Community Garage Sale – Saturday – April 30, 2011

Every year, the community we live in organizes a garage sale for any homeowner that wants to participate. They advertise in the local paper and give you balloons to tie to your mailbox. The rest is up to you. Last year, we had a lot of “good” stuff to sell. We used the profits to buy our Sea Eagle Kayak and a Nikon Camera.

Bill setting up tables.

This year we didn’t have a whole lot to sell. We did have some glassware, records, and cooking utensils from Nancy’s mom as a result of her move to her new apartment. Most everything was priced under $2.00, so we weren’t expecting much.

Bill and Bill...boys will be boys!!

Nancy had to work at Home Depot, so I recruited our friends Chris and Bill Jordan to help me with the sale. The official start was at 8am, but there was a parade of early birds cruising the neighborhood before 7am looking for people setting up. Their intent is to get the first shot at the stuff.

Set up and ready to sell!

Bill and Chris -- the official sales team!

For about 3 hours we had a steady stream of shoppers...a buck here and a buck there. When the sale was over I loaded up the car and took all the remaining unsold items to the local Salvation Army. They were thrilled with the donation and I was thrilled to get rid of the stuff. Nancy and I had agreed that the items not sold were NOT coming back in the house…THEY DIDN’T!!

We ended up netting $150 profit and will split it with Nancy’s Mom. Not bad for getting rid of junk we didn’t need. I’m just REALLY glad it is over!! Now if we could just get this house sold… I did show it a couple times today… Just need an offer!!

Injured Fifth Wheel - Friday - April 29, 2011

Nancy here:  With all the severe weather that is going on in the country, I thought I would post a couple of pictures of our neighbors new Fifth Wheel. 

Can you see the tree branch by the window??

There it is a little closer...and it was attached to the Pine Tree!!

They were camping outside Raleigh, when the damaging tornados went through that area. They had gone to a safe building while the storm went through.  When they returned, a pine tree had impaled the bedroom wall.  The entrance was block and they needed a chain saw to remove the tree so they could get into the fifth wheel.  Fortunately, no one was hurt at the campground and the damage to the Fifth Wheel can be fixed!!

However, this is just a reminder to pay attention to the weather and take appropriate action.  RV's are no place to hang out in during severe weather! 

Happy Easter - Sunday - April 24, 2011

Nancy and I got up early to ride our bicycles this beautiful Easter morning. Both the wind and the temperature were ideal for a bike ride. Since we haven’t been riding much lately (long cold and windy winter) we weren’t going to push it too hard, so we did a smooth 17 mile cruise. It was a PERFECT cycling morning.
Getting Ready to Roll

Riding through Prince Creek development

No Easter Bunny, but how about the Easter Swans!!

Also some Easter Flowers!!

We had Sunday brunch with Nancy’s Mom at The Lakes at Litchfield dining room for Easter.  As usual, the food was fantastic and the atmosphere is so pleasant!!
Eat Dessert First!!

We wanted to spend some time with Mom today. As an extra treat, we took her to Brookgreen Gardens this afternoon. It turned out to be a great day with beautiful weather.
Brookgreen Gardens has beautiful gardens, the world’s largest display of outdoor sculptures and a walking path through a small zoo.
Bill's Favorite Sculpture...  he must be doing the crossword puzzle!!

Nancy's Favorite Sculpture from the Children's Garden!

One of many garden paths!!

Foxglove and Fountains

Brookgreen Gardens is only about 5 miles from our home and sits on a 900 acre former rice plantation site. We learned yesterday that this former rice plantation produced more than 50% of all the rice in the US back in the early 1800’s. Who knew? The sculptures and gardens are first class and the motto “ever changing, simply amazing” fits the gardens to a tee.

We took a short stroll through the natural zoo on site.  All the animals are here because they were injured or raised in captivity and could not survive in the wild. We saw Bald Eagles, Owls, Red Foxes, Alligators, River Otters, Red Tailed Hawks and domestic farm animals.
Eagle Sculpture

Bald Eagles

Great Horned Owl

As an added bonus a seasonal exhibit “Whispering Wings Butterfly Experience” was on display. Whispering wings featured a beautiful garden atmosphere with over 20 species of butterflies and a total of 500 or so butterflies.

We had to purchase separate tickets for this exhibit. Every half hour, 25 people are allowed in for 30 minutes. It works well and makes the experience more enjoyable without crowds. Nancy had a field day with her camera as she took tons of pictures of the flowers, trees, the zoo animals and the butterflies. She even snapped a couple of pictures of the butterflies landing on the bill of my visor.
(Click on any picture to enlarge it)

It was a beautiful day and I know Nancy’s mom enjoyed herself. She is doing well and we are thankful for her good health. Nancy and I feel very fortunate that our children and grandchildren are all healthy and happy this Easter. We couldn’t be with them today, but, if we were, you can bet we would have a BIG Easter egg hunt. That has been a tradition in the Mills house for as long as I can remember. That’s one of the fondest memories our children have of my parents – the “ALL DAY” Easter egg hunts - Maybe next year. In the mean time, we hope all our family and friends had a “Happy Easter!”

Grocery Store Solo - Wednesday - April 20, 2011

Let me start by stating that there will be NO pictures with this blog. Intentionally! Me going to the grocery store by myself is like a fish out of water. It was really an out of body experience for me! I equate this to a deer in headlights – I was frozen to the cart. We needed groceries and Nancy had to work. Nancy told me that today was also “seniors’ day” at Krogers. I thought to myself how bad could it be?

Well ---- , it’s worse than I imagined. I should have known the experience was going to be bad when I had to circle the parking lot (twice) to find a place to park. Once in the store I took one of the last few carts and had a death grip on the handle for fear of being run over or worse losing the cart while I was hunting for stuff. That’s right – hunting is the best way I can describe my shopping ability.
 I had the trusty list of items I needed to buy. I didn’t know brands or types, but, how hard can it be to buy produce? I now have a deeper appreciation for Nancy’s ability to shop and save us money. It didn’t matter that I only needed a couple of boxes of cereal (they have a whole aisle for cereal); same for frozen juice, and laundry detergent, bleach, the list goes on. I have to admit this is a real pain in the ---.

It’s not that I’ve never been in a grocery store before! I’ve always been with Nancy and my role has been to push the cart and then pay at checkout. It never seemed so difficult before. And now with all the old folks just standing and blocking all the aisles deciding which can of corn to buy was a little too much for me. And worse, I didn’t have any circulars or coupons or anything! I didn’t know I needed all that stuff. Oh, I really didn’t – I just pay more than everybody else!

An hour later I got to the checkout line where I was behind a little elderly woman with a huge pocketbook groping for loose change. I just smiled thinking “just get me out of here.” I dutifully paid the tab and wielded the cart out to my car and loaded the 10 bags of groceries in the back of the car. I sat there in silence for five minutes thanking my lucky stars that this trek was over and prayed that the 90 year old couple behind me in the lot was not going to drive into me.

I got home just as Nancy was about to go to work. She wanted to see the receipt. All I know is she said I need more training as I overpaid for most of what I bought. I don’t think I should do this on a regular basis, after all, I’m on a fixed income and if I do this grocery shopping we’re going to lose a lot of money. The most important lesson I learned – don’t shop on seniors’ day. Sheesh!

Wildflowers: Table Rock, SC and Abrams Falls, TN- Monday - April 18, 2011

Nancy here:  Our blog is really a record of what we've done and seen. We hope to be doing things for a long, long time! However, when the time comes that we can no longer travel, we want to be able to travel from our rocking chairs.  While I realize that our blog may have more photos than many people prefer, it is our photo journal as well and I will be blogging many photos. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!! Just be glad there isn't a way to blog the wonderful scents as well ;o))

During our hikes at Table Rock State Park, SC and Abrams Falls in The Smokey Mountains, we came upon the following wildflowers.  Most wildflowers are new to us. We never took the time to stop and smell the flowers before.  But now, we enjoy finding and photographing them.  Thanks to Sherry and David for teaching us the name of many that we found.





Cat's Paw

Bleeding Heart

White Trillium

Pink Trillium


Still trying to identify the following:

Sweet Betsy - Thanks Syl for the ID!

With or without a name, they're all beautiful.

Nature is truly amazing!!

Hugs and Away We Go! - Sunday - April 17, 2011

Nancy and I knew today was going to be very emotional. At the closing breakfast Howard and Linda gave a heartfelt thanks to all of us.
It is certainly mutual! Then they closed with the song, "My Wish"... We got filled up with tears.

Deborah and Phil were sitting in front of us and Nancy snapped this photo of Linda and Howard singing the song.
Poor Deborah was just sobbing and Nancy tried to console her.  But really, all the tears are happy tears!! It was all I could do to swallow and say a few words. My heart took over! Instead of the customary “hugs and handshakes” it was all hugs for us. To those who attended their first RV-Dreams rally let me assure you that the second time is even better, if that is possible!!

We left about 10 AM and drove to our son and daughter-in-laws house in Columbia, SC.  It was a pretty day and a nice ride, even if it was all Interstate.  Can't wait until we no longer have time constraints and can drive the back roads and just take our time!!
I40 to I26 in Ashville, NC

I40 to I26 in Ashville, NC
I26 crossing the river

I26 to I20 in Columbia SC

We arrived at about 3pm and took some time to see some additions they had made to the house.
Brian and Chris' House

New Screened Porch

New Fountain

New Flowers

Nancy's Favorite Spot in their backyard!

Our son, Brian and his wife, Chris had prepared a nice dinner for us and we ended up playing cards and laughing until the late hour of 9 PM. Our bodies finally exhausted from a wild and wonderful week said enough is enough. They were great sports, allowing us to share some stories about the rally.

Tomorrow, a bit of reality! Travel to Murrells Inlet, unload the Van, do the wash, catch up with the mail, etc. Try to catch up on photos and blogs! Nancy starts back to work on Tuesday ;o((

Our next step is to sell this house. Right now we don’t have all the details worked out to start our full-timing life. However, as Howard Payne said, “We’re RV’ers, we’ll figure it out.” We agree!