Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Sunday, June 17, 2012

wild(??)life at North Hartland Lake

Still waiting to see the deer, bear and moose that reportedly inhabit the area.  In the meantime we have two of these nasty looking spiders (which by the way are about two inches from tip to tip).  The summer ranger told us they are "wolf spiders" - I will take his word for it.

This tiny squirrel decided he needed a rest with my sad looking gerbera  daisy and even sadder $1.49 geranium.  Maybe he thought he had a green enough thumb to get those plants in better shape than I'm able to do.  He was so funny to watch, when I spoke to him through my open window he froze, as if thinking if I don't move perhaps she won't know I'm here!

I got rather silly the other day as I was once again putting on my boots to schlep through the wet path to the tiny booth.  This is how I dress for "work" on these seemingly never ending rainy days here

and this is how I spend my hours in the tiny booth on rainy days when no one comes to the beach or to enjoy the lake in a canoe or kayak!  I completed five crib quilt tops in three days!  Finally the rain has stopped and we've had a couple gorgeous days, clear blue skies with temperatures in the mid 80's!  

I forgot to mention in my previous post describing this "park" that we have three picnic shelters for rent here!  They are gorgeous and have charcoal grills and electric outlets.  The first photo below is the small one which I believe can accommodate 5o(ish) people.  The second photo is one of the two large shelters which can accommodate 100 people.  There is one small shelter and two large ones.  The large one below is next to the rest rooms and the playground area.  Set in a large field.  I thought one of these would be a terrific setting for our "Annual Peck Family Christmas BBQ", but sadly that won't happen this year as they all ended up being rented on the weekends that we are off, before a decision could be made!  Oh well ....

Last weekend we were off on Sunday and Monday (as well as Tuesday) so we got on the bikes and headed to Laconia (NH) for the motorcycle rally.  Rick used to go every year when we were in MA, I'd go "occasionally".  It's only about a 60 mile ride from where we are now so we headed out with no specific plan, but our overnight bags "just in case".   We ended up staying the night and had planned on riding Monday and spending the night at a different place but rain was predicted for Tuesday and neither one of us wanted to ride home in the rain on Tuesday so we ended up nixing that plan and just headed home on Monday.  Rick did go back yesterday (Saturday) for the day to meet up with friends who he used to go with "back in the day".

I thought our Princess Paige would like the bike below - she's into Tiger and Tiger bouncing!

Here is a picture from one of the places we stopped (the event is on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee).  Loved this shot of the lake and the mountains.

While we were there a gaggle of ducks went by ...  mommies and babies all lined up and way way behind the daddies just chilling along at leisure without a care in the world, while the mommies kept those babies all under control!

Ending with a pretty sunset

Stay tuned

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Not sure I remember

how to do a blog post, and since the days long ago when I posted regularly, blogger has totally changed .... Yup, I am the one that HATES change, so this should be very interesting, to say the least.

So here we are in North Harland Lake, in Vermont for the summer, at our latest volunteer position.  

It really is a lovely area, but three days on, three days off, sitting in our little booth gets very old very quickly when there is no one coming to enjoy the lake because it never seems to stop raining for more than a few hours.

There is a cute little "nature center" here, although we've never seen it open!  Hopefully when kids are out of school and we are inundated with people enjoying lovely summer days, perhaps it will open.

Nature Center

and a lovely playground for when Ms Princess Muffin Paigie Pie comes to visit Papa and T-T

The "cat walk" over the approach to the dam - damn you won't catch me out there tho!

Below, the furthest point out into the water on the left is the beach.  The Corps has spent the last ten months trying to clean this up and get the beach back up and running since the aftermath of Hurican Iren last August 28!  Just before the beach is the boat launch area that Sir loved to play at last year.

The photo below is looking across the recreation are to the hill beyond.  That is a random cloud, not smoke in the photo!

These two photos (above and below) were taken just down the road from where we are, looking out over the mountains to the north east on yet another cloudy evening.  The weather may be the pits most of the time, but the area is just so beautiful that one must try to over look the weather, and realize that in New England if you "stick around a while, the weather will change"!

One of my favorite past times seems to be watching "my" hummingbirds!  They are absolutely amazing to me.  The first time I ever saw one was about seven years ago at our house in Whitman - I was so excited.  So excited in fact that my youngest son bought me two beautiful hummingbird feeders for Mothers day or my birthday that year!  Now I can just sit in my chair (rocking away like a little old lady) and watch them only seven or eight feet away from me.  In fact yesterday, I was outside and one came to the feeder not two feet from me.  Often times it is indeed the little things in life!  Rick may be getting tired of hearing about "my" hummingbirds on an hourly basis though!

One evening we we "touring" the property and came across this huge turtle .... we thought it was a female laying eggs, but won't ever know, as a week or so later another load of gravel was dumped nearly on top of where she was, so if there were eggs there, I'm fairly certain they are destroyed.  

Word has it there are deer, grouse, turkeys, moose and even a bear on the property - I'll let you know, for sure, when there are Whelan sitings for such critters, but for now it's hummingbirds and turtles!  Stay tuned ......

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

a sad sad day

RIP my dear dear DEAR friend ....

one of the most recent photos taken a month ago while we were volunteering at Osceola National Forest

taken March 2008 in Oceanside CA ...

April (or March) 2008 in CA (can't remember the name of the campground)

taken at Pensacola, FL Elks Lodge ... oh how he LOVED water 

oh such a look!!!  Don't remember what he was "focusing" on ... but it sure wasn't ME!

RIP my dear friend ....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

busy busy and busier

Seriously busy since the last post - thank you Bonnie Jeanne for prodding me to get with the program, and Marsha for shaming me (your comment to my last post, however many weeks ago that may have been!).  

We've been in lovely (??) Lake City area for a month now.  There is a lovely mural on the side of a building in the downtown area (that's all I know about it ... lovely and downtown), but I DO love these murals ~ remember the post from LA and the frog capital of the world?  NOW those were some outstanding murals!

If we aren't in "lovely downtown" Lake City we are watching big huge bugs sauntering across our window ... well not exactly our window ~ this is one of the two window in front of which is my chair ... yup, where I sit as I create this literary masterpiece!  Thankfully this creature was on the outside - cause I sure as heck would NOT be capturing it on "film" (huh) if it were on the inside ...

I might have been capturing it in a vacuum cleaner or mashing it with a broom or something!  I did record a video, but once again I am video/blog challenged so you won't be seeing that sloooooooow moving video (consider yourself lucky is what I'd suggest)

And if we aren't watching bugs we might be taking a teeny tiny walk about the campground enjoying a sunset such as these (yes I did close the previous post with a sunset photo~my bad)

BUT, we do sometimes leave the area.  Indeed we do because ......

We've left Sir Arlo at "camp" to go house hunting!  

When we've been in this area before and have flown north from the "local" (Jacksonville) airport we've left Arlo here at Pet Paradise Resort, which we've referred to as "camp" when we mention it in his presence!!  Call us crazy for sure, but we are what we are, and we ain't what we ain't!  Upon our return we always quiz him about the new camp songs he learned and what crafts he did in our absence ... you know camp things, like Popsicle stick houses, leather belts or wallets, funky finger paintings ... you get the gist I'm sure ... Strangely enough Sir won't discuss it with us, in fact we get a glazed pissed off look if he will even look AT us ... mostly its just stare out the back window and totally 'dis us ... for a day or two or three ... 

As for the house hunting, well we've sort of been checking out properties in the areas where we've stayed the last year or so, but the major factors have always been that we need to be close to GREAT hospitals and a reasonably large airport that has Southwest Airlines and hopefully Jet Blue and probably the east coast, but that wasn't as key a factor as hospital/airport ... and Florida just seemed to be what kept coming up, and the Jacksonville area specifically ... 

 We have taken a bit of a break from all that, however, to put Papa on an aforementioned Southwest plane to head north to our Princess Paigie Pie Muffin Face (not to mention Patrick and Beth)

Lucky lucky lucky Papa got to be there for a tea party before our Princess headed off to "school" ... 

How great is it to have a tea party with an almost three year old grand princess and her special friends????  I do think, however that T~T (aka yours truly) should be making some fine and festive place mats for said tea parties.

While Papa was up north having tea parties and fun with his friends at his lodge and birthday celebrations with Beth's family I was hard at work ....

You know, earning our site here at this wonderful National Forest campground (one of the top three places we've been in four years on the road)

And, if I wasn't at my "work job" earning our site, I was home creating .....

Oh what great therapy my quilting is for me!!!  However, my six month old Singer had a mechanical failure the night before Rick returned ... Because Singer has ONE (seriously) authorized dealer here in the huge state of FL it's been a challenging  decision .... send it away for who knows how long or .......  but I can't be without my sewing machine, and I was just starting a project for my Princess ....  UGH .

So, stay tuned for the Singer status as well as house hunting travails .... or whatever might bring you back to  whelanswheels!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Where the heck are we?

Seriously, where have we been.  Yup I know Sisters Candy and Kimmy and dear friend "Good Paul", wherever we've been I haven't been on blogger!!!  As John, Paul, George and Ringo said ... yeah yeah yeah ... here I am with tales to tell.

I guess the last post was a very brief one (I'm too lazy to even check) when I got my lovely pink, oh so very pink, cast off.  That would have been when we were in the Richmond, VA area (where we'd been before and I did a post or two or three from there on our first, delightful visit there, in yet another area we loved).  The post prior to that was probably when we were in Coatesville, PA, where the "accident" aka, broken arm happened, also did a post from there, more than one I am certain when we were there a couple years ago (another area we LOVED).

With all that said .... after we left the Richmond area this time around we headed to North Carolina.  Again we stayed at the Neuse River campground of the Crotan Nation Forest, just down the road from my son Joshua and his wife and son (Trisha and Connor).  We'd stayed at this lovely, peaceful campground before, but the last time we were there the new ranger had an issue with us leaving the trailer in the parking area where we had put it twice previously.  With that being the issue we stayed elsewhere when we were in the area the last two times, but I really wanted to try there again, so I made a couple phone calls and spoke with the latest ranger there who had NO issue with the trailer being where we'd parked it before!  The forest had suffered some tornado and hurricane damage this past season so it appeared a bit different than we remembered for sure!  Still loved it though!

So, we were with Joshua, Trisha and Connor for Thanksgiving .... ahh what a wonderful time we had.  We were there for about 10 days, got to see Connor and his class perform a Thanksgiving "pageant" for parents and grandparents etc.  Unfortunately I am unable (my ignorance ... damn, damn, damn) to post videos here so trust me when I say it was awesome!

Also a missing video is one of Connor reading Rick "The Napping House" ... oh it was so much fun to watch them.  Connor taking great joy in reading and Rick's antics acting out what Connor was reading!

After we left North Carolina we headed south to .... you guessed it, South Carolina.  Where again, we stayed somewhere we'd been a couple times  - Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet.  A campground we all love, especially Sir Arlo because he gets to run and run and run on the beach and swim and play in the surf  (sorry, no pictures of that, but there have been previously!)

One of the reasons we stopped here again was to purchase a new trailer .... oh such a pleasure!  (not)  But after replacing tires and axles it became quite obvious that we (the trailer, at this time I am not referring to the human(s)) were indeed overweight and in addition to being unsafe it was expensive!

Yup, she's a beauty!  UGH

Next we are off to  Gaffney, SC for repairs to the coach's exhaust system!  Do ya think it's been an expensive few weeks!?!?

Then, finally we are in Florida and it is Christmas.  Meanwhile, in New Hampshire we are missing our Princess set up the nativity scene made by her Grandmother (Patrick's Mom, Nancy) years ago.  We had the Nativity set up in our house each year, but passed the tradition to Patrick (Rick's son) and his wife and daughter (Beth and Princess Paige) when we sold the house and "hit the road"

Isn't that marvelous picture of our girl with wonder in her eyes!!!  Oh how I wish we were there - I had such a "melt down" on Christmas Eve when we spoke and she was telling me (aka "T-T") about her day and that she was eating ice cream cake that Uncle Tim made - I asked what kind (Uncle Tim is a cook from scratch guy, so it is ALWAYS outstandingly delicious) and she tells me it is "mint pepper" .... (aka peppermint) I had to hand the phone to Rick, I was incapable of continuing a conversation ... I wanted to BE THERE ;-(

Thankfully, we also got a photo of our Princess and her Vovo (I can't get the accent marks correct), Beth's father Roy, wearing "boppers" that we brought last year for the celebration, and thankfully got saved!

Meanwhile in North Carolina, Connor's class went on a field trip to the local airport to sing Christmas carols, sporting shirts they made.  How cute is this?  I can't imagine anything better to greet people getting off a plane than a group of six year olds, sporting these terrific shirts (look closely at what created the reindeer) and probably most of the boys and girls with missing teeth, singing carols!

Meanwhile, Christmas in Florida looked like this ...

On the 4th of January we moved over to the Osceola National Forest (Ocean Pond Campground) where I am doing a volunteer stint for a couple months .... more on that later, but I will leave you with a photo of our view ....

As the saying goes, stay tuned ....