Sunday, April 26, 2020

Early January 2020: Moving into a New Year

Posted: April 26, 2020                                                  Previous Posts:
About: January 2020                        December 2019: Boo Boo and Holiday
Gamble Rogers, Alafia and              December 2019: Jack and Tornado Troubles
Oscar Scherer State Parks, Florida


The new year began at Gamble Rogers with a lovely sunrise from my ocean front site.  Those seem to be the majority of the pictures I take here anymore.

Dawn on New Year’s Day 2020. Another first without David.  The tiny white light at the horizon line is a shrimp boat.

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The shrimp boat - Love my zoom lens.


Here comes the sun!

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                                                       Winnona watches.

Did the laundry on New Year’s day and walked up the ocean front to Snack Jack’s for lunch with my neighbors.  He’s strange, she’s nice.  No pictures.

Last night at Gamble Rogers.

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Bad news when I wake up the next day and start packing up to move.  The driver’s front jack won’t go up and upon inspection I find a broken jack spring.  Another one of those things David could fix if he were here but I cannot.  Of course without the spring, the jack won’t come all the way up and I have to get out my crowbar and force it. 


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Setting up winters in Florida at the state parks is a serious project and takes a lot of finagling if you don’t want to have to drive miles and miles between parks.

I’m leaving Gamble Rogers and heading across the state to another favorite park, Oscar Scherer.  BUT I was unable to get a spot there for the same day I leave Gamble.  So I’m stopping for one night at Alafia State Park on my way.  

I’ve never been there before but am thrilled that for just one night, I was able to get a pull through site and won’t have to disconnect Ruby and back in.  Some of the sites are pull offs along the campground circle road.

Thankfully the site is pretty level since I cannot put my jacks down without the spring to bring the left front up.  That means of course that I can’t put my slides out.  Thankfully Winnona’s design is such that I can manage everything I really need with the slides in.  Well done Winnebago.

First the hydraulic motor kept the slides in for days until I had it repaired and now who knows how long it will be before I can get new springs and someone to do the work.  As if I’m not missing David enough.

The drive across the state on I-4 is absolutely awful.  Terrible road, tons of traffic.  I am exhausted when I arrive but happy to find the area around the campground is lovely and there are many birds along the lake in the evening.


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Here’s the view out my dinette window looking across the road to the lake. 

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I take time for a morning walk at Alafia and determine that next year I will come back and spend longer here. 


The drive to Oscar Scherer isn’t long but unhappily for me it requires that I drive directly by Bay South City Center Hospital where David died and today is exactly 11 months since that happened.   What are the chances of this?   I definitely am not leading a charmed life.



IMG_2124Site 9 at Oscar was a bear to get into for me.  It had a narrow opening, a power pole on one side and palmettos on the other.  I had to go around the campground circle twice to get in position and then up and back multiple times to get far away enough from the power pole to put the slides out but not have the saw toothed palmetto branches use their saw blades on Winnona’s paint on the other side. It was a fine site once I finally got in the exact middle between the branches and the pole.   Why don’t I get a smaller rig you ask?
1.  I own Winnona, no loan.
2.  She’s a 2004 and even though she is tricked out to the hilt with solar and stabilizers and tons of other extras.  She would not sell for enough to buy anything near her quality
3.  I love her and am used to her
4. While I absolutely love this life, I’m not at all sure whether I will love it alone.

I determined the site was level enough that I would put out the slides and spent an entire day calling Winnebago, Lichtsinn Motors and Mobile RV Techs to get the parts and and an appointment.   This is one of the worst parts of RVing as a solo.


IMG_1617On Sunday I joined what is known as the Scrub Jay hike.  Oscar Scherer is a sanctuary for the endangered bird found no where but in Florida and thus known as the Florida Scrub Jay.  Their preferred habit known as scrub is being developed at a rapid rate leading to their decline.

There are perhaps 4 families of jays living in the park which is bounded on all sides by development and thus cannot expand. The birds are curious and fairly easily seen.



On the hike we also saw a red bellied woodpecker and an adult and a juvenile bald eagle in the nest on the green trail.




The other parent was keeping watch from nearby.

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Talk about having eyes in the back of your head.

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This evening I went to watch one of the DVDs and couldn’t get the player to work.  Another thing David would have known how to fix.  I checked what I could and then gave up in frustration.  It was just working last week.  SIGH…..

It’s almost getting laughable.  The next day Monday, I turned on my Sprint phone which is the only one that works at the farm – Verizon doesn’t work in the mountains of Virginia as I have found out.   I turn it on and have nothing but horizontal lines.  I bought the phone in the spring to use for the many months I was unable to travel this last year but haven’t used it much the last 3 months.  So I took it in to the local Sprint store where they told me that since I didn’t buy their separate coverage for it, even though the phone is under warranty I will have to contact LG, the phone’s maker.   The repairs of life are becoming over whelming.
The hydraulic motor, the jack spring, the DVD player and now the phone.  Sure am glad I have two phones.  Don’t much like paying for two phones.



That’s enough bad news for one day.  I take a hike on the Red Trail to the second eagle’s nest.  On the way I find a little blue heron.  It’s pretty amazing how different they can look depending on their stance.





I love what the light does to his feathers.



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On both the green trail, on the campground side and the red trail on the other side of the park, the trails are blocked off at a distance from the “eagle tree”.  In order to see the birds you really need either binoculars, a scope and a very good zoom camera lens.



I’m lucky that someone is at home when I arrive.  Eagle’s are BIG birds and their nests are HUGE.  Once they build one, the usually return year after year.


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On Tuesday I take Ruby in for an oil change.  I bring her back and go up on the roof to wash the salt off of Winnona.  I’ve done this many times in the last few years since I did not want David up on the roof.   But this time I was paying more attention to the hose than where I was going and stepped on the bathroom skylight and of course cracked it.   Let’s see that’s repair #5 or is it 6??  I spend the rest of the day researching how to get this repaired starting with tape to keep the rain out until I can get the parts and someone to install them.

I wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something.  I’m apparently not listening.


IMG_1731Wednesday would have been David’s 73rd birthday.  I do part of what I’m sure he would have wanted to do which is go out for dinner and attend the drum circle at Siesta Key Beach.  I don’t have any desire for dinner alone. I do attend the drum circle.  But it just isn’t the same without him.

Drummers make up the top of the circle.

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The head man is all decked out. 







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Right down to his fingers




People are dancing.


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Even little people have jungle skirts and are dancing.

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The center alter has been prepared and people are dancing around it.

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The jester heads around the circle.


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This was the dancer of the day in my opinion.

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The music starts to pick up and the birds to gather as the sun heads for the horizon.


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On Thursday the Venice Audubon Society leads a hike on the Green Trail where we see a juvenile eagle on one side near the beginning of the trail and an adult on the nest near the end of the trail.


IMG_2024I don’t usually take every hike the park offers but I do this visit.  On thing that is very nice about Oscar Scherer, if you are alone, is that there are so many activities.  Most state parks do not have the wide variety that the Friends of Oscar Scherer provide. 

I am grateful and  on Friday I’m out again for a ranger hike which went under the railroad beside the Legacy Trail, a wonderful bike trail that goes from Sarasota to Venice and the Gulf Beach.  There is an entrance from the park.  I wish I’d bought another bike.


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The highlight of the hike was 4 scrub jays on the trail.  Such fun to see them hopping along on the ground as well as seeing their beautiful colors in the trees with the sky as their background.  Of course I could not get them all in one picture but I did manage to get two of them together.



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IMG_2062The Ranger also mentioned 2 honey bee hives in the campground.  I asked for the site numbers and went by them after the hike.  One was a huge long hive attached to a branch.   I hope you can tell how large the hive is hanging down there and how high up.  Look closely in the second picture and you can see the bees covering the comb in the bottom of the picture.


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IMG_2068aThe other hive is inside the tree but visible from the campground road.  Neither was any threat to campsites and both were interesting to watch as the bees were coming and going.

The hive is in the split in the trunk on the left hand arm of the tree.  Red arrow points to it.


If you look closely, you can see a couple of bees against the darkness.

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Definitely busy bees. 

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This is my best picture of the comb.  Sure would like to have some of that honey but unlike Winnie the Pooh, I’m not sticking my paw in there.



IMG_2090In the late afternoon I go back to Nokomis Beach where they are having a “Food Truck” gathering at the pier. I spend some time at the beach where the skies are dark and gloomy.  The sun isn’t warming things up but folks are in the water in January.  They must be from Canada I think.




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I then head down to the pier.   The trucks have quite a variety of foods.  Everyone iss in pairs or families.   I am alone and really feeling it.  I only stay long enough to eat dinner.   I know no one and am feeling lonely.  Little do I know how much worse that is going to get in about 2 more months.


Smokin’ Mama Lora’s BBQ had a line as did the Ribeye Wagon

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I was amazed that the ice cream truck only had one patron though perhaps it was too early yet for dessert.

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I had some Mexican food from Ceyer’s Taqueria, the orange truck in the background here where I asked permission to take a picture of this great t-shirt.  I’m sorry I didn’t take two as it’s not very flattering to its wearer.  But, it’s the shirt that counts.  His family hadn’t caught up with him yet.

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Oscar Scherer had their annual Scrub Jay Festival over this week-end.  Lots of hikes, tram rides, games, presentations, speakers, food vendors and music.   It was wonderful to be able to go back and forth from the activities to Winnona so easily.


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Music (1)


There were a number of local environmental organizations with tables of information.  These very interesting ladies were from North Port. 

North Port Nancy blonde & Debbie


One of the big highlights of the festival ro4 m3 was this Maine food truck where I was able to buy LOBSTER, my absolutely favorite food in the form of a Maine lobster roll.   In Florida!  WOW!  and YUM!! 

Reservations at this park are very hard to come by.  I sure hope I can manage one for next winter at this same time to have another delicious lobster roll smothered in butter.

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IMG_2129On Monday I spend the afternoon at Nokomis Beach.  It is a lovely day.  The closeness of this Gulf of Mexico beach is one of the things I love about Oscar Scherer.

While the water is warmer at the gulf, the waves aren’t as much fun or as interesting as on the east coast Atlantic Ocean.



Still pelicans are among my favorite birds and I enjoy watching them and trying to get decent pictures of them.  Luckily they are on both sides of the Florida coast.





IMG_2127I am always curious about what books others are reading on the beach.  Often I’m too far away to see the titles clearly.  My zoom lens helps.   Unfortunately for me, I don’t often find things I am interested in.   I have always been a voracious reader, often over 100 books a year but I am also a picky reader.  I prefer classics, literary fiction such as All The Light We Cannot See,  Environmental Fiction such as Barbara Kingsolver, Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey.  Such books are becoming harder and harder find – ones I haven’t already read.  I’m not a reader of romance, crime, thriller, science fiction or fantasy. 

IMG_2134Although with the coronavirus quarentine, having closed all the libraries, put multiple holds on all the kindle books and  apparently affected my ability to concentrate, I’ve found myself reading cozy mysteries.  So if you have any of my preferred books or cozy series to recommend, please please do.  As you can see from what is being read on the beach today, I’m not getting any recommendations.


One my request for help.  I obviously need some selfie taking lessons.  Can anyone advise how to take those kind where everyone always looks attractive and happy?

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On Wednesday I drove up to Tampa for the big RV show.  Not sure why.  I don’t want anything but I guess it has become a habit.  And it was something to do.  I got a late start as I stopped at the ranger station on the way out to check and see if the springs and skylight I’d ordered had come on so I can schedule someone to do the work.  They had.  So I took them back to Winnona and that put me 30 minutes behind time and led to a much longer drive and nearly an hour line just to get in when I arrived about 11am.   I was able to meet  Nancy and Bill Mills there and went to see the new RV they are trading their Winnebago for.  Now that they have a home in Sebring Florida they will be more part timers with no need for the size of a full time rig.  I took not one picture and was totally exhausted after a traffic tied up delayed my arriving home.

I guess I’ll blame all the time I have on my hands now for the excessive length of this post and the ridiculous number of pictures. I do apologize and hope the time it took to read this won’t dissuade you from leaving a comment.   Please let me know how you are and any book recommendations or selfie suggestions you might have.

January 2020 part 2 is coming up on my way to being able to post about real time.

44 comments:

  1. I just read "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah and really enjoyed it. I think you would like it since you liked "All the Light We Cannot See." I have the greatest respect for you in trying to carry on with the RV. I don't think I could by myself. I don't have the knowledge or the strength to do it alone. I am happy to see that you are getting to your happy place, the beaches!

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    1. Yes Karen, I've read The Nightingale and think it's the best thing Kristin Hannah has written. I think you under estimate what you might do and be able to do.

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  2. Leveling jacks and slides have given me the most trouble on my Journey. Hope this social distancing and staying in place gets resolved soon so I can run up to the WB factory and get them repaired. Some day when I do finally downsize, I doubt very much if I will have jacks and slides, less goodies to break on you. I bought extra springs years ago and have not (yet) had to replace one, but I do have a finicky solenoid on my RF jack that sticks and leaks.

    So don't feel you're the only one with repair issues, we all have them. Hang in there! ;c)

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    1. Thanks for the empathy Paul. The hydraulics definitely cause the most problems for me outside of my inability to get those gray spots off of the fiberglass on Winnona's sides.

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  3. Lovely eagle pictures with your zoom camera. Nice that you keep in touch with Nancy & Bill :) My Mom is a voracious reader, Kindle mostly. She loves mystery novels for the most part.

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    1. Good to hear from you Laurie. Thanks so much for the comment. I read my "cozys" on the Kindle too but it seems I'm always "on hold" for the next one in a series.

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  4. With sunrise views like that even I might get up in time. Your camera zooms awesomely. You need some leveling boards/pads so not stuck with the slides in. Yet thank goodness it works, my 5er is tight but doable. (I own it, and it takes me hours to back it anywhere.) Have seen way too many floorplans that won't work with slides in. The Alafia views look lovely. In the Chaparral where I am now not far from Yarnell there are Arizona Scrub Jays that look similar though a bit slimmer. So awesome to see the Eagles' nest. Actually even more, by joining the Ranger hikes one often gets inside tips. So I'm biased. ;) I too ran out of books this winter and resorted to my not normal reading. Love your sneaky candid book shots. And when you figure out the selfie thing, please let me know.
    BTW, stuff never breaks at a good time, just all the time. My "honey do" list is l o n g. You show strength and perseverance by just being out there giving it a go.
    Hugs

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    1. It's not really so difficult with the slides in since I can still access everything of importance, read that kitchen, bathroom and bed. I think the two scrub jays are simply different branches of the same tree. You are totally right on the ranger hikes. I'm sorry that more state parks don't have them. Hugs back

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  5. The scrub jays look so different in color intensity depending upon the picture. You got some wonderful shots of the eagles! The little blue heron has all sorts of colors with the pictures in the sunlight- even pink! That one dancer really was waaayyy more talented than the others- so graceful. Looking at the bee hive and the honeycomb makes one realize how amazing nature is. You, more than anyone I know, appreciate its' wonders. I'm surprised you didn't snatch the Trump son book and jump up and down on it. Nokomis Beach looks lovely. I'd like to be sitting right there. Boo for all of the annoying mechanical problems but yay! for all the birds, the water and the sun rises. xxxooo

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    1. It's wonderful to see you here Pam, even though I talk to you every day. Bless your heart!! So right about the boo and the yea! Believe me I thought about accosting the man with the JR book.

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  6. Seems like January was AGES ago!! This staying at home and social distancing is really playing havoc with my sense of time. So it was just 3 months ago when we saw you at the RV show. WOW, you are almost caught up to real time!!! Hope you are OK. Bill and I are fine and just taking it a day at time. Stay Safe, Be Well and Take Care..........

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    1. Time does seem to be seriously dragging and the only bright spot I see is being able to catch the blog up. As I move forward I do less and less so there won't be much to say. Can't believe I saw you guys twice and took not one picture. What a friend I am.

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  7. Maybe you have already read "overstory" by now? Engrossing and sometimes hard to read, but a book right down your alley so to speak. Also, "Where the Crawdads Sing". I loved that book so much. I have a hard cover copy, if you haven't read it, I will mail it to you. Let me know. Some things are just so sad. Not referring to your loss of David, here, as we know that is way beyond sad. But I never made it to the Siesta Drum Circle, something I always wanted to do. Time has taken it's toll and now I know I will probably never get back to Florida. Some things are just left undone. I know I couldn't fulltime without a partner...I will be anxious to see how you manage. So many repairs are just horrid! I have Mo to handle all that stuff. Our rig is old as well, but we love it and can't find anything of the same quality for under 200K. Stupid. And at first I wondered why you would be so much lonelier in 2 months. Duh. LOL Let me know about the book.

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    1. You definitely know me well Sue. I have read The Overstory and your description of engrossing and sometimes hard to read is spot on. Have also read Where the Crawdads Sing. Thank you so much for the suggestions. Keep me in mind if you read anything else of note. You definitely have my taste. Glad to Florida Jay pictures brought you happy memories. Very sad to hear you may never get to the drum circle but then who knows if I will either.

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  8. Oh, and first time I saw a Florida scrub jay was when we were camped next to you two at Blue Springs. Happy memories.

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  9. Hmmm - I actually didn't think there was a ridiculous number of pictures or that the post was too long. Loved the pics of the eagles and the bees. Wish I could see them in person. Sorry for all the difficulties with mechanical things and technology - I can sympathize - seems like something is always breaking. Our sound system and camera system (both of which came with the house 3 years ago) are both on the bling and I've tried everything. Company that installed them for the builder is out of business. So now I'm trying to find someone somewhere that can fix them. I feel your pain......Glad you had a bunch to do at Oscar Scherer - sounds like a great place

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    1. Roger you are so kind about the post length. Trying to get things fixed is such a pain. At least most of my troubles are on equipment a lot older than 3 years. Thanks for making me feel better.

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  10. In the first place, one has to BE attractive and BE happy in order to take an attractive and happy selfie. Since you are apparently both, you might want to check your exposure. 🤪

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    1. Ha!! Said as only a high school boyfriend could. Great to see you here. Thanks.

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  11. You certainly seem to have been suffering from plenty of break downs. I hope that you managed to sort them before lockdown started. I liked the pictures of the bees. We have two hives in our garden, but the daft thing is that I don't like honey! I keep my neighbours well supplied though. I love keeping bees and enjoy caring for them, they are amazing creatures. Did you know that they found perfectly preserved honey in some of the Pharaoh's tombs in Ancient Egypt? It had been produced all those thousands of years ago and was still edible. Although I do wonder who actually was the Guinea pig brave enough to carry out the taste test! Stay safe.

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    1. How cool that you are a bee keeper. Your Lucky neighbors. Boy brave is the word.

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  12. Great bird and sunset pictures! Happy & attractive selfies...take many takes or ...edit. I'm sure some folks do. January does seem very long ago. Love that little skirt on the girl at Siesta Key. I remember being there too. Miss you lots 💗

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    1. Miss you too sweetheart. I can barely take the selfies let alone figure out how to edit them. I thought that jingle skirt was so cute too- just like the big girls

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  13. Every time you post about your wonderful adventures at Oscar Scherer I want to go there. It's one of the few Florida State Parks we haven't stayed at, but I can never seem to get reservations. So I just have to enjoy it thorough your eyes and your photos. :-)
    I just finished a wonderful novel called "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine," by Gail Honeyman. Others that come to mind are "The Story of Arthur Truluv" by Elizabeth Berg, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette," by Maria Semple, "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand," by Helen Simonson, "Be Frank With Me," by Julia Clairborne Johnson. I like novels with characters who face unique challenges and still manage to find joy.
    Sending hugs from both of us. Laurel & Eric

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    1. Every year it gets harder to get reservations at Oscar Scherer. I'd love to stay there for the maximum amount of time the state allows but there's no way. Thank you so much for all the recommended titles. I've read them all but the last one which I will definitely check out.

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  14. as usual, great pictures. So sad to be cooped up like we are now. I just finished reading Bel Canto and am now reading The Dutch House, both by Ann Patchett. Both good. Talk to you soon.

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    1. Glad you like the pictures. There sure were a lot of them. I've read bel canto and liked it so I will definitely check out the Dutch house thanks a lot Lynne.

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  15. Have you read the series of books by Nevada Barr? They are mysteries with the main character in every book a female Park ranger. Each book is set in a different national park. Another cozy mystery series is by Sue Henry. Set in Alaska. I love the photos you take.

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  16. Kathy thanks so much for commenting and for your suggestions. I started reading Nevada Barr years ago and have read every single one loving the fact that they took place in national parks. I have read something by Sue Henry but it's been a long time so I'll go back and look her up again. Thanks for reminding me.

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  17. Being able to live in an RV with the slides in is an important thing to look at while buying an RV. My waiting list on my library shelf is always full. I will check out some of those suggestions from your followers. Your selfie is perfect. It is you.

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  18. I don't think I'd be having the trouble finding books to read if I were able to go to my library at this point. I guess what I meant was that the selfie is not particularly flattering and thus not a good picture of me. Of course it's me but I have taken much better pictures that work selfies. Thanks for the comment. Good to see you here.

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  19. So good to hear from you again...new author i have found Linda Castillo, mystery. I have recommended books on my blog.. for the life i can't think of any authors right now, am lucky if i remember as i am reading what is going on, sometimes have to really think about it. Bothers me.. maybe i am loosing my 'faculties" Oh, like harlan corbin too. and just finished american dirt, it was good and enlightening.. read alot about WWII times....
    Am hobbling about, getting by, doing yardwork, i DO so enjoy that.. will put off house work as much as possible for any little reason, but yardwork, will go right out and do, HA! My son is mowing lawn for me now. Been babying Luci... this is her 15th year. she has been such a companion and blessing?comfort to me most of the time Not so much when she wants out 2499 times a day!!!
    Take Care and God Bless
    love hearing about your travels, hikes and pictures!!

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    1. Thanks Loree for the author recommendations. I'll look into them. Glad to hear you are able to get about even if you are hobbling. I'm with you on put off the house cleaning as long as you can. Thanks for your comment.

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  20. I think I read the Nevada Barr series a long time ago and had forgotten about them. My eyes are too bad to try to read now, although I still buy books now and then and never get past the first chapter.

    I shudder to think of my couple of years as a full-time solo RV-er. I've always enjoyed being a solo traveler, but just not in an RV.

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    1. I'm so sorry about your eyes. I don't know what I'd do if I could not read. It has been my #1 hobby my entire life.

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  21. Another Texas TravellerApril 28, 2020 at 10:46 AM

    First time commenter. Great Sunrise photos. Loved the drum circle photos. You are finding your way. It takes time.

    Have you read Goodbye to a River by John Graves. It’s from the 60’s and hard to find so you may need to go digital to get it. A series of cozies that I like is Toby Neal’s Paradise crime.

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    1. Welcome to my blog and thank you SO much for commenting. I love to hear who is reading and what they think. I believe I am finding my way and know it takes time. I just wish I hadn't been interrupted in my efforts by this seemingly never ending quarantine. Thanks for the book recommendations. I'll look them up.

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  22. Oh how I want to find a drum circle somewhere nearby!! I always love seeing your pics of that beautiful ritual on the beach. I'm glad you had so much lovely nature to enjoy during all the repair pain. Your selfies have always been better than mine so I have nothing to offer. When We Believed in Mermaids is a great read that I've recommended to many folks. I read five books a week but most are in categories you don't read, but I'll remember to send you any ideas I think you'll like. Stay safe and sane my friends.

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    1. I've put Mermaids on my list Jodee. And thanks for keeping me in mind for future recommendations. I wish there were a drum circle near you. Actually I wish there were a drum circle near every park I stay in not just Oscar Scherer. There are actually 3 or 4 of them on the central gulf coast but I haven't found them anywhere else.

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  23. A selfie trick I heard is to look up, not down. That stretches the neck rather than bunching it up.

    I'm in hermit mode and not posting much. Still reading your posts, though.

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    1. Love your selfie advice Shadowmoss. So good to see you here. Thank you for reading my posts and commenting. I think we are all in hermit mode forced or not.

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  24. One of my regrets, never seeing a Scrub Jay while in Florida.

    Now that we've bought a home, and sold the MH, not sure when I might ever have another chance.

    Loved all the pics. . .

    My very close friend is traveling the very same, long, dark valley of the shadow of aloneness, (14 months Apr 15) that you are. . .on almost the same exact timeline.

    My heart breaks for you both. . .hugs!

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    1. The scrub jays are so much fun. They are curious and will sometimes, as you may have seen in previous posts, light on you head or shoulder. I'm sorry you never saw them. Perhaps some day you'll return to Florida just for that reason. Please feel free to give your close friend my email address or the blog link. We would probably have a lot to share. Thanks for your empathy. It is a rough road and your description of the long dark valley of the shadow of aloneness is a perfect description.

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  25. I am behind on my reading, obviously. This was a roller coaster post for me - joy at seeing the pictures, thinking about lobster roll and knowing that you have found a new park to explore, but sadness at the thought that all of these events were shadowed by David's absence. The maintenance problems would do me in. Good for you to fight through them.

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