerness in Walt Disney World...how cool will that be :-)!!  Anyway, I was cruising the Disboards forum for tips and hints on staying at the Fort, and ran across a very strange post. Yes, I know there are a lot of strange folks that post to internet boards, but this was so out there. A lady wrote in a question, saying she is coming to stay at Fort Wilderness and is bringing her chihuahua with her, and the dog suffers from separation anxiety, howling whenever it is left alone. She wanted to know a "good loop" to stay in where she wouldn't be close to any other campers so the dog wouldn't bother anyone while they were in the parks all day. As you imagine, there were quite a few remarks from folks saying you should leave the dog home, or board it in daycare, things like that. So she writes back that she's decided that she'll rent seven sites, park her camper in the middle to create a "buffer" zone, and if people still complain she'll give them $100.00 gift cards to make up for the "inconvenience" of listening to her dog howl.

Ok, what do you think? I know what I think! :-). That's about all the thoughts I have for today. I'll see what I can find interesting to write about in another couple of days. have a good one!